Real ID office opens in Madisonville

Local News

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (WEHT) The Real ID is now available to get in western Kentucky.

An office issuing the next-generation identification cards recently opened in Madisonville. They will soon be needed to board a plane or enter a federal building. What do you need to know before applying for one?

Before their next flight takes off, or the last minute rush takes off, these people drove to the intersection of North Franklin and Federal Streets in Madisonville to apply for a Real ID.

“I thought, ‘Well, they finally got everything going and I think it was going to be required regardless of whether people want to do it. Sooner or later, you’ll have to do it,'” said Stephen Whitaker of Calhoun.

“I was going to fly in June and I wanted to get it as soon as I can,” says Deborah Coats of Dawson Springs.

“I didn’t know my driver’s license was due in a month, so I got it taken care of for eight years,” adds Ronald Coats of Dawson Springs.

The Madisonville regional office opened Monday for people in Hopkins and other nearby counties to get the soon-to-be required ID. Real ID Project Manager Sarah Jackson of KYTC says it stems from a recommendation by the 9-11 Commission to develop a uniform standard to issue IDs for travel.

“Not every state uses the same criteria to issue driver’s licenses. The result of that report, in a nutshell, was ‘Let’s get more serious about having credentials that are the same required by every state,” says Jackson.

Starting October first, people need a real ID to board a domestic flight, enter a federal building, nuclear power plant or military base. While it’s similar to a drivers license, one difference is a star in one corner, which TSA agents can use to certify its real. It takes at least a few weeks after applying for one for the Real ID to arrive at home by mail.

“If someone doesn’t show up at an airline on October 1 and don’t have a Real ID, or a passport, or a passport card, the TSA will more than likely be turning people away,” Jackson adds.

More Real ID offices are expected to open across the state in the near future. Kentucky Transportation officials add they’re still trying to put a more permanent office in Owensboro.

Jackson says people applying for one should start getting the required paperwork needed to apply for one as soon as possible. To learn more about the process and what you’ll need, you can go to Kentucky’s Real ID website: https://drive.ky.gov/confidentKY/Pages/default.aspx

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(This story was originally published on March 4, 2020)

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