Bevin signs Real ID driver’s license bill

Gov. Matt Bevin has signed into law Real ID legislation to bring Kentucky into compliance with federal security regulations for driver’s licenses. He vetoed it last year.

Bevin has signed several other bills this week and had not vetoed any legislation as of late Wednesday.

Lawmakers are to return to the Capitol March 29 and 30 to consider any vetoes by the Republican governor and consider several other bills they did not have time to address last week. Their work next week will wrap up this year’s law-making session.

Without any fanfare or public comment, Bevin signed his name on the Real ID measure, House Bill 410, sometime Tuesday.

If Kentucky did not comply with the federal Homeland Security regulations enacted in 2005, the state’s driver’s licenses could not be used to access military bases starting June 6 or commercial airplanes starting Jan. 22, 2018.

The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jim DuPlessis, R-Elizabethtown, said Kentucky will now be granted an extension by the federal government until the state starts issuing federally approved licenses in 2019.

Last year, Bevin urged the House and Senate to pass a similar bill, only to veto it when it arrived on his desk. Members of the Tea Party claimed it could invade their privacy.

Under the law, Kentuckians will have a choice to stick with the standard license, which does not require the scanning of personal documents, or request a new and enhanced license, which does.

An eight-year license that complied with the Real ID Act would cost $48. A standard license, also good for eight years, would cost $43. The current cost of a license is $20 for 4 years. Given the extra fees raised by HB 410, it’s estimated that it would produce a net increase of just under $10 million a year in revenue for the state.

Other bills Bevin has signed into law this week include:

▪  Senate Bill 189, which allows deaf and hard of hearing people to indicate voluntarily their status in the Kentucky vehicle registration system, allowing law enforcement officers to see the status during traffic stops.

▪  Senate Bill 89, which gives Kentuckians access to more treatments to stop smoking.

Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198, @BGPolitics