LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – The deadline for REAL ID enforcement is May 3, 2023.

Officials delayed the enforcement after the COVID-19 pandemic to give state motor vehicle departments time to process the new ID cards.

A Real ID will be necessary to gain access to federal facilities, board commercial aircrafts, and enter nuclear power plants.

For air travelers flying within the U.S., passports and these TSA-approved forms of identification are also acceptable. Real IDs are not valid for international sea cruise travel, international air travel or travel across the borders with Canada and Mexico.

Where to get a REAL ID in Kentucky?

Kentucky is opening Driver Licensing Regional Offices across the state to make the new REAL ID, and compliant driving and identity credentials available to Kentuckians who prefer to use them for air travel and federal access benefits once enforcement begins.

The new system administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet gives residents more choices and modern services, the agency said.

Thirty-two regional offices have been opened around the state.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is streamlining the driver licensing process. Soon, all Kentuckians will visit Driver Licensing Regional Offices to apply for or renew a driver’s license, permit, or ID card instead of visiting the Office of the Circuit Court Clerk in their county of residence,” reads a fact sheet provided by the transportation cabinet.

A full list of regional offices and popup locations can be found on the Kentucky state website with details about daily walk-in availability, available appointments, and hours of operation.

In Lexington, two offices are available one in Leestown and another in Spindletop.

To apply for a new REAL ID, applicants should bring in:

  • One (1) valid proof of identity
  • One (1) valid proof of Social Security number
  • Two (2) valid proofs of residency

Additional documentation may be required if names do not match.

What is a REAL ID?

Vector template of toy driver license plastic card for USA Kentucky

The REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits certain federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The purposes covered by the Act are: accessing certain federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and, boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft,” according to the Department of Homeland Security website.

The Kentucky state website lists a complete list of approved forms of ID for U.S. commercial air travel.

  • Kentucky’s REAL ID card versions or other REAL ID compliant cards offered by other states
  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation worker identification credential (TWIC®)
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
  • Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC)

What can I do with a REAL ID?

A Real ID will allow people to gain access to federal facilities, board commercial aircrafts, and enter nuclear power plants in areas where the REAL ID Act is in effect.

For air travelers flying within the U.S., passports and these TSA-approved forms of identification are also acceptable. Real IDs are not valid for international sea cruise travel, international air travel, or travel across the borders of Canada and Mexico.

Driver licensing regional offices fact sheet:

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has provided Kentuckians with a fact sheet with more details about the Real ID.

  • Kentucky Transportation Cabinet
  • A portion of an information packet provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. (Kentucky Transportation Cabinet)