Kentucky has residents jumping though hoops for new license, but getting them has been delayed
As part of the reaction to the events of 9/11, the federal government enacted several registrations and guidelines including the REAL ID Act in 2005. It was based on a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission that “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s license.”
The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibited federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards.
Kentucky has been one of those states as the past administrations and legislations since 2005 have failed to act on the requirement.
As a result, Kentucky residents were not going to be able to fly within the United States with a normal Kentucky driver’s license. This past fall, Kentucky received an extension. The state was supposed to introduce a new plan to produce the REAL ID’s in January 2019, but that plan has fallen apart.
Pendleton County was supposed to be issuing the new license on March 28, 2019, according to Pendleton County Circuit Court Clerk Michael Redden, but that has been delayed by the state.
“We have not been given a date but hope to hear something next week,” he said.
According to the Pendleton County Circuit Court office, during training they were told it has been delayed until it is right.
With the delays, Redden indicated they had been told that TSA will be accepting the old licenses for air travel through October, 2020.
The new voluntary travel ID program allows U.S. air travel and access to military bases and will arrive in the mail 5-10 business days.
“A person needs to make plans for air travel as you will not be able to apply and pick up the ID here at our office,” he added.
For complete information on the new identifications, residents are encouraged to go to drive.ky.gov. Some of the basic information is:
Residents will need to bring a proof of identity that can come from a certified birth certificate, passport, or permanent resident card. Applicants under 18 years must provide birth certificate.
Residents will also have to present two proofs of residency that are fewer than 61 days old.
A complete list of acceptable documents for the first two requirements is available on the website.
Residents will also need to have a non-laminated Social Security card or current tax year W-2 form.
According to Redden’s office, they have been told that females who have changed their names because of marriage will have to provide a certified marriage license that bridges the name they are applying under to the name on their birth certificate.
Rita Spencer, Pendleton County Clerk, said a certified marriage license will cost $5.
Residents will have the option to renew their drivers license without the Voluntary Travel ID option but will not be able to fly within the United States. If one chooses this option, they will have to provide no additional documents other than their expiring driver license.
The website has information about identification process for Non-U.S. citizens.
Redden indicated that his office has received several frequently asked questions:
Q: Do I need a passport to fly within the United States before a Voluntary Travel ID is available?
A: No. As long as Kentucky is under an extension from the Department of Homeland Security, a standard, unexpired driver’s license/personal ID card or new standard license can be used to board domestic commercial flights until enforcement begins October 1, 2020.
Q: What benefits and access does a standard credential offer?
A: Standard credentials and Voluntary Travel IDs are acceptable to enter federal facilities, such as museums or a post office, that do not require a person to present identification; apply for or receive federal benefits (includes Social Security office); access health or life preserving services (includes hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings); participate in law enforcement proceedings or investigations (includes federal courthouses); operate a vehicle; vote or register to vote.
Q: What do I do if the name, date of birth or gender on my proof documents do not match?
A: Many people change their names due to marriage, adoption, divorce or other reasons. In order to obtain a Voluntary Travel ID or standard credential, you must provide proof documents that show a direct link between your name changes. Those documents include a marriage certificate, divorce decree, legal name court order or valid U.S. Military ID card. If your name has changed due to marriage, you will need to request a new social security card that matches your current legal name before applying for a new credential.
For example, if your birth certificate displays your maiden name but your social security card displays your married name, you’ll need to bring a certified copy of your marriage certificate to link the documents. If you’ve lost your birth, marriage or divorce certificate, you will need to obtain a certified replacement copy. If you have a U.S. passport or passport card that matches your current legal name, you can use that document as proof of identity and legal presence, in place of a birth certificate.
If your present gender is different than what is listed on your identity document (such as a birth certificate or passport), you will need to present a court order changing gender marker or a letter from the surgeon that completed the gender reassignment.
If the birth date on your current license is not correct, you will need to present a birth certificate to ensure your new credential reflects the correct date.
Q: What do I do if my current license expires before the new ID’s are available in my county?
A: The applicant should renew their license at the Circuit Court Clerk office in his or her county of residency prior to the expiration date. The applicant will surrender the existing license, pay $20, and will be issued a standard license that is valid for four years.
If the applicant chooses to apply for a new Voluntary Travel ID before their new standard credential expires, they may do so by turning in their unexpired credential, bringing in the appropriate documentation and sitting for a new photo. The applicant will pay $15 to upgrade to a Voluntary Travel ID that maintains their current credential’s expiration date. Once an applicant is within six (6) months of their expiration date, they can renew their Voluntary Travel credential.