New driver center in Richmond serves Clark, Estill, Garrard, Jessamine, Madison residents

RICHMOND, Ky. (WTVQ) – A new regional driver testing branch in Richmond will begin operating Monday, serving residents in Clark, Estill, Garrard, Jessamine, and Madison counties.

The new center will allow residents to obtain a state driver permit or driver license. Residents of these cities and surrounding counties should take note of the new regional location in order to make an appointment prior to arrival.

“The new KSP regional driver testing locations are being done in accordance with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) licensing model. Regionalizing these locations will offer more efficient and effective services,” said Gov. Andy Beshear.

Beginning Sept. 27, KSP will offer driver testing at the KYTC Regional Drivers Licensing Office, located at 830 Eastern Bypass, Suite A12, Richmond, KY 40475.

Appointments are available Monday through Friday and can be made online by visiting KSP’s website. Residents must make an appointment prior to arrival for a permit, driver or commercial driver license test.

“One of the benefits of regionalization is increased availability of testing services,” said KSP’s Commander of Driver Testing, Captain Marshall Johnson. “New appointments will be posted daily at 8 a.m., Monday through Friday, and this availability is the product of regionalizing our services.”

KSP is continuing to work with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Kentucky’s circuit court clerks to open the remaining regional offices statewide by June 30, 2022.

Prior to an appointment, new drivers should prepare for the exam by accessing the only approved Kentucky driver’s Kentucky driver’s manual or by viewing it through the official KSP mobile app, ‘kspolice’.

All driver testing materials can be viewed and downloaded free of charge.

Successful testing applicants will be served the same day by KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Office staff to apply for a permit or license, based on capacity and time of day, without scheduling a separate appointment.

One of the major impacts by this transition, according to local circuit court clerks, will be on students. They state that it will take more time out of a school day for a student to take the tests compared to before. Additionally, it might be more difficult to do the road tests on streets that students are not used to.

Circuit court clerks also expressed that the transition was not something they wanted to give up, but rather it comes out of compliance with federal and state mandates.

The transition of licensing services by KYTC was mandated with passage of House Bill 453 during the 2020 Kentucky General Assembly.

Only seven or eight states have yet to comply with moving to regional offices. Kentucky has received extensions pushing this back, but the last extension ends in 2023.

According to KYTC, Kentucky will continue offering the option of a standard driver’s license, but a REAL ID or other form of federally approved identification, such as a passport or military ID, eventually will be needed by people 18 and older for boarding commercial flights and accessing military bases and federal buildings that currently require identification. Federal enforcement is scheduled to begin May 3, 2023.

First-time application for a REAL ID must be made in person at a Driver Licensing Regional office. Specific documentation is required. A list of acceptable documentation and a link to take an interactive quiz that populates a personalized list of documents is available at drive.ky.gov | IDocument Guide.

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