Kentucky Circuit Court clerks frustrated with Real ID delays

Delays to REAL ID in Kentucky frustrate county clerks

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s the question many Kentuckians have been asking: What’s up with the state’s Real ID program, and when are we getting them?

Some Circuit Court clerks are getting peppered with questions, too.

This is what a driver's license will look like when residents opt for it be a Voluntary Travel ID.
This is what a driver's license will look like when residents opt for it be a Voluntary Travel ID. (Source: KYTC)

Kentucky is one of a handful of states that hasn’t started the rollout. Most states have them already, but Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials said that being behind is actually not a bad thing because many states have had issues, and they’re learning from those problems in the hope of not repeating them.

“It’s been a pretty big thorn in our side and people are asking on Facebook, they’re calling, you know, they are coming in,” Bullitt Circuit Court Clerk Paulita Keith said.

Keith added that drivers are frustrated with hearing Kentucky was getting the Real ID’s at the beginning of the year, but still haven’t started the rollout.

The Bullitt County Circuit Clerk posted a big sign in front of the driver’s license bureau, and went to social media to try and explain to people that it’s not up to them; it’s statewide. But Keith said they’re not listening.

“Some of them say, well, we’re not leaving until we get it,” she said.

“The majority of the states are offering Real ID compliant cards at this point,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Public Affairs Executive Director Naitore Djigbenou said.

So, what’s with the holdup in the Bluegrass?

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“That is quality,” Djigbenou said. In other words, the Commonwealth has extended its testing period of the program’s new software to get rid of any issues, like those that other states may be experiencing.

While the four-year Travel ID is ready to go, combination licenses are the problem.

“If you want (the) new motorcycle and driver’s license combination, or you want CDLs, there’s all these restrictions,” Djigbenou said.

Djigbenou said her office has been testing internally for months. The pilot program is now set to begin in June in Franklin County, then Woodford County and other counties will follow throughout the summer.

The good news? Current drivers licenses are still valid for air travel through September 2020. Once they are ready, don’t just bring in your old license for the Travel ID. This program began due to post-Sept. 11 security concerns, so you must have required documentation.

“It’s kind of like the first time you got a license, you are going to bring in proof of your identity, you’ll bring in proof of Social Security, and two proofs of residency,” Djigbenou said.

“The sooner the better,” Keith said.

The new card will come in the mail; you will not leave with it when you apply.

To find out exactly what documentation you need and the cost, it’s all laid out on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s website right here.

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