'Will your license fly?': Transportation officials encourage Kentuckians to be 'REAL ID ready'

May 10—A major change is coming to airports nationwide in 2025 that will require a "Real ID" to use the benefits of air travel in the United States.

Individuals aged 18 years old and over, wanting to travel using aircrafts will be barred from boarding a flight without a form of Real ID beginning May 7, 2025.

Allen Blair, spokesperson for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet said Kentuckians should begin making the switch as early as possible to avoid an overflow of people inside DMVs across the state when the deadline approaches.

"Our goal is to make sure people are prepared and ready for what they want to do. If you need to get on a domestic flight after May 7, then you are going to need some form of Real ID, that could be a passport, military ID, or that can be your state-issued driver's license that is Real ID compatible," he said.

"We don't want people to wait till May 6 and say 'oh my gosh, I have to fly,'" Blair added.

Individuals choosing to vote, drive vehicles, buy alcoholic drinks, access federal and social benefits can still do so with a standard driver's license. The Real ID will display a black cutout star and a standard version displays the Kentucky Unbridled Spirit logo or the words, which is not considered a form of Real ID.

Jim Gray, Transportation Secretary, said, "We don't want anyone to get grounded by having the wrong ID and miss that important flight to a wedding or access onto a base to watch your child's football game.

"Applying for a REAL ID at one of our regional offices requires documentation so now is the perfect time to start gathering those before visiting an office. REAL ID driver's licenses can be requested whether or not you are due to renew," Gray said.

According to drive.ky.gov, applicants requesting a "Real ID" must provide proof of identity, proof of social security and proof of residency to their local office.

"You can renew your driver's license and get a Real ID up to six months before the expiration date. If you are not in your renewal window, but you still need or want a Real ID, you can upgrade to that card for $15 and the new card will keep its same expiration date," Blair said.

"There's a variety of different ways that states are handling this. In Kentucky we are a voluntary Real ID state. You don't have to have one if you don't want to. Other states have initiated different programs that require Real IDs and that's all you can get," he added.

If renewing a standard ID for a "Real ID," pricing begins at $24 for a four-year plan and $48 for an eight-year plan. Identification cards can be renewed online, by mail or an in-person appointment, according to the website.