Pub. 2 2021 Issue 1


Driver Licensing Regional Offices Will Soon Be the Home for All Kentucky Driver Licenses

This story appears in the
Kentucky Trucker Magazine Pub 2 2021 Issue 1

Nine more Kentucky counties in April will make the transition to a new, secure system for issuance of commercial driver licenses and all other licensing services, giving customers more and modernized choices.

Licensing services ultimately will be performed for the entire state at specialized regional offices of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) instead of at the Office of Circuit Court Clerk in every Kentucky county. No longer will drivers be restricted to a clerk’s office in their home county. They can go to any KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Office, regardless of county of residence.

“Kentucky’s system for driver license application, issuance and renewal is being taken to the next level with a network of offices exclusively dedicated to licensing services,” KYTC Secretary Jim Gray said.

By the end of April, 12 counties will have transferred nearly all in-person driver licensing services to regional offices. The counties are Adair, Breathitt, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Hopkins, Madison, McCracken, Pulaski, Rowan, Russell and Woodford counties. The transfer of services to a new regional model will be phased in statewide by June 30, 2022.

“Over the years our circuit court clerks have done great work to get Kentuckians properly licensed,” Gov. Andy Beshear said. “But the times demand a modernized system that offers convenience and choices to the customer, plus greater security for personal information and the credentials themselves. Our Transportation Cabinet Driver Licensing Regional Offices are uniquely equipped for that.”

Residents of the counties making the transition may renew or apply for a REAL ID or new standard card version of CDLs, operator licenses, permits and ID cards at any KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Office. Applicants are encouraged to make an appointment online. Walk-in customers are also welcome but capacity is limited. KYTC has driver licensing regional offices around the state, and the network will continue to grow. To see a full list of locations and schedule an appointment, visit

One temporary exception to the transition remains: Until June 30, 2021, the Office of Circuit Court Clerk in every county but Fayette will continue to process remotely submitted applications for renewal or replacement of standard-issue credentials, provided the card expires by that date and the applicant has not had a change of address or change of name and does not require testing performed by the Kentucky State Police. Remote renewal was a temporary, emergency measure directed by Official Order of Secretary Gray to safeguard public health by limiting person-to-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kentucky State Police will continue to oversee all driver testing. Appointments can be made online at Until further notice, testing will continue in current locations for counties being transitioned off license and permit issuance. Once testing is successfully completed, customers will visit a Driver Licensing Regional Office to apply for the permit or license.

Next Level Licensing

The phased transition from circuit clerks to KYTC will result in more customer choices and services.

“It’s a new era for licensing,” Secretary Gray said. “With a single agency at the helm of processing credential requests, we’ll be able to offer consistent, innovative advancements that take licensing to the next level in Kentucky.”

Advancements include:

  • Online appointment scheduling.
  • Coming soon: online license renewal for REAL ID or standard version cardholders who have not had a change in name or address.
  • A choice between a REAL ID or new standard card version. Both feature security upgrades and are available with four-year or eight-year expiration. CDLs are only available as eight-year credentials.
  • Ability to visit ANY regional office, regardless of county of residence.
  • Periodic “Popup Driver Licensing” visits to counties without a regional office to offer on-site application and renewal services.

REAL ID applicants receive a temporary document to use while the permanent card is mailed to their home address. This eliminates wait time for a card to be printed and boosts security by eliminating in-office card production machinery.


While Kentucky will continue offering the option of a standard driver’s license, a REAL ID or other form of federally approved identification, such as a passport or military ID, will be needed as of May 3, 2023, for passing through airport security checkpoints to board a U.S. commercial flight, visiting a military base or accessing a federal building or facility that requires identification. More information is available at Obtaining a REAL ID for the first time requires applicants to apply in-person at a Driver Licensing Regional office and present specific, required documentation. A list of acceptable documentation, pricing and a link to take an interactive quiz that populates a personalized list of documents is available on the website.