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Bevin Says He’s Working To Make Kentucky REAL ID Compliant

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Gov. Matt Bevin says he’s working with incoming President Donald Trump’s administration to come up with a way to bring Kentucky into compliance with stricter ID and driver’s license standards known as REAL ID.

Kentucky is one of eight states out of compliance with federal identification standards passed by Congress in 2004. The legislature approved a REAL ID bill last spring but Bevin vetoed it, citing widespread misunderstanding of the issue.

The REAL ID legislation was opposed by Tea Party groups and the ACLU of Kentucky, citing privacy concerns.

In a video released over the weekend, Bevin said he was working on a REAL ID bill that would allow “voluntary participation” in the stricter federal ID requirements.

“It will be done in a way where it is voluntary to those who would or would not participate in this particular new form of identification,” Bevin said.

“We’re going to ensure that we move forward and we don’t put anybody at a disadvantage one way or the other as it relates to this identification.”

Legislation vetoed by the governor last year also made it optional for people to participate in the new system when applying or renewing their driver’s licenses or ID cards.

Starting on Jan. 30, Kentuckians will be unable to get into military bases such as Fort Knox and Fort Campbell using their Kentucky-issued IDs, including driver’s licenses. And if the state doesn’t comply with federal REAL ID standards by January 2018, Kentuckians won’t be able to get on commercial flights without a passport.

Rep. Jim DuPlessis, a Republican from Elizabethtown, has filed a bill similar to the one vetoed by Bevin last year. The bill has not yet been given a hearing.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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