The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says it is working toward compliance with the federal REAL ID Act from 2005. The law sets 39 standards that must be met in order for a state-issued driver’s license to be accepted at certain high-security locations. Kentucky is one of 10 states currently not in compliance. That means Kentuckians trying to access restricted areas at federal facilities will have to present a passport or military ID beginning July 21.
Lisa Tolliver with the Transportation Cabinet says the state has completed a key step needed for an extension and is waiting to hear back from Homeland Security.
“What we’re doing is just working toward it. We don’t have a timeframe as to when we’ll be completely finished,” said Tolliver. “But once we get an extension – that will allow Kentucky driver’s licenses – they won’t be compliant, but they will be acceptable.”
As early as 2016, non-compliant driver’s licenses may prevent someone from boarding a commercial airliner unless they have a second form of ID. But that provision can't be enacted until after Homeland Security has evaluated states’ progress early next year.
Tolliver says the standards set by the federal law are designed for state’s with a “traditional DMV” set up, putting Kentucky at a disadvantage from the outset.
“For instance, our driver’s licenses are processed at the circuit clerk’s office while our vehicle registration is done at the county clerk’s office and our driver’s test are given by Kentucky State Police. Where in a traditional DMV – all of that would be under one roof and one agency,” said Tolliver.
There are currently 145 circuit clerk offices that can issue a driver’s license in Kentucky. That means each location has to meet federal security standards.