A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Don’t have a passport? You’ll need a ‘Real ID’ to fly when new identification rules take effect in October

By Nadia Ramlagan Public News Service By this fall, Americans who don’t have either one of the new “REAL IDs” or a valid passport won’t be able to fly or to visit military bases and federal facilities. Kentucky is urging its residents to take the change seriously. Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005, following recommendations from the 9/11 Commission to set higher standards...

Ron Daley: Helping Kentuckians get their REAL ID for air travel should not have taken so long

Don’t you just hate it when our great Commonwealth is at the bottom of rankings compared to other states? It is especially frustrating when there are easy fixes to address the concerns. This is the case when Kentucky has rushed to get to near bottom for allowing Kentuckians to obtain REAL ID drivers licenses by the federal mandated Oct. 1, 2020, deadline. The REAL ID (Voluntary Travel ID) is necessary...

Governor, transportation secretary focus on helping Kentuckians obtain REAL IDs by Oct. deadline

Gov. Andy Beshear and Transportation Secretary Jim Gray on Wednesday said they are focused on helping Kentuckians who need a REAL ID obtain one by the Oct. 1 deadline. The officials spoke at a joint appearance at the Kentucky Transportation headquarters. Despite Kentucky not currently meeting the federal REAL ID standards, the Beshear administration is committed to implementing the initiative. On...

KY Transportation Cabinet expanding REAL ID-compliant card access to Frankfort; it’s open to LEX

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is expanding REAL ID-compliant card access at the Frankfort regional driver licensing office to serve Fayette County residents as the agency continues preparations to open a local regional office in Lexington. Fayette County residents who have an existing driver’s license, permit or identification card may visit the KYTC-run office in Frankfort to apply...

Lawmakers propose setting up regional offices across state to implement federal Real ID program

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today State lawmakers heard an update on Kentucky’s effort to implement the federal Real ID law Monday afternoon, including the proposal of setting up a dozen regional offices. The program has had numerous fits and starts since a pilot project began at the Franklin County Circuit Clerk’s office earlier this year. That included the length of time needed to process the applications,...

Real ID program experiencing real slow rollout as circuit court clerks juggle increased workload

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today The on-again, off-again rollout of Kentucky’s new driver’s licenses to meet federal standards of the federal government’s Real ID program is on hold again. An oft-delayed pilot program for the new licenses, known as Voluntary Travel IDs, finally began this summer in Franklin and Woodford counties, following months of delays. But the circuit court clerks responsible...

Pew Trusts: Real ID causing real problems as states cope with changing rules and late rollouts

By Elaine S. Povich Pew Charitable Trusts In half a dozen states, including the most populous state of California, the Real ID rollout is a real mess. Technical glitches, delays and miscommunication are roiling the Real ID implementation in those states, calling into question whether residents will have the secure driver’s license needed to travel by air or enter government restricted areas after...

Transportation Cabinet in final stages of testing new driver’s license system; to pilot in Woodford, Franklin

The Kentucky Transportation (KYTC) is in the end stages of testing the state’s new driver’s license system to introduce new, more secure card versions that meet federal standards in the coming months. A pilot of the new system will begin this spring in Circuit Court Clerk Office locations in Woodford and Franklin counties. New licenses will be made available gradually in counties and become available...

Commissioner says changes need to be made for license plates and driver’s licenses in Kentucky

By Tom Latek Kentucky Today New license plates and driver’s licenses could be coming to Kentucky soon.   John-Mark Hack, commissioner of the Department of Vehicle Regulation, made a presentation to the General Assembly’s Interim Joint Transportation Committee on Tuesday in Frankfort. He told lawmakers the current system of license plate issuance is woefully inefficient and, since the design hasn’t...

Commentary: New voluntary federal ID cards now compliant with mandates, pose no threat to privacy

By Rep. Jim DuPlessis Special to KyForward In 2005, legislation was enacted by the United States Congress to beef up national security by adding new requirements for state driver’s licenses and other official ID cards. Ever since then, as states have gone through the process of complying with the new mandates, much opposition has formed to what is often called REAL ID. However, despite those concerns,...

Legislative Briefs: REAL ID compliance bill advances to Senate; ‘Tim Tebow’ measure gets House approval

The Kentucky House voted 77-19 Tuesday to create “voluntary travel ID” cards that would meet federal REAL ID requirements, while also voting to change procedures for issuance of standard Kentucky driver’s licenses and permits. House Bill 410, sponsored by Rep. Jim DuPlessis, R-Elizabethtown, would create the voluntary travel ID—an enhanced driver’s license that could be used to board airplanes...

Homeland Security denies state’s request for new one-year driver’s license compliance extension

Kentucky’s request for a one-year extension to come into compliance with federal regulations known as REAL ID was denied Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The denial of the extension comes in spite of recent documented progress the state has made to further enhance the security of its driver’s license and ID card issuance system. Despite the denial, Kentucky will continue...

Kentucky may have to change its driver’s licensing – again – to comply under REAL ID

When Kentucky driver’s licenses showed up in the hands of non-U.S. pilots several years ago, federal officials came to Frankfort asking questions.   “The FBI … had found Kentucky driver’s licenses in several other countries. As a matter of fact, we were told that one of the people who applied for one of the aviation schools in the United States had a Kentucky driver’s license,” State...