Two counties in the region are among the latest group to stop issuing driver’s licenses from their respective circuit clerk’s offices.
Barren and Simpson counties are part of a group of 10 counties whose circuit clerk offices will cease driver licensing services Monday.
The issuing of driver’s licenses, permits and state IDs is being taken over by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in a move that state officials said will allow Kentuckians more choices and access to modern services when applying for licenses.
With Barren and Simpson counties discontinuing the driver’s license issuing duties in their circuit clerk offices, a total of 67 counties will have made the transition as of Monday.
Barren Circuit Clerk Krissie Fields welcomed the opportunity for clerks to have more time to perform duties within the state judiciary system.
“Our constitutional duty is to support the court system,” Fields said. “We’re still going to be here to serve the public. Nobody is losing their job here.”
Going forward, people in Barren and Simpson counties looking to renew their standard driver’s license can do so at www.DLrenewal.ky.gov if they have not had a change of name or address and do not require driver testing.
People in those counties applying for a new standard driver’s license, learner’s permit, commercial driver’s license or REAL ID card can do so in person at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s regional office in Bowling Green.
A mail-in program allows license holders to renew a four-year license, request an ID with an updated address or apply for replacement of a lost license, permit or ID card.
Fields said her office has been helping an estimated 800 customers a month with driver’s license renewals, issuing new licenses and hosting permit tests.
“Most (states’ driver’s licenses) are handled by a secretary of state or an executive office, but in Kentucky it has been handled by the judicial branch, which makes it very unique,” Fields said.
The Warren County Circuit Clerk’s Office closed its driver’s licensing department in August, and the space in the Warren County Justice Center is now dedicated to the office’s domestic violence department.
Regional offices that have opened in Bowling Green and several other cities will be the only place to get a REAL ID or a CDL.
“Licensing is our only business at the regional offices so we can focus on providing a consistent and positive experience across our network of application sites,” Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray said in a news release. “Our offices also offer a more secure insurance process and upgraded card security features to curb fraud.”
Applicants can make an appointment online at drive.ky.gov. Walk-in customers will be served on a first-come, first-served basis.
– Bowling Green’s regional driver licensing office is located at 360 E. Eighth Ave., Suite 111.
– Follow courts reporter Justin Story on Twitter @jstorydailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.