Somerset to be regional office for real ID licenses

Somerset will be location of one of 12 regional offices initially set up to issue Real ID driver's licenses necessary to board domestic airline flights, according to Matt Henderson, vehicle regulation commissioner in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

Henderson, quoted by the Lexington Herald Leader, revealed the information to state lawmakers on Monday.

J.S. Flynn, circuit clerk in Pulaski County, told the Commonwealth Journal Wednesday circuit clerks in Kentucky's 120 counties probably will not issue the special licenses. He said his office has the same problem as the Commonwealth Journal in getting information by telephone from the Division of Driver's License. The Lexington newspaper reported the regional offices plan from remarks made by Henderson to state legislators. An e-mail address given the Commonwealth Journal to get information returned unsent.

The Associated Press reported Henderson saying cost to operate and staff as many as 28 regional offices would be about $16 million a year. However, he reportedly said sale of the special licenses would help defray the expenses. The license cost $24 for four years and $48 for eight years.

Regional offices will be open as soon as possible, hopefully by early next year, Henderson said, again using information from the Lexington Herald Leader and Associated Press.

Facing an October 1, 2020 deadline to start issuing Real ID driver's license, the State Transportation Cabinet conducted pilot programs in Franklin and Woodford counties. Apparently circuit clerks' offices in the two pilot counties were overwhelmed by the task, causing the Transportation Cabinet to switch to the regional office plan.

When available, Kentucky drivers may choose between two options. One is a standard driver's license. The other is a "voluntary travel ID" that complies with new federal travel rules. Kentucky drivers must choose between the two options. They cannot have both.

Current Kentucky licenses, permits and IDs are valid until their expiration date, said Henderson.

Apparently information required to issue the special driver's license is time consuming and may have been the reason for back-ups at the two pilot counties. Following is what an applicant needs:

• Proof of identity document (such as a certified birth certificate, unexpired passport, Permanent Resident Card, etc.) If you wish to obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate, contact the vital statistics agency in the state of your birth. Those born in Kentucky may contact the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics. A current driver's license does not qualify as a valid proof of identity.

• Proof of Social Security number (such as a non-laminated Social Security card, W-2 form, or 1099)

• Proof of residency (such as a utility bill less than 61 days old, lease, pay statement, postmarked mail, etc.)

The name on your driver's license should be your legal name. If it does not it will be necessary to take a copy of your birth certificate or a legal document showing your name change to the circuit court clerk's office to have your driver's license information corrected.

If your Social Security card does not have your legal name an applicant must go to the local Social Security Administration field office to have information updated in the Federal Social Security Administration database.

Also, if your driver's license has your new married name, but your Social Security card does not, an applicant must go to the local Social Security Administration field office to have a Social Security card issued with your new last name.

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