6 months until REAL ID fly rules settle in for Kentuckians


FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentuckians now have just six months to obtain their REAL ID, without which they face not being able to fly or enter certain federal property.

The state received several extensions of the deadline to be REAL ID compliant after the law was passed by Congress in 2005 until Kentucky lawmakers approved gearing up for the REAL ID program.  But effective October 1, 2021, an ordinary driver’s license or identification card for persons 18 and older will no longer be accepted for boarding a U.S. commercial flight. Nor will it be accepted for entry to restricted federal installations, such as military bases, nuclear plants and the White House.

Once REAL ID enforcement begins, a standard-issue license will still be good for driving, and as proof of identity, age and residence for purposes of voting and making age-restricted purchases, such as buying alcohol or tobacco products. It also will still be good for accessing such federal facilities as Social Security offices and Veterans Administration hospitals.

“After such a difficult year fighting COVID-19 and being separated from our loved ones, I know many Kentuckians will be excited to travel or visit service members when it is safe,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “I want all Kentuckians to know about REAL ID requirements, so a long-awaited trip doesn’t get delayed or canceled just because someone had the wrong form of ID.”

Transportation Secretary Jim Gray echoed the governor’s sentiments. “It’s an important change, and we want to help our fellow Kentuckians avoid an unsettling surprise in October. Upgrading to a REAL ID license or ID card is a secure, convenient way to ensure continued full access.”

It’s important to know the difference between the two cards. A Kentucky REAL ID bears a black cutout star; a standard driver’s license features the Kentucky Unbridled Spirit logo.

REAL ID credentials are not the only forms of federally approved ID that authorities will accept beginning Oct. 1. Others include a valid, unexpired passport or passport card, military ID or Department of Defense ID. Note that a REAL ID is not a substitute for a passport or passport card for international travel.

In Kentucky, REAL ID licenses and IDs are issued at KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Offices in select counties. In addition, documentation requirements are strict. Guard against having to make a return trip by ensuring you arrive with the proper documents.

To find out more information on the program, including locations where you can obtain REAL IDs and the documentation you will need, go to www.realidky.com.


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