Flight Plans Lead Concerns Over Kentucky’s Non-Compliance in REAL ID Act

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Kentucky is one of many states throughout the U.S. granted an extension as it pertains to the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.

The act is a move by the Department of Homeland Security, headed by President George W. Bush in 2005 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In summary, the act aims to reduce terrorism by making it harder to use fake ID’s at places like government buildings and airports.

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Much of the country has been slow to adopt the voluntary measures, including Kentucky.

“That’s problematic but more worrisome for me and more worrisome for our citizens is in January of 2018,” said Fayette Circuit Clerk Vincent Riggs. Riggs went on to say, “If we’re not compliant by that point in time that our Kentucky licenses will not be accepted on flights.”

The point in time Riggs refers to is January of 2018. At that point, Kentucky license holders would need another form of identification to fly if the state isn’t in compliance with the federal act. Prior to that date, June of 2017 is another important one. It’s then, license holders will need another form of ID to get into “federal installments” like military bases and other federal buildings.

Passengers at Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport shared concerns over the non-compliance.

“I really have no idea why they’re dragging their feet. For people who travel on a regular basis and do not have a passport it’s going to become a real issue to them,” said one man.

Late in the 2016 General Assembly session, lawmakers worked together to approve a bi-partisan bill complying with the act. Governor Matt Bevin vetoed it.

Currently, another attempt at the bill, House Bill 77 is in the works. Among other things, according to the Courier-Journal newspaper, the bill requires those hoping to renew their licenses to provide additional information. Immigrants will have to provide even more. The paper also says the bill proposes a slight increase in the cost of renewing or obtaining a license.