Real ID extended deadline

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will assume full responsibility later this month of issuing all state driver's license and ID cards.

The process has been underway for months, but the final eight counties will make the transition June 27.

“It’s a new era of driver licensing in Kentucky,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a news release Friday. “The switch to a system of KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Offices means greater security of personal identification and more options for Kentucky drivers.”

To carry out the transition, KYTC created a network of Driver Licensing Regional Offices located across the state. Twenty-eight regional offices have been opened to date, with plans for at least three more.

In April 2021, the Department of Homeland Security extended the deadline to obtain a Real ID to May 2023 amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Real ID cards will be needed for domestic flights once the May 2023 deadline hits. They can also be used to enter federal buildings or military bases. Even after the deadline, travelers can still use military IDs or valid passports for access to flights, federal buildings or military bases. Older IDs will be suitable to allow people to drive, buy liquor or other age-regulated products, and gamble at casinos.

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005, establishing minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission. 

The regional officers will offer:

  • Online appointment scheduling. Walk-in customers are welcome at most locations. Check here to see whether walk-in capacity has been reached on any given day
  • A choice between a REAL ID and a new standard card version. Both feature security upgrades and are available with a choice of four-year or eight-year expiration (Eight years for all CDLs)
  • Service at ANY regional office, regardless of customer’s county of residence
  • Periodic “Pop-up Driver Licensing” visits to counties without a regional office to offer on-site application and renewal services

“We accepted the challenge of assuming all driver licensing and ID issuance, and we have been hard at work creating the best network we can,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said in a news release. “Circuit court clerks will now be able to focus solely on court business, and driver licensing will be executed at new regional offices whose only business is licensing.”

For more information about the switch to Real ID in Kentucky, click here.

To view a map of regional office locations and counties that have transferred services to KYTC, click here.

To view a map of Kentucky State Police driver testing locations, click here.

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