Have a Kentucky driver's license? Don't panic, but there's a chance you'll need a passport to fly

Posted at 7:45 AM, Oct 17, 2017

Kentuckians: Breathe a sigh of relief because you won't need a passport just yet to travel by plane. The Commonwealth has received another extension exempting it from the REAL ID Act of 2005 until Oct. 10, 2018.

As of Jan. 22, 2018, passengers who have driver's licenses issued by states that are not compliant with the REAL ID Act of 2005 need to show airport personnel an alternative form of identification in order to fly.

Kentucky is among the states whose identification cards do not comply with federal security standards recommended by the 9/11 Commission and approved by Congress in 2005. Kentucky's exemption lapsed on Oct. 10, 2017, and was under review until another exemption was approved on Oct. 23, 2017.

"REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the states and the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued identification documents, which should inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification," according to the Dept. of Homeland Security's website.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet anticipates Kentucky driver's licenses will be approved for domestic air travel and other federal purposes until new licenses become available in 2019, but there's no guarantee until the federal government approves another extension. Follow the website here for updates on that process. 

According to WKYT in Lexington, many counties don't currently have the necessary equipment to produce the new licenses.

"One of the requirements is you must have a secure facility. Our offices are not set up for that," said Fayette County Circuit Court Clerk Vincent Riggs. "There are 140 locations in Kentucky, and that would be astronomical ... fiscally impossible."

The Transportation Security Administration accepts a variety of alternate methods for identification at American airports. See that list here.