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Kentucky Transportation Cabinet granted REAL ID extension

Extension allows continued use of current state driver’s licenses for air travel until October 2020
A REAL ID has a star in the upper right corner.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) today announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined the Commonwealth is fully compliant with REAL ID Act regulations following the pilot launch of new driver’s licenses, permits and IDs in Franklin and Woodford counties. This designation serves as the state’s last necessary extension, and allows Kentuckians to use their current state driver’s license and the new standard credential to board domestic flights and visit military bases until federal enforcement begins Oct. 1, 2020.

“Our regular check-ins with DHS gave us confidence compliant status would be granted as the state has made major strides by issuing new credentials in two pilot counties,” said Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson. “We continue to fine-tune the system before deploying to other counties so Kentuckians have a more seamless experience when it is time to renew. Gathering and updating needed documentation now is key for citizens to have a successful visit when applying for a new card.”

A phased, county-by-county rollout will begin after the pilot period ends. Dates will be updated on the drive.ky.gov/confidentky website as the rollout approaches in each county.

At the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, the REAL ID Act of 2005 set new requirements nationwide for identification that federal agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration, may accept for domestic air travel and entrance to certain federal facilities, including military bases. In June, KYTC launched the pilot phase of credential issuance in Franklin and Woodford counties. After the phased, statewide rollout, Kentuckians renewing existing driver’s licenses, permits or personal IDs, or those applying for the first time, may request a card in one of two versions: a new standard credential or Voluntary Travel ID credential.

Standard driver’s licenses and permits will remain acceptable to drive, vote, access federal and social benefit services (such as VA hospitals, Social Security offices, and federal courthouses) and for general identification purposes (such as signing a lease or purchasing age-restricted goods).  A Voluntary Travel ID credential offers the benefits of a standard credential and is compliant with the requirement of the REAL ID Act, meaning that the credential will be accepted to board U.S. flights and access restricted federal facilities. The new credentials will be among the most secure in the nation due to card enhancements and improvements to the issuance and production process.

Applicants requesting a new Voluntary Travel ID or those applying for a license, permit or personal ID for the first time must present four documents verifying identity, social security number and residency. In some cases, a fifth document, like a marriage certificate or divorce decree, is necessary if names have changed or proof of residency documents are in a spouse or parents name. Kentuckians are urged to prepare now by gathering documentation and making any necessary updates, such as a name change. A full list of required documentation, as well as more about the Confident Kentucky initiative, is available at drive.ky.gov/confidentky.