REAL ID Deadline pushed back again

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 28, 2021) – Gov. Andy Beshear announced today that Kentucky and other states have been advised by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that full enforcement of the REAL ID Act is being extended by 19 months.

The extension will give license issuance agencies time to recover operating capacity that was restricted to abide by health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new enforcement date is May 3, 2023. Before the announced extension, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) and its counterparts in other states were preparing for enforcement to begin Oct. 1, 2021 – just over five months from now.

As of the new enforcement date, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification at airport security checkpoints for domestic air travel.

“This extension is a prudent move,” Gov. Beshear said. “We are rolling out a modern, efficient network of KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Offices to issue all REAL ID-compliant licenses and identification cards. These offices have and continue to operate at limited capacity to meet social distancing and other ‘Healthy at Work’ requirements.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas made the same point in announcing the extension.

“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card.”

KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said Kentucky’s issuance of REAL ID licenses and IDs will continue, as will the transition of all driver licensing services – standard-issue licenses and permits as well as REAL ID-compliant credentials – to KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Offices and away from the Office of Circuit Court Clerk in each county.

“The extension can be viewed as a needed grace period,” Secretary Gray said. “But our advice to drivers is still the same: If you want a REAL ID, make a plan now.”

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Zac Oakes is the News and Sports Director for and Laker Country WJRS 104.9 FM.