​​Confident Kentucky 

What is changing?

The REAL ID Act required changes to state standards, procedures, and requirements for the issuance of driver's licenses and identification cards accepted by select federal agencies. When federal enforcement of the REAL ID Act begins on May 3, 2023, Kentucky’s current standard licenses will no longer be accepted to board U.S. flights or enter restricted federal facilities, like military bases, nuclear power plants 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.


Kentuckians may choose to request a REAL ID even after federal enforcement takes effect May 3, 2023. REAL ID driving and identity credentials are one of many federal documents accepted to maintain travel and access benefits starting May 3, 2023 . Kentuckians who want a REAL ID may apply for one any time after they are available at a Driver Licensing Regional Office locations.

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

  • Present Documentation: To meet federal standards, applicants must provide (1) proof of identity, (1) proof of social security and (2) proofs of residency. Carefully review the full list of accepted documentation for a REAL ID you need to gather before applying.
  • Arrive In The Mail: Residents will visit a Driver Licensing Regional Office to apply for a new credential. The requested credential will arrive in the mail at the address provided by the applicant 10-15 business days later.
  • Temporary Document: Applicants will leave the regional office with a 30-day temporary printed document and a hole-punched version of 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 altered card. While many businesses do 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.
  • Extended Shelf-Life: REAL ID credentials are available in four or eight-year lifespans.
  • New Pricing: The cost of REAL ID credentials will account for the extended renewal cycle and additional security improvements.

What’s staying the same?

  • Residents may continue to use standard licenses for domestic air travel and federal facility entry until federal enforcement begins May 3, 2023.
  • Circuit Court Clerk’s offices (if still providing licensing services) offer standard, non-REAL ID compliant credentials (driver’s license, permit, personal ID).
  • All driver’s license permits will remain valid for three years.
  • Applicants may only renew their current credential within six months of the expiration date. If they are not within their renewal period, they can request a new credential, but it will maintain the same expiration date as their current card.
  • Applicants can still donate to Trust for Life or register to be an organ and tissue donor when applying for a new credential.