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Transportation Cabinet conducts extensive testing of new driver’s license program

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Federal extension allows continued use of current licenses for air travel, military base access

The Kentucky Transportation (KYTC) is in the end stages of testing the state’s new driver’s license system to introduce new, more secure card versions that meet federal standards in the coming months. A pilot of the new system will begin this spring in Circuit Court Clerk Office locations in Woodford and Franklin counties. New licenses will be made available gradually in counties and become available statewide by the end of the summer.
“The internal testing phase did exactly what it was designed to do – verify what works and reveal gaps that need to be addressed before introducing the system to Circuit Court Clerk offices,” said Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson. “We’re pleased with the positive results that have confirmed that the majority of the new system is operational. While we targeted April to begin the in-office pilot testing, additional time is necessary to re-test system patches that are released when flaws are identified. Our unwavering commitment is to deliver a fully functional program to counties, and that requires flexibility. Everyone is engaged to make the new cards available as soon as possible.”
The functionality of the new program to issue basic card versions of the new standard and Voluntary Travel ID driver’s licenses is operational. The card vendor is working to resolve challenges related to complex license endorsements and features, such as combination licenses.
The Cabinet will announce pilot testing dates for Franklin and Woodford counties once confirmed. Additional counties may be added to the pilot phase, if necessary.
“The summer is a busy time for U.S. air travel, and we want to assure travelers that current licenses are accepted at airport security checkpoint and for military base entry thanks to Kentucky’s federal extension,” said Henderson. “New federally-compliant credentials will be available well in advance of the October 2020 REAL
ID enforcement deadline.”
First-time cardholders and those desiring a Voluntary Travel ID are encouraged to prepare for the new application process by gathering, updating and requesting required documentation now. More information can be found at drive.ky.gov/confidentky.