KENTUCKY (KFVS) - Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill into law on Wednesday, March 22 that will allow drivers in the state to buy more secure "travel ID's" instead of regular drivers licenses.
The measure is an attempt to comply with the Federal Real ID act.
The new ID will cost an extra $5 and will allow its holder to enter US military bases or domestic flights without a second form of identification.
The bill will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
On Wednesday, March 8, in a 77-19 vote, the Kentucky House moved forward with their goal of creating a bill that would meet federal REAL ID requirements.
They also voted to change procedures for issuance of standard Kentucky driver's licenses and permits.
Originally sponsored by Rep. Jim DuPlessis, R-Elizabethtown, House Bill 410 creates the voluntary travel ID. The bill also spells out rules for the issuance of a "standard" driver's license, permit or state personal ID card as of that date.
The licenses, permits and IDs under HB 410, both enhanced and standard, will be issued by the state Transportation Cabinet instead of the state Office of the Circuit Court Clerk, as they are now, and would allow the documents to be renewed for eight years instead of four.
DuPlessis said a standard driver's license would be standard issue, although those who choose that over the voluntary travel ID would not be able to use a standard license to board an airplane or enter certain federal facilities.
"If that person wants to get on an airplane they will need to take their standard Kentucky driver's license along with some supplemental that the government has listed, maybe a passport," DuPlessis said. "Standard practice, standard driver's license, and enhanced practice gives you the voluntary travel ID."
New fees for driver's licenses and personal ID cards issued to non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents are also established under the bill, which would add a $30 fee onto driver's license, permit and personal ID applications for those individuals. Proceeds from that fee would go into the state's Road Fund.
When asked by Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, if there would be public education and outreach about the new licensing and ID procedures that would be established under the new bill, DuPlessis answered with a swift "yes."
"I've spoken with the Transportation Secretary and he's emphatic that we would do exactly that," he told Marzian.
According to DuPlessis, Kentucky issued driver's license and/or permits and personal ID cards to around 20,000 immigrants in the state in 2016. If that same number were issued annually under the new bill, he said that could mean around $600,000 in additional state Road Fund dollars.