A new era of driver licensing services, offering an array of options and conveniences for obtaining or renewing driver’s licenses and state identification cards, will soon begin in eight more Kentucky counties this month.
The traditional trip to the local Office of Circuit Court Clerk is being replaced in those counties with a visit to a secure, specialized Driver Licensing Regional Office operated by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC).
“To make a better Kentucky, we have to strive for constant improvement in our public services and the manner in which they’re delivered,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “The transition to licensing through a network of Driver Licensing Regional Offices, with modern services and more choices for cardholders, takes this essential service to the next level.”
Making the transition this month will be Caldwell, Casey, Green, Hardin, Menifee, Metcalfe, McCreary and Webster counties. The Office of Circuit Court Clerk in each of those counties will cease nearly all in-person driver licensing services on Monday, May 24.
The lone exception is that the circuit court clerk in each county will continue the temporary processing of remotely submitted applications for renewal or replacement of standard-issue licenses and IDs until June 30, 2021. That was an emergency measure to limit person-to-person contact and safeguard public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The remote renewal option – by mail or by leaving applications in drop boxes – is not available to anyone whose name or address has changed or who requires testing by the Kentucky State Police. Get more information at drive.ky.gov | COVID-19 Driver Licensing Changes and Updates.
Twelve counties to date have already transferred services to regional offices: Adair, Breathitt, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Hopkins, Madison, McCracken, Pulaski, Rowan, Russell and Woodford. The phased county-by-county transition will be complete by June 30, 2022.
“Licensing is our only business at the regional offices so we can focus on providing a consistent and positive experience across our network of application sites,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said. “Our offices also offer a more secure issuance process and upgraded card security features to curb fraud.”
Residents of counties making the transition may renew or apply for a REAL ID or new standard card version of driver licenses, permits, commercial driver licenses (CDLs) and ID cards at any KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Office.
Regional offices – the only places to get a REAL ID – are operating in Paducah, Madisonville, Owensboro, Bowling Green, Elizabethtown, Louisville/Hurstbourne, Burlington, Frankfort, Lexington, Richmond, Morehead, Prestonsburg, Catlettsburg, Somerset, Columbia and Jackson. More offices are expected to open. There also is a temporary, appointment-only office at Louisville/Bowman Field.
All customers are encouraged to make an appointment online at drive.ky.gov | Regional Offices Map. A limited number of walk-ins will be served due to COVID-19 safety guidelines.
Kentucky State Police will continue to oversee all permit and license testing. Until further notice, testing will continue in current locations for counties making the transition. Hardin County is the only exception as Kentucky State Police written testing has moved to the Elizabethtown Driver Licensing Regional Office location. Appointments for written or road testing can be made online at kentuckystatepolice.org/driver-testing. Once testing is successfully completed, a customer will visit a Driver Licensing Regional Office to apply for the permit or license.