The REAL ID Act specifies the minimum standards that must be used to produce and issue driver’s license and identification cards that are REAL ID compliant. Beginning in 2020, if a person does not possess a form of identification that meets REAL ID standards they will not be able to board an aircraft that is regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration. Currently, of the 56 states and jurisdictions required to implement the REAL ID Act, only 23 are in compliance. Although the Commonwealth of Kentucky has not yet implemented the REAL ID Act, an extension allowing Federal agencies to accept state driver’s licenses is currently in effect. This report summarizes the eight REAL ID requirements, discusses the results of a survey that asked compliant states about their implementation experiences, identifies different strategies for implementation, and proposes recommendations. This should begin with development of a state security plan and execution of a public information campaign about REAL ID. It is recommended that Kentucky require Division of Driver Licensing (DLL) field offices to handle REAL ID applications, offer an online renewal system, and create a centralized distribution of driver’s licenses and identification cards. Several KY Statutes will have to be amended to allow for changes in license renewal cycles, third party vendor distribution, and the resulting changes in license fees.

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© 2015 University of Kentucky, Kentucky Transportation Center

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The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors, who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Transportation Center, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, the United States Department of Transportation, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names is for identification purposes and should not be considered an endorsement.