Obtaining a driver’s license may look different in the near future.
The Department of Transportation will be issuing licenses through regional license offices rather than through the circuit clerks offices. The transition is expected to be complete by June 30, 2022.
For now, the circuit clerk’s offices in Corbin and Williamsburg will still be issuing licenses.
The transition is related to the Real ID, an act passed by the federal government several years ago.
The Real ID enforcement goes into effect on May 3, 2023. The licenses will be required for commercial air travel, visiting military bases, and entering federal facilities. Real ID cards, however, are optional as other federally approved documents, such as a valid passport or passport card, can be used for air travel and military base entry.
Once the transition is complete, licenses will have to be obtained at a regional office, such as the one in Somerset. Individuals can choose to visit any of the regional locations, but the closest office to Whitley County is Somerset.
Whitley County Circuit Clerk Gary Barton said that his office issued approximately 3,000 licenses last month between the Corbin and Williamsburg locations.
Clerk’s offices do not receive any money from the licenses.
Barton said that while it is somewhat of a relief, the transition is also a bit saddening.
“There was a lot of work involved, but it was our contact with the public, which I always enjoyed,” Barton said.
Regional office locations include: Bowling Green, Burlington, Catlettsburg, Columbia, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Jackson, Lexington, Louisville, Madisonville, Morehead, Owensboro, Paducah, Prestonsburg, Richmond and Somerset.