Changes in the works for Ky license

Hanna Mills - [email protected]

Beginning in January 2019, Kentucky drivers licenses will be getting an upgrade, state officials said Tuesday.

On Aug. 13, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet released the plans for Confident Kentucky, allowing drivers to have an option while renewing or applying for a license.

“At the moment Kentucky state licenses are not federally compliant. Right now, licenses are being issued in 140 circuit court locations across Kentucky. Once the changes take place, licenses will then be issued from one location, making them compliant,” said Amy Saunders from Fleming County Circuit Court. Along with compliancy comes benefits like reducing the risk of fraudulent activities and crack down on identity theft.

Saunders also said, “We’re hoping this doesn’t cause any issues. Hopefully as the year progresses all the questions people might have will be answered and all the finer details will be ironed out. The only issue people might have is not knowing what documents to bring.”

With that being noted, when residents arrive to the circuit court office to apply for a Voluntary Travel ID or first time standard license, they should bring documentation proving identity such as a birth certificate, Social Security number, and proof of residency (two proofs are required for the voluntary travel ID). To renew the standard driving license drivers will only need to surrender their current license and take a new photo. Applicants will receive a temporary license document that will be valid until the requested ID arrives in the mail, which will take 5-10 business days. The standard credential will cost $43 and the Voluntary Travel ID will cost $48.

Anyone whose license is due to expire later this year but before the New Year, should still renew their ID, surrender their existing license and pay the $20 fee, and they will be issued a new standard license valid for four years.

Anyone who would like to apply for a Voluntary Travel ID before the standard credential expires can do so by turning in the unexpired credential, bringing in the appropriate documentation and sitting for a new photo. It will be $15 to upgrade to a Voluntary Travel ID that maintains the current credential’s expiration date.

By 2023 all credentials will last up to eight years and will allow drivers to operate a vehicle, register to vote, vote, to apply for or to receive federal benefits like Social Security. License holders will also be able to access health or life preserving services, law enforcement, and constitutionally protected activities. However, a standard credential cannot be used to access military bases, nuclear power plants, and the White House. Once Federal Enforcement begins Oct. 1, 2020, a standard credential cannot be used to board a U.S. flight.

The $1 donations for The Trust for Life Campaign is still ongoing and organ donor hearts will still appear on new licenses. All of this information and questions you might have can be found at

Hanna Mills

[email protected]