Daviess County will join other Kentucky counties that will no longer offer driver licenses and permits through its Circuit Court Clerk.

Instead, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Driver Licensing Regional Real ID Office, at 2620 Kentucky 81, will be handling those responsibilities starting Sept. 27.

Jennifer Hardesty Besecker, Daviess County circuit court clerk, said Thursday that the change will affect three deputy clerks who currently work full-time on licenses and permits.

“It is going to allow me to have three deputies that are moving from the driver’s licenses to the court side to help with the everyday court work that we have to do,” Besecker said.

Besecker said that she cannot give an exact statistic regarding just how much Circuit Court business is related to licenses and permits compared to traditional court business, but that the three deputies specifically work with licenses and permits “all day long.”

Real IDs came about through the REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005. It was a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. However, it took years for states to pass and implement the federal law.

In 2020, Kentucky House Bill 453, sponsored by Sal Santoro, a Florence Republican, made the KYTC the sole application and issuance entity for operator’s licenses and personal identification cards while eliminating the requirements that these documents be applied for in one’s county of residence. The bill also expanded the pre-existing list of documents an applicant can use when applying and allow applicants to choose between four to eight years before renewal.

Without a REAL ID, citizens will not be allowed to fly or enter federal buildings that require Real IDs. Other forms of compliant Real IDs include a U.S. passport, a U.S. Department of Defense issued ID or a Department of Homeland Security Trusted Traveler card.

The official date for all citizens to have a REAL ID has been pushed out multiple times. The current national deadline is May 3, 2023.

According to a Thursday statement by the KYTC, the new license and permit model is designed to provide a more secure and driver-friendly experience.

Daviess County will join Boone, Boyd, Clinton, Estill, Henry, Johnson and Monroe counties in making the switch to the new format next month. These additions will bring the total number of counties that have adopted the new system to 57.

To date, 19 regional offices have been opened statewide, with more planned to open in the future. The KYTC and Kentucky’s Circuit Court clerks are working together to complete the transition statewide by June 30, 2022.

According to the KYTC, residents of counties making the transition may renew or apply for a REAL ID or new standard card version of a driver license, learner permit, commercial driver license (CDL) or ID card at any KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Office. Applicants are encouraged to make an appointment online. Walk-in customers will be serviced on a first-come, first-served basis until available slots are filled.

The Kentucky State Police will continue to administer all permit and license testing. Testing services are offered Monday through Friday by appointment. Applicants who require testing by KSP for a permit, driver license or CDL may make an appointment online by visiting http://kentuckystatepolice.org/driver-testing/.

The Kentucky State Police was not available for comment regarding the future location of its driver testing facility, which is inside the Morton J. Holbrook Jr. Judicial Center.

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