Frequently asked questions about REAL ID requirements for Kentuckians
Beginning May 3, 2023, Kentuckians will need a REAL ID credential, or another federal form of identification (i.e. passport, passport card, permanent resident card), to board a commercial domestic flight, visit a military base or enter a federal building that requires identification.
Information courtesy of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet website
Q. What is a Kentucky REAL ID?
A. A REAL ID is a federally-compliant card that serves as a license/permit/personal ID and can be used to board commercial flights within the U.S., enter military bases and access federal buildings that require ID once REAL ID enforcement begins May 3, 2023. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and military bases accept other documentation, such as valid, unexpired passports and passport cards. Visit www.tsa.gov for a complete list of acceptable air travel documentation and contact the military base you plan to visit to learn what other credentials they will accept.
Current Kentucky licenses/permits/personal ID card versions may be used for domestic air travel and restricted federal facility entry until REAL ID enforcement begins May 3, 2023.
Q. Is a REAL ID required, or do I have other options for air travel and federal facility entry?
A. The REAL ID is optional and serves as one of many acceptable forms of identification accepted by the Transportation Security Administration and military bases. A REAL ID offers Kentuckians a single credential to use for multiple purposes, such as passing airport security checkpoints and verifying your identity for purchases. Until federal REAL ID enforcement begins May 3, 2023, current standard driver’s licenses offer the same benefits as a REAL ID. Beginning May 3, 2023, a standard driver’s license will not be accepted to board domestic flights or to enter restricted federal facilities.
Here is a list of IDs that fly:
- Any Kentucky REAL ID driver’s license, permit, or ID
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler card (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
- Permanent resident card
- Border crossing card
- DHS-designated enhanced driver’s license
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential (TWIC®)
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
Q. What do I need to apply for a REAL ID?
A. Kentuckians applying for a REAL ID card must present one (1) valid proof of identity, one (1) valid proof of social security number, and two (2) valid proofs of residency. If an applicant’s name or gender doesn’t match on the proof documents, additional documentation (like a marriage certificate or divorce decree) may be required. A detailed list of acceptable documents is available here. The online IDocument Guide quiz provides a customized list of documents an applicant will need to present. Some acceptable documents have strict requirements (i.e. no photocopies of birth certificates, documents must be unexpired).
Q. What benefits and access does a standard credential offer?
A. Standard credentials and REAL IDs are acceptable to:
- Enter federal facilities, such as museums or a post office, that do not require a person to present identification;
- Apply for or receive federal benefits (includes Social Security office);
- Access health or life-preserving services (includes hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings);
- Participate in law enforcement proceedings or investigations (includes federal courthouses);
- Operate a vehicle;
- Vote or register to vote.
A standard credential cannot be used to board a U.S. flight once federal enforcement begins May 3, 2023, and it cannot be used to access restricted federal facilities (such as military bases, nuclear power plants and the White House).
Q. What does the temporary driver's license document allow me to do?
A. Applicants will receive a 30-day temporary credential document from their local Circuit Court Clerk that is valid until the requested license or ID arrives in the mail. The applicant's current credential will be altered with a hole punch over the ghost portrait in the lower right corner, and returned to the applicant. TSA will accept the altered credential in conjunction with the temporary document, for official purposes until the requested card arrives in the mail. Fort Knox, Fort Campbell, Bluegrass Army Depot and the Kentucky Secretary of State will accept the temporary document without an altered credential for voting and entering the bases. It is at the discretion of a business, such as a financial institution, to accept a temporary document.
Q. How long can I continue to use my current license to fly domestically or visit military bases?
A. Current standard licenses, permits and IDs will be accepted for these purposes through May 2, 2023. Beginning May 3, 2023, Kentuckians will need a REAL ID credential, or another federal form of identification (i.e. passport, passport card, permanent resident card), to board a commercial domestic flight, visit a military base or enter a federal building that requires identification.
Q. Will minors need REAL ID to fly within the U.S.?
A. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not require children under 18 to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification.
To browse more FAQs on the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's website, click here.
More information is available at realidky.com.