The Elizabethtown branch of the Ken­tucky Transportation Cabinet Regional Driver Licensing Office has opened and is offering REAL ID credential services. The office is on 1055 North Mulberry St., formerly Kentucky State Police Post 4 headquarters.

Though the office is open for in-person services, those who can renew or replace credentials by mail or online are asked to do so. Those whose licenses, permits or ID cards were lost or expired or will expire any time before Sept. 30 and who do not require testing, may apply for renewal or replacement remotely through the Hardin County Circuit Clerk’s Office.

Those in need of these ser­vices are asked to contact the clerk’s office in regards to mail-in or drop-off options.

“It really pays to check with your local clerk,” said Chuck Wolfe, Executive Director for the Office of Public Affairs at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

In-person services offered through the Elizabethtown KYTC Regional Driver Licensing Office office currently are limited. Services include issuance of REAL ID licenses for any resident; replacement of a lost license, permit or identification card; issuance of a license or ID card needed for employment; issuance of a REAL ID license or a standard license for a new resident replacing a valid out-of-state credential or for new applicants who successfully have completed Kentucky State Police driver testing and renewal of a license or issuance of a REAL ID license with expiration dates of March 18 to July 6.

Per an emergency order from Gov. Andy Beshear, licenses issued from March 18 to July 6 were extended 90 days beyond the printed expiration date.

COVID-19 safety precautions at the new office include a face mask requirement, social distancing and the sanitation of surfaces and touch pad equipment after each use. Applicants may be asked to wait in their vehicle after checking in and will be individually notified when to return to the office.

Qualifying applicants can book appointments online at drive.ky.gov. Walk-ins are welcome at a limited capacity.

The Elizabethtown office is the seventh to open or reopen in the state. Other offices currently operational are Madisonville, Frankfort, Lexington, Morehead, Somerset and Paducah.

Wolfe said these new offices are part of an effort to transition licensing services in the state from county clerk officials to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. He said about 24 regional offices eventually will be operational throughout the state, offering licensing services.

“A couple of years from now, all of the operator licensing functions will be in those regional offices,” he said.

Those interested in using these new offices are not bound to their particular regional office, Wolfe said.

“Anyone, anywhere in the state can go to any of these offices if they so desire,” he said.

According to Wolfe, though standard licensing services currently are available through county clerks, REAL ID licensing services only are available through regional KYTC Driver Licensing offices.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, REAL ID will be required to travel through airports or enter a military instillation such as Fort Knox, Wolfe said. He said this is not restricted to only REAL ID licenses, as U.S. passports also are recognized as a form of REAL ID.

The Elizabethtown KYTC Regional Driver Licensing Office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Andrew Critchelow can be reached at 270-505-1746 or acritchelow@thenewsenterprise.com.

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