Phased county rollout of Kentucky’s new, secure driver’s licenses begins in March
Transportation officials share preliminary schedule, urge Kentuckians to prepare documentation now
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 7, 2019) – The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) has announced the anticipated rollout of the state’s new identity credentials, slated to become available gradually in counties beginning in March 2019 through spring. The Cabinet is spearheading the Confident Kentucky initiative to offer two new license, permit and personal ID card versions applicants can choose from the next time they are due to renew existing credentials at their local Circuit Court Clerk office. The new system is expected to be in place statewide by May and is part of an effort to introduce a new REAL ID compliant credential by boosting the security of all card production and issuance.
To view the preliminary rollout schedule, visit
“We want to give Kentuckians a sense of when they can expect the upgraded cards to become available in their county of residence,” said KYTC Secretary Greg Thomas. “As the rollout approaches in each county, we’ll announce the specific date the changes will take effect. It’s important we maintain some flexibility right now as we continue to prepare for a massive statewide redesign of the license program. Our focus is to make the transition as smooth as possible.”
Applicants requesting a new Voluntary Travel ID or those applying for a license, permit or personal ID for the first time must present documentation verifying identity, social security number and residency. Kentuckians are urged to prepare now by gathering documentation and making any necessary updates.
“Gathering, replacing and updating required documents can spare applicants from repeat trips to Circuit Court Clerk offices,” said Kentucky Association of Circuit Court Clerks President Greg Helton. “Now is the time to collect documents like a certified birth certificate or request a social security card that reflects your current legal name. The IDocument Guide interactive tool makes it easy to create a personalized list of documents applicants will need to bring so they’re confident they’ll arrive with the right documents in hand.”
Upon implementation, Kentuckians will choose between a new standard or Voluntary Travel ID card version once they are within six months of their current card’s expiration date. All new card versions will be mailed to applicants 5 to 10 days after applying at their local Circuit Court Clerk Office. A Kentucky driver’s license, permit or identification card in the current and new standard version will continue to be accepted for U.S. air travel and military base entry through Aug. 1, 2019. Kentucky expects to maintain further extensions from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) until REAL ID enforcement begins Oct. 1, 2020. At that point, a new Voluntary Travel ID card version or any federally accepted form of identification, like a passport, will be needed for airport security checkpoints and entry into military bases or restricted federal buildings.
“Current Kentucky licenses, permits and IDs will remain valid until their expiration date, so cardholders should wait to request one of the new card versions until they are within their renewal period,” said Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson. “Those seeking a Voluntary Travel ID but whose renewal window doesn’t allow them to renew before the October 2020 deadline can visit a Circuit Court Clerk office and pay $15 to upgrade their current credential to a Voluntary Travel ID that maintains their current card’s expiration date.”
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