The Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would bring Kentucky’s state ID program into compliance with a federal standard that has a fast-approaching deadline. Senate Bill 245, passed by a 26-12 vote, would make REAL ID-compliant state-issued identification available to Kentuckians.
REAL ID is a federal program adopted in 2005 that
would come close to establishing a national proof-of-identity program.
The Homeland Security program set minimum standards for new, voluntary
“enhanced” photo ID cards to include more personal information and
anti-counterfeit facets. Participating states are also required to store
photos and information, where it could be accessed by law enforcement
or other governmental agencies with the proper authorization.
far, only 23 states have complied with the act, and enforcement has been
delayed. Kentucky is one of 27 states to receive an extension as it
works to gain compliance.
Initially, the security provisions of
REAL ID were to take effect in January. Though access to high-security
facilities like military bases and nuclear power plants has already been
limited to those without the new ID, other restrictions are still a few
By 2018, flyers from states that are not REAL ID
compliant nor have an extension – or those individuals who do not choose
to obtain an enhanced ID – will need a second form of identification to
fly domestically. By 2020, all flyers will require enhanced
Sponsor Sen. Ernie Harris, R-Crestwood, reviewed
the provisions of SB 245, though he said he felt it was hardly needed
for a bill that was so well-hashed.
“This is a bill that’s been out there. It’s been discussed for a while,” he said.
from adding the new IDs, SB 245 would also set new procedures for
issuing licenses, reaffirming the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as the
issuing body, and would change renewal periods. Kentuckians would only
have to renew their licenses every eight years, instead of the current
Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, lodged one of the votes against SB 245, calling it “a reach.”
not exactly protecting my security,” she said, but the federal
requirement of enhanced IDs “certainly will adversely affect my right to
travel, so I vote no.”
The bill is now on its way for consideration in the House.