Governor Bevin Vetoes Kentucky Real ID Bill

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Before the governor’s veto Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet was getting ready to comply with the new federal ID standards.

Ryan Watts with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet says “We had legislation in place to move forward in being compliant with federal mandates.”

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Governor Bevin originally was for the federal “Real ID Act”

About a month ago Bevin said this in a video on his Facebook page “…things like actually making sure people are verified as who they are, making sure they can’t get a license in our state if they already have one in another state. Frankly common sense things that keep people who should not have licenses, including people who are here illegally, from having a license. These are all good things.”

But more recently he’s changed his tone on the issue, vetoing a bill that made attempts to comply by the state’s October deadline.

Bevin says in his veto message “….good governance demands the courtesy of time needed to better understand and discuss the difference between Real ID as originally envisioned by its authors, and the minimal and voluntary requirements authorized by Senate Bill 245.”

Kentucky Senate President Pro Tem David Givens was on board with senate bill 245 which gave Kentuckians two options: to either get the new federal Real ID marked with a star in the corner, or keep their current Kentucky driver’s license.

Givens says, “…the flexibility to make that choice along with the fact that the federal government was going to require that all states we wish to permit their citizens to fly, we need to have these means of accessing licenses. That was compelling reasons for us to pass the legislation at the time. But it appears from the veto’s message that he may have information that this might not be a requirement.”

Kentucky is not the only state to be in non-compliance. roughly half of them are, most filing for an extension. But as Governor Bevin also indicates in his statement it’s unclear whether the next president will want to uphold the new identification standards.

Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet is in the process of asking the US Department of Homeland Security for an extension to the October deadline. The cabinet is exploring all other options so that travelers can board planes. Right now the TSA will accept all Kentucky IDs through January of 2018.  If Kentucky is granted an extension travelers will have until October of 2020.