After years of delays, Kentucky residents will be able in January to obtain drivers licenses with security improvements required for air travel.
The state is one of the last to comply with federal Real ID standards that require states to obtain more paperwork to prove residency or Social Security numbers and keep it on file. In addition, the licenses are supposed to be more difficult to forge.
Kentucky residents will choose between standard and travel licenses. The travel license offers all of the benefits of a standard driver’s credential with the added bonus of being accepted at airport security checkpoints and military bases. Air travelers under the age of 18 do not need a travel ID if they are accompanied by an adult with acceptable documentation. Starting in October 2020, Kentucky residents will no longer be able to get on domestic flights with their standard drivers licenses.
For those who want a travel license without driving privileges, there is the option of a personal identification card.
“Ensuring the security of Kentucky’s credentials while offering options to residents is a priority . . . and the upcoming changes accomplish both goals.,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas.
All Kentucky credentials will include a mark to indicate they are federally compliant, according to the Transportation Cabinet.
Residents will apply for credentials at their local circuit court clerk’s offices. They will leave with temporary licenses. Applicants will receive the new credentials in the mail in five to 10 business days.
Licenses initially will be valid for four or eight years. The new eight-year standard drivers license (non-travel) will be $43 and the new eight-year voluntary travel ID will be $48. The voluntary travel personal ID will be $28 for eight years. The four-year licenses will be half of the cost. As of 2023, only eight-year licenses will be available.
A standard license will require one proof of identity, one proof of Social Security number and one proof of residency. Applicants requesting a travel ID will need to present all of that documentation plus one additional proof of residency. Documents acceptable to prove identity include certified birth certificates or passports. A Social Security card or W2 can be used to prove Social Security numbers and utility bills, leases, deeds, tax returns and insurance documents can be used to prove residency. A list of acceptable documents that can be used to obtain standard or travel licenses can be found at https://drive.ky.gov/Docs/AcceptableDocumentsVTID.pdf.
The design of the new licenses and credentials will be announced next month.