Now that there is more time to get the Real ID, here is what you need to know to get yours

·3 min read

For those that were not aware, the Real ID deadline was extended until May 7, 2025, but people should not wait until the last minute to get their federally issued identification card.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced last year it changed the May 3, 2023 deadline, adding two more years to get the new identification.

Real IDs are optional, but for people that use their driver's license as their primary method of identification, this deadline is important. Locations including airports, military bases and the White House will require Real IDs once the revised date hits.

People older than 21 that apply for the Real ID can choose if they want it to have a four-year or eight-year lifespan, but those that are younger do not have that option.

Here what you need to know about the Real ID:

Why do I need a Real ID?

The Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, established that all US residents who are 18 years or older must have a federally compliant driver’s license or identification card to go through airports, military bases and other government buildings that require identification.

Where can I get my Real ID in Kentucky?

The Transportation Cabinet has more than 40 regional offices across the state, including five in Louisville which open between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

  • Bowman Field, 3501 Roger E. Schupp

  • Dixie Highway, 4919 Dixie Highway Suite A

  • Dixie Highway/Willismore, 6202 Willismore Drive

  • Hurstbourne, 9112 Leesgate Road

  • Nia Center, 2900 W. Broadway

Although walk-ins are accepted in the offices, they encourage people to make an appointment through the Transportation Cabinet website.

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Can I apply for my Kentucky Real ID online?

Online and mail-in options are only available for people renewing their current identification card.

Can I renew or upgrade my current license?

People older than 21 can renew their current license to a Real ID if it expired within six months of the day you apply. If that is not the case, an upgrade is possible for a $15 price.

"Drivers under the age of 21 will not have the option to choose a 4- or 8-year lifespan when they apply for a new credential. Permits are valid for three years and licenses issued to applicants under the age of 21 expire 90 days after the cardholder's 21st birthday," the Transportation Cabinet website says.

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What documents do I need to get my Real ID?

  • One proof of identity (a birth certificate, passport or permanent resident card).

  • Proof of Social Security number (Social Security card).

  • Proof of residency (a utility bill or lease).

The Transportation Cabinet has an online quiz for people to be sure what documents to bring according to the identification being solicited.

Documents valid for people getting a new Real ID or renewing or upgrading their current license to a new Real ID.
Documents valid for people getting a new Real ID or renewing or upgrading their current license to a new Real ID.

What documents do I need if my name or gender is different?

For people whose name, date of birth or gender is different than the one on their current identification card, they must bring the documents that prove the change. For example a marriage license or divorce decree for name change and a court order changing the gender marker for a gender change.

Can I still fly or get into military bases if I don't have a Real ID?

Military bases and the Transportation Security Administration currently accept licenses and identification cards that are not Real IDs, even if they are expired. But, beginning May 7, 2025, these will not be an accepted method to fly around the country or enter military facilities.

For people that do not want to get a Real ID, they can still fly using other acceptable forms of identification including a passport or passport card, a U.S. Department of Defense ID or a permanent resident card.

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Reach Ana Rocío Álvarez Bríñez at; follow her on Twitter at @SoyAnaAlvarez

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Real ID: Everything you need to know before Kentucky's deadline