FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Western Kentucky residents now have one more option to maintain U.S. air travel and military base entry thanks to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) expansion of REAL ID-compliant card access at a new Madisonville issuance location.
The Hopkins County REAL ID Regional Driver’s Licensing office in Madisonville launched March 2 serving all Kentuckians regardless of where they live. Any U.S. citizen or permanent resident who has a driver’s license, permit or identification card may apply for a Kentucky’s REAL ID-compliant version at the new regional office in Madisonville if they want to use a state-issued credential to meet upcoming REAL ID requirements that go into effect Oct. 1, 2020.
"After years of repeated changes and uncertainty surrounding REAL ID in Kentucky, my administration is working tirelessly and has made quick progress to make REAL IDs available as soon as possible," said Gov. Andy Beshear. "The deadline to comply is quickly approaching and we must continue to improve this service while encouraging Kentuckians to take action to ensure they have an accepted form of identification by October."
Residents who already have a valid form of REAL ID, like a passport or military ID, can use that instead of the new REAL ID license if they want to visit military bases and fly within the U.S. starting this October. Current driver’s licenses will continue to remain valid for driving, voting and general identification purposes.
Like Madisonville, the REAL ID office in Frankfort serves as a regional application site welcoming applicants from any county to apply. Offices in Paducah, Bowling Green, and Somerset are best scaled to serve residents in the county they are located in and will serve the region once workstation capacity expands.
BACKGROUND ON REAL ID
WHAT IS A REAL ID LICENSE
Starting Oct. 1, 2020, Kentucky driver’s licenses, permits and identification cards displaying the Kentucky Unbridled Spirit logo or the language "NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES" will no longer be accepted to board U.S. commercial flights or access restricted federal buildings to comply with federal REAL ID law.
Kentucky is in the process of offering REAL ID-compliant licenses, permits and identification cards accepted at airport security checkpoints, military bases and federal buildings that require ID once federal enforcement begins.
REAL ID licenses serve as one of several forms of REAL ID. Below is a list of common forms of REAL ID Kentuckians may use to maintain air travel and select federal building access:
A full list of documents accepted by the Transportation Security Administration is available at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification. Kentuckians are encouraged to contact military bases and federal buildings, like the White House, to learn what other forms of identification are accepted.
WHY YOU MAY NEED A REAL ID
Beginning nationwide on Oct. 1, 2020, a form of REAL ID will be needed to:
WHERE TO GET A REAL ID LICENSE, PERMIT OR IDENTIFICATION CARD
Kentucky residents may visit the KYTC REAL ID Regional Driver’s Licensing Office office located at 56 Federal Place in Madisonville. The office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. 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 REAL ID license.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO APPLY FOR A REAL ID LICENSE
Residents applying for a REAL ID license must present documentation from a list of specific, acceptable documents that meet federal guidelines, including:
WHAT IF YOU WANT A REAL ID BUT ARENT WITHIN YOUR RENEWAL WINDOW ( six months before the current card’s expiration date)