What is Changing

​​​​​​The REAL ID Act required changes to state standards, procedures, and requirements for issuing driver's licenses and identification cards accepted by select federal agencies. When federal enforcement of the REAL ID Act begins on May 7, 2025, Kentucky's current standard license will no longer be accepted to board U.S. flights or enter restricted federal facilities, like military bases​ or the White House.
​New REAL ID driver's licenses, permits, and identification cards may be requested at KYTC's Driver Licensing Regional Offices across the state. Here are the different benefits the standard and REAL ID card versions offer.​

Differences between a REAL ID and a standard credential

Kentuckians may request a REAL ID even after federal enforcement takes effect on May 7, 2025. REAL ID driving and identity credentials are one of many federal documents accepted to maintain travel and access benefits starting May 7, 2025. Kentuckians who want a REAL ID may apply for one at any Driver Licensing Regional Office location.

Here's what to expect when requesting a REAL ID:

  • ​Present Documentation: Residents will visit a Driver Licensing Regional Office to apply for a new credential. To meet federal standards, applicants must provide 

    • (1) proof of identity​​

    • (1) proof of social security​

    • (2) proof of residency. ​

    • If your current legal name, date of birth, or gender differs from what is displayed on your identity or lawful status document, you must show legal proof of the changes.

  • Temporary Document: Applicants will leave the regional office with a 30-day temporary printed document and their current card to use until the requested credential arrives in the mail. The temporary document may be used to board U.S. commercial flights if shown with the current card. While many businesses accept temporary documents for general identification purposes, it is advised to check beforehand if you plan to use the document as a form of ID.

  • Arrive In The Mail: The requested credential will arrive in the mail at the address provided by the applicant 10-15 business days later.​ 

  • Extended Shelf-Life: REAL ID credentials are available in four or eight-year lifespans.

  • New Pricing: The cost of REAL ID credentials accounts for the extended renewal cycle and additional security improvements.


  • Residents may continue to use standard licenses for domestic air travel and federal facility entry until federal enforcement begins on May 7, 2025.​

  • All driver's license permits will remain valid for three years.

  • Applicants may only renew their current credentials within six months of expiration. If they are not within their renewal period, they can request a new credential, maintaining the same expiration date as their current card.

  • Applicants can still donate to Trust for Life or register to be an organ and tissue donors when applying for a new credential.​​​