Online renewal one of many “next level” licensing services
More than 150,000 Kentuckians have skipped a trip to a licensing office and renewed their driving credential online, thanks to the launch of online renewal in June 2021 by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. Kentuckians also have the option of renewing by mail, and more than 10,000 people have done so to date. Online and mail renewal are new options that were not available under Kentucky’s traditional system of having credentials issued by offices of circuit court clerks. “With licensing shifting from circuit court clerks to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Kentuckians have more renewal options than ever before to take care of licensing needs,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Kentucky is modernizing the licensing process and more innovations are on the horizon as we take licensing to the next level.” Last month, KYTC’s online renewal system – developed by the Kentucky Office of Information Technology – won a Kentucky Digital Government Summit award in the “Best Application Serving the Public” category. “The number of Kentuckians who renewed online nearly equals the combined populations of Bowling Green, Covington and Elizabethtown,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “We only expect the service to grow in popularity as Kentuckians look to do business from the comfort of home.” Mail renewal was temporarily offered at the onset of the COVID pandemic but became a permanent service last fall. Since then, more than 10,000 transactions have been completed. Aside from renewing a credential, Kentuckians can also replace a lost card or update an address through the mail-in option. To learn more about how to renew your license in-person, online or by mail, click here. “The remote renewal options, plus new license versions valid for 8 years, are examples of conveniences we’ve introduced as part of the shift of licensing responsibilities from circuit court clerks to KYTC staff at regional offices,” said Secretary Gray. There are 23 Driver Licensing Regional Offices and eight more locations are planned to open this summer across the state to serve residents from ANY Kentucky county- regardless of where they live. Kentuckians can make an appointment with KYTC or walk in on a first-come, first served basis to request, replace or renew a driving credential if they do not require driver testing. KYTC staff will make periodic “Pop-up Driver Licensing” visits to counties without a regional office to offer on-site application and renewal services. Currently, the Office of Circuit Court Clerk in 106 of Kentucky’s 120 counties have transferred services to regional offices. License applicants receive a temporary identification document at the end of the transaction for use until the permanent card arrives by mail at their home address. This reduces the wait time for printing credentials during visits and improves security by eliminating in-office card production machinery.
Kentucky will continue offering the option of a standard driver’s license, but a REAL ID or other form of federally approved identification, such as a passport or Department of Defense-issued military ID, eventually will be needed by people 18 and older for boarding commercial flights and accessing military bases and federal buildings that currently require identification once federal enforcement begins May 3, 2023. First-time application for a REAL ID must be made in person at a Driver Licensing Regional Office. Specific documentation is required. An interactive quiz that populates a personalized list of documents is available at drive.ky.gov | IDocument Guide
Kentucky State Police will continue to administer all permit and license testing. Testing services are offered Monday through Friday by appointment. Kentuckians who need written, driving or vision testing for a permit, driver’s license or CDL must schedule an appointment online at kentuckystatepolice.org/driver-testing. Some KSP testing sites are within Driver Licensing Regional Offices and residents are assigned to conduct testing in specific locations based on where they live.