Kentucky's request for REAL ID extension denied

10/12/2016 03:10 PM

FRANKFORT – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is denying Kentucky’s request for a one-year extension to come into compliance with federal regulations known as REAL ID.

Kentucky had already been operating on a one-year extension that expired on Monday October 10, 2016. The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) requested another one-year extension after legislation that would have brought Kentucky into compliance was vetoed by Governor Matt Bevin earlier this year.

Bevin vetoed Senate Bill 245 at the end of April, after having urged legislators to pass it. Bevin made note of having initially supported the bill in his veto message.

“Since that time, however, it has become increasingly clear that there is tremendous opposition and misunderstanding about this bill,” the governor wrote. “The widespread opposition comes from citizens of Kentucky across the entire political spectrum for a variety of different reasons. Good governance demands the courtesy of time needed to better understand and discuss the difference between ‘REAL ID’ as originally envisioned by its authors, and the minimal and voluntary requirements authorized by Senate Bill 245.”

“By taking additional time to study alternative options for the traveling public, and having an additional year to continue the dialogue and clear up any remaining misinformation, Kentucky will be better positioned to enact any updates to our driver’s licensing system that may ultimately be needed.”

REAL ID was passed by the United States Congress in 2005, and signed into law by President Bush. It was the result of recommendations given by the 9/11 Commission, it is meant to set tougher standards for driver’s licenses and State ID’s. The enforcement of REAL ID has been postponed several times, DHS announcing at the end of 2013 that implementation would finally begin in 2014.

The impact of the extension not being granted will not be immediately felt. Beginning January 10, 2017 some federal facilities such as military installations, and all nuclear power plants will not accept Kentucky ID“s. Social Security Administration offices, Veteran Affairs facilities, and federal court houses will still accept Kentucky licenses and ID cards.

It will not be until January 22, 2018 that the Transportation Security Administration will stop accepting non compliant state’s ID cards to board domestic flights. If Kentucky is still not in compliance at that time individuals will need a passport or another accepted form of identification to travel on domestic flights.

Sen. Ernie Harris, R-Crestwood, who crafted the bill this past session, said recently at an interim joint Transportation Committee meeting that he believes the reason some opposed the bill last time was due to a lack of understanding, and that that issue can be resolved in the upcoming session

The transportation cabinet is planning a series of public forums on REAL ID starting in early December to help address concerns over the transition.


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