|Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear promoted REAL ID at the beginning of the year. Due to the pandemic, the federal deadline was later pushed out another year to October 2021.|
By Robin Gee
While the enforcement date for the federal Department of Homeland Security REAL ID card is over a year away (October 23, 2021), those who would like to obtain the state mandated Kentucky REAL ID card can do so now. The state has added temporary regional driver’s license offices to handle requests, including one in Florence.
Once the federal law goes into effect, standard Kentucky driver’s licenses will not be accepted for air travel or for admission to U.S. military bases and restricted federal facilities such as the White House or nuclear power plants. Instead, the Kentucky REAL ID card can be used.
Passports and other federal forms of identification will still be accepted, but the REAL ID can be a convenient option. Information on REAL ID can be found at the drive.ky.gov website.
Where to schedule an appointment
Any state resident who wants a REAL ID card or a standard license, and who does not require testing or retesting, can get one at a Regional Driver's License Office. In addition to eight permanent driver’s license offices in places such as Frankfort and Lexington, the state has opened four additional temporary offices — including the one in Florence at 8120 Dream Street, Suite A.
The Florence office is not walk-in, however. You must schedule an appointment ahead on the Kentucky Regional Driver's License Office page on the drive.ky.gov website. You can call for technical assistance at (859) 431-1072. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Health and safety protocols will be in place, and no cash will be accepted (debit or credit cards only).
What you will need for your application
Here is a list of some of the identification materials you will need to apply for the REAL ID. Get a complete list of accepted documents see the REAL ID Fact Sheet on the drive.ky.gov website.
- proof of identity such as a passport, birth certificate or permanent resident card
- proof of Social Security, such as the Social Security card, a current tax year W-2 or 1099 form
- two forms of proof of residency such as your current driver’s licenses, utility bill, etc.
If your legal name, date of birth or gender are different than what is on your proof documents, you will need to bring additional legal documentation such as divorce papers, court orders, etc.
What it costs
The REAL IDs (non-CDL applications) can be purchased to be good for four or eight years. Those with CDLs are only available for eight-year periods. A regular driver’s license REAL ID is currently $24 for four years or $48 for eight years. A list of costs and types of licenses can be found on the Kentucky driver's license “Pricing” page on the drive.ky.gov site.