Politics & Government

Good news, travelers. Your Ky. license will get you on domestic flights for another year.

You will be able to continue using your Kentucky drivers’ licenses to board domestic airline flights for another year.

The federal government has granted the state more time to comply, until Oct. 10, 2018, with federal security regulations designed to combat terrorism.

The new 12-month extension for Kentucky to comply with the federal REAL ID Act was granted Oct. 18 by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the request of state Vehicle Regulation Commissioner John-Mark Hack, Transportation Cabinet spokesman Keith Buckhout said Wednesday.

Without the extension, Kentucky’s 3.5 million licensed rivers would have needed passports or other documentation approved by Homeland Security to board commercial flights in January 2018.

The state already had an extension from the federal government until Oct. 10, 2017, to put off implementation of a new high-security licensing system required by a 2005 law to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.

With Kentucky’s latest request for a new extension, Hack said last month, another three-month extension probably will be needed to get Kentucky to Jan. 1, 2019, when a state law enacted this year — House Bill 410 — to comply with REAL ID takes effect.

Hack said last month that the state needed more time to identify a vendor for the new licensing system and to conduct a public educational campaign about it.

Kentucky is one of 24 states that have been granted more time by the federal government to implement REAL ID.

Under the new law, Kentuckians will have a choice to stick with a standard license, which does not require the scanning of personal documents, or request an 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. The extra fees raised by HB 410 are estimated to generate nearly $10 million a year in revenue for the state.

Gov. Matt Bevin signed legislation earlier this year to bring Kentucky into compliance with the federal regulations. A year earlier, he had urged lawmakers to pass a similar bill, only to veto it when it arrived on his desk.

Members of the Tea Party claimed the law, which was enacted in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, could be used to invade their privacy.

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