FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - The on-again, off-again rollout of Kentucky’s new driver’s license is back on-again with a three-county pilot project now scheduled to begin later this month.
The Transportation Cabinet says a phased, statewide roll out will extend through the summer to introduce two new card versions for all credentials: a standard or Voluntary Travel ID. The Voluntary Travel ID is the federally compliant card version acceptable for domestic air travel and military base entry once nationwide REAL ID enforcement begins October 1, 2020.
The program was to begin in April, but was postponed for further testing, with Franklin County now expected to start issuing the new driver’s license on June 28. Woodford and Hart counties will be the next two, but the dates won’t be announced until after Franklin County begins issuing them.
“We have adjusted the preliminary pilot dates to stay true to our commitment to deliver a system to the Circuit Court Clerks and the public that will make the transition as smooth as possible,” said Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson. “Extending the testing phase allows the project team and card vendor needed time to vet and update the new system used to handle front- and backend operations associated with how we issue and produce the new cards.”
Those seeking the new licenses will have to provide more documentation than they have in the past. Applicants for the 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.
“Kentucky’s new licenses will be among the most secure in the nation,” Henderson said. “From added security features in the card to a more safeguarded process, citizens can be confident in the changes to the credential they rely on most.”
Current driver’s licenses, permits and IDs will remain valid until their expiration date. Cardholders should wait to request one of the new card versions until they are within their six-month renewal window. Cardholders whose renewal window does not allow them to renew before the REAL ID enforcement deadline of Oct. 1, 2020, will be allowed to request a new Voluntary Travel ID credential once it is available in their county of residence.
A phased, county-by-county rollout extending to the remaining counties will begin this summer after the pilot period ends.
The voluntary Travel ID will cost $48. You can still get a standard ID for $43, although it cannot be used to enter federal facilities, nuclear power plants or board commercial flights. While the cost is higher than the current four-year driver’s license, both will be good for eight years.
A list of required documentation and dates for the pilot counties will be posted on the website: https://drive.ky.gov/confidentky.