Despite an extension being granted for Kentucky to switch from standard to federally approved drivers’ licenses and IDs, plans to move these services to new regional issuing centers will continue as planned. Local residents needing to renew an existing license or ID are running out of time, with the state planning to cease accepting renewals from the Webster County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office by the end of May.

According to Circuit Court Clerk Janet Cole, residents needing to renew a standard, non-CDL, license can do so through the mail until May 31. For those who cannot renew through the mail, its possible to make an appointment to do so in person through her office until May 21.

After those dates, residents will be required to visit one of Kentucky’s Driver Licensing Regional Offices, where they will be required to purchase a Real ID. The new IDs are more expensive than traditional licenses, and in order to acquire one, applicants must present one document each to prove their identity and of social security number, and two forms of proofs of residency.

After successfully proving their identity, applicants will be given a printed temporary ID, which is good for 30 days. Their federally approved Real ID card will arrive in the mail during that period.

Valid license holders who have lost or misplaced a license may apply for a renewal through their local clerk’s office, but the new ID will be issued with the same expiration date as their old ID.

Renewal services aren’t the only changes that will impact local residents. As part of the process of moving drivers’ license services to the new regional facilities, both the written and driving tests will be moving to the centers as well, although a specific date has yet to be set.

Cole said that her office in Dixon will still give the written and driving portions of the test by appointment only until the state is prepared to make the move.

Once that is completed, anyone looking to take the drivers’ test must travel to one of the regional offices.

The closest Driver Licensing Regional Offices to Webster County are in Madisonville, Owensboro and Paducah.

Passed by Congress in May 2005, the Real ID Act requires states to upgrade from traditional drivers’ licences and IDs to Real IDs. These new IDs are required to meet certain minimum federal standard, and are required to access federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and to board federally regulated commercial aircraft.

Some 16 years after the fact, Kentucky has still not been able to meet the standards set by the Real ID Act and the Department of Homeland Security.

Until last week, Kentucky had until October to complete the process, but Governor Andy Beshear has since announced that the state was granted an extension until May 2023. But the state plans to continue the change over as scheduled.

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069

Contact Matt Hughes at matt@journalenterprise.com or 270-667-2069