HENDERSON, KY (WFIE) - All Kentucky drivers will need to get new licenses.
The “Real ID ACT” placed new security standards on issuance and production of driver’s licenses to enhance safety. The act was presented to Congress in 2005 and states then began implementing the new licenses.
Kentucky is different. Kentucky is under a federal exemption right now which is why drivers are still able to use their current driver’s license, but that exemption runs out in October of 2020 meaning drivers will have to make a switch to one of two new licenses.
“Kentucky legislature wanted to make sure that you had both of those options so you’ll have to choose either the standard license or the travel license, and really that’s up to you," said Henderson County Circuit Court Clerk Herb McKee.
He says the new travel license lets you fly within the United States and serves as an ID for military bases. But you don’t have to make the switch.
“You can still use a standard license if you want to drive, or go to the bank, or make purchases, all the things - vote," McKee said. "All the things that you normally could do.”
McKee says one of those normal things is flying. He says citizens will still be allowed to fly domestically in the United States with a standard license and a valid US passport. However, McKee does encourage frequent flyers to make the change saying that it will streamline the process.
“I do suggest if you’re going to be traveling on an airplane within the next four year lets go ahead and get that travel license because you don’t want to get to the airport and realize I’m not able to fly, I don’t have a passport," McKee said.
According to McKee you’ll need to provide certain documents when applying for a new license or the travel license, similar to what teenagers need when they first apply for a license.
McKee says a proof of identity, social security number, proof of residence, and proof of name change (if applicable) are required to apply for the new license.
Proof of identity can be anything from a birth certificate, to a valid US passport, or a residence card. Officials say the social security number can be taken from an un-laminated social security card or a current W2. Proof of residence is any document that has your address on it.
According to McKee if your current legal name, date of birth, or gender does not match up with what is on your proof of identity, then you’ll have to provide paperwork to prove that change. There are many different types of acceptable proof documents.
McKee says drivers need to get either a new standard license or the travel license before October 2020. He says you can use your current, non-expired license up until that point.
The Kentucky Department of Transportation wants to stress that only drivers who want a voluntary travel license and have a license that expires after October 1, 2020 should come in early to request the new travel license. Other drivers should wait until it’s time to renew to put in their request.