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REAL ID roll out expected to be an obstacle for rural Kentuckians

By: Robin L. Webb
for Carter County Times

During the 2020 Regular Session, the Kentucky General Assembly passed House Bill 453. The bill ultimately made the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet the sole issuance entity for REAL IDs, licenses, and personal identification cards. The legislation also eliminated the requirement that an ID must be issued in the county of residence. The legislation is set to take effect on June 30, 2022.

HB 453 came to fruition following a deadline set by the federal government for states to transition to a REAL ID which will be a requirement for domestic air travel after May 3, 2023, per Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The law grants the authority of REAL ID issuance to regional offices across the state that will administer the process. It is a stark contrast when compared to the current renewal and issuance procedures vested in the local circuit court clerks’ office. .

I voted against this legislation and still oppose it today. I do not believe constituents should have to travel great distances to get their licenses. Although the bill outlines a plan for popup services around the state, I still think it won’t be feasible for many of our rural areas. I plan to continue discussions with Transportation Cabinet officials on avenues to make it easier for ALL Kentuckians to upgrade to a REAL ID.

  • For more information, visit drive.ky.gov/REALID or legislature.ky.gov.
  • As always, you can stay in contact with me in the following ways:
  • To leave a message for any legislator, call the General Assembly’s toll-free Message Line at 1-800-372-7181. People with hearing difficulties may leave messages for lawmakers by calling the Kentucky Relay Service at 711.
  • You can write any legislator by sending a letter with the lawmaker’s name to Capitol Annex, 702 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, Kentucky 40601-3448.
  • You can also email me directly at Robin.Webb@LRC.KY.GOV.

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