When it is fully operational later this year, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s regional Real ID office in Stadium Park Plaza could produce voluntary travel IDs for as many as 15 counties.
The KYTC opened a temporary Department of Vehicle Regulation office Jan. 6 at 360 E. Eighth Ave., next to the downtown Starbucks, and is now issuing the federally compliant driver’s licenses only to Warren County residents.
It’s the first regional office in the state and follows the opening of a “prototype” office in Frankfort that is serving multiple counties.
Matt Henderson, KYTC’s vehicle regulation commissioner, called it a “soft opening” that will allow KYTC personnel to test the equipment being used at the site’s two stations.
He said tentative plans call for moving the Real ID office in a couple of months to a 3,000-square-foot, 10-station quarters on the Seventh Street side of the plaza next door to Bowling Green Ballpark.
And that location could be responsible for producing licenses for residents from more than the 10 counties that were mentioned in a November announcement of the plan to roll out 12 regional offices.
“This location could potentially serve more than 10 counties,” Henderson said Monday. “It could be as many as 15.”
The November announcement of the regional offices ended a plan to have county circuit court clerks produce the federally compliant IDs just as they have handled traditional driver’s licenses.
That process encountered problems and was scrapped in favor of the plan to open regional offices in Bowling Green, Paducah, Madisonville, Elizabethtown, Louisville, Lexington, Florence, Somerset, Manchester, Jackson, Prestonsburg and Morehead.
The IDs produced at those sites will be fully compliant with federal law enacted to increase security after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and will be needed in order to board domestic flights or enter federal buildings.
Enforcement of the Real ID provisions will begin Oct. 1. After that date, a standard driver’s license will not allow access to domestic flights or to federal buildings and military bases. A valid passport will be accepted for air travel and military base entry.
Warren Circuit Court Clerk Brandi Duvall emphasized that the current standard driver’s license will continue to remain valid for driving, voting and general identification purposes. Duvall’s office will continue to produce the standard driver’s licenses for now, but the KYTC will eventually take over producing those as well.
Both Henderson and Duvall stressed the importance of having the proper documents when you come to the KYTC’s Real ID office to get one of the new IDs.
The KYTC website said the new license will require a proof of identity document such as a certified birth certificate, a non-laminated Social Security number and proof of residency such as a utility bill dated within 61 days of applying for the ID.
Duvall said some other documentation may be needed. Those whose names have changed, for example, will need a document such as a marriage certificate that explains the change.
More information about the required documents can be found at the KYTC’s drive.ky.gov website.
Warren County residents may visit the KYTC regional field office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Applicants will receive a temporary 30-day document that serves as a driving credential until the permanent card arrives in the mail at the applicant’s residence.
Only debit and credit cards will be accepted (no cash or check). Regional offices are not equipped to serve applicants who require testing or re-testing. The cost of a four-year Real ID license is $24 and $48 for an eight-year license.
A standard driver’s license that isn’t Real ID compliant will still be available at the circuit court clerk’s office and will cost $43 for eight years.