A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Regional Driver Licensing Office in Burlington issuing REAL-ID-compliant license, for air travel

Gov. Andy Beshear has announced the opening of a Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Regional Driver Licensing Office in Burlington. It replaces a smaller office in Florence and makes it more convenient for residents of Northern Kentucky to obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card, as well as standard-issue credentials.

The new Burlington site is the 14th permanent regional office the cabinet has established so far in a network that eventually will number about two dozen offices around the Commonwealth to handle driver licensing. The address is 6159 1st Financial Drive, in Burlington.

Like all other KYTC regional offices, the Burlington office adheres to Gov. Beshear’s Healthy at Work guidelines to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).

“We are offering essential, in-person public services while taking care to do so in a way that protects public health,” said Gov. Beshear. “Those essential services include issuing, renewing and replacing operator’s licenses and official identification cards for our fellow Kentuckians who depend on them for employment, travel and emergencies.”

No Kentuckian will be required to obtain a REAL ID to operate a motor vehicle. However, for air travel in the United States, a REAL ID or other form of federally accepted ID will be required by federal law as of Oct. 1, 2021 – an important point noted by Candace McGraw, CEO of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, in Boone County.

“I encourage Kentuckians who plan to travel by air in the future to prepare now for their trips and get the proper ID,” McGraw said. “After October 1st, a REAL ID or other credential approved by the Transportation Security Administration will be required for U.S. air travel. Kentucky’s new REAL ID license is one of many forms of REAL ID, and I am glad northern Kentucky residents have the option to fly with the convenience of a license. I extend my thanks to Governor Beshear, Transportation Secretary Jim Gray, and the KYTC team for their work to open this location.”

Candace McGraw

The new office will process applications for REAL ID or standard licenses and ID cards. Kentuckians who require driver testing (primarily first-time cardholders) must successfully do so with the Kentucky State Police before applying at a licensing office.

Application for a REAL ID must be done in person, with proof of residence, Social Security and identity at a KYTC regional office.

Those seeking to renew or replace a standard-issue license or ID card can do so by mail or drop-off with the circuit court clerk in the license holder’s county of residence, provided there has been no change of name or address and the license holder does not require driver testing by Kentucky State Police.

Gov. Beshear encouraged anyone able to renew remotely to do so, thereby limiting person-to-person contact. The forms can be downloaded here.

Other KYTC regional driver licensing offices are in Paducah, Owensboro, Bowling Green, Madisonville, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Lexington, Morehead, Somerset, Richmond, Columbia, Jackson and Prestonsburg. KYTC also has temporary regional offices operating by appointment only at Catlettsburg and Louisville-Bowman Field.

“The new Burlington office expands an important customer service,” Secretary Gray said. “But we are doing so in a way that protects the health and safety of our customers and our employees. That includes social distancing, wearing face masks and having a sanitized work station for every customer.”

Operating hours for the Burlington office will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern. Applicants may make appointments online at realidky.com. A limited number of workstations will be available to serve walk-ins. To avoid gatherings in common waiting areas after checking in, applicants may be asked to wait in their vehicles and will be individually notified when to return to the issuance office to be served.

To maintain the safest possible environment, office employees and customers will adhere to Gov. Beshear’s Healthy at Work standards, which include wearing a mask. Social distancing will be observed. Surfaces will be cleaned and touch pad equipment sanitized after each use.

The complete list of Healthy at Work requirements can be found at Healthy at Work.

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