Kentucky is one of nearly a dozen states currently not in compliance with the 2005 “REAL ID” Act. The law is meant to standardize security procedures for issuing driver’s licenses across the country. Lisa Tolliver with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says the state was at an early disadvantage. She says the REAL ID law was designed for states with what she calls a “traditional DMV” setup, something Kentucky doesn’t have:
“For instance, our driver’s licenses are processed at the circuit clerk’s office while our vehicle registration is done at the county clerk’s office and our driver’s test is given by Kentucky State Police. Where in a traditional DMV – all of that would be under one roof and one agency.”
There are currently 145 circuit clerk offices that can issue a driver’s license in Kentucky. That means each location has to meet federal security standards. Tolliver says Kentucky is working toward becoming compliant and has completed one key requirement, but is waiting to hear back from Homeland Security on an extension.
As early as 2016, non-compliant driver’s licenses may keep someone from boarding a commercial airliner. But that provision can’t be put in place until after Homeland Security has evaluated states’ progress early next year.