Driver’s Licensing To Be Handled By Regional Offices
Mercer is one of six Kentucky counties that will transition in March to a new, secure driver-licensing model, administered by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. The Mercer Circuit Court Clerk’s Office will cease licensing services at close of business on Friday, March 25. Customers will be referred to KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Offices starting Monday, March 28.
The state government said the move gives Kentuckians more choices and modern services. The traditional issuance system of licenses and permits initiated at the Mercer Circuit Court Clerk’s Office and other counties is being replaced by a network of KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Offices located across the state. Twenty-one regional offices have been opened statewide to date, with more to come. KYTC and Kentucky’s circuit court clerks are working together to smoothly complete the transition statewide by June 30.
Mercer Circuit Clerk Allison Buchanan said applicants can visit any regional office in the state. Buchanan said the employee who handles driver’s licensing will be coming over to work in her office.
Applicants may renew or apply for a REAL ID or new standard card version of driver license, learner permit, commercial driver license (CDL) or ID card at any KYTC Driver Licensing Regional Office. Applicants are encouraged to make an appointment online, which can be done at drive.ky.gov | Regional Offices Map. Walk-in customers are welcomed on a first-come, first-served basis at most locations.
KYTC regional offices—the only place where Kentuckians can get a REAL ID—are currently operating in Bowling Green, Burlington, Catlettsburg, Columbia, Elizabethtown, Frankfort, Hopkinsville, Jackson, Lexington, Louisville/Bowman Field (appointment only), Louisville/Dixie Highway (appointment only), Louisville/Hurstbourne, Louisville/Nia Center, Madisonville, Manchester, Morehead, Owensboro, Paducah, Prestonsburg, Richmond and Somerset, with more offices planned.
The regional offices will offer the online appointment scheduling. Walk-in customers are still welcome.
A choice between a REAL ID and a new standard card version. Both feature security upgrades and are available with a choice of four-year or eight-year expiration. (Eight years for all CDLs.) Service is available at any regional office, regardless of customer’s county of residence.
Periodic “Pop-up Driver Licensing” visits to counties without a regional office to offer on-site application and renewal services.
License applicants receive a temporary identification document at the end of the transaction for use until the permanent card arrives by mail at their home address. This reduces the wait time for printing credentials during visits and improves security by eliminating in-office card production machinery.
Besides Mercer, other counties making the transition in March will be Calloway, Clark, Marshall, Oldham and Union counties. Graves County had been scheduled to make the transition in March as well, but the courthouse in Mayfield was destroyed by a tornado in December, and licensing services have been performed by a KYTC “popup” portable office. One hundred counties, including Graves, will have made the transition by the end of March.
A full list of counties that have transferred services to regional offices is available at drive.ky.gov.
“It’s a new era of driver licensing in Kentucky,” Gov. Andy Beshear said in a press release. “We are using technology to offer more service options than ever before, such as online appointment scheduling, online license renewal and mail-in renewal. After many years of issuing driver licenses, circuit court clerks will be able to focus solely on court business, and driver licensing will be executed at new regional offices whose only business is licensing.”
To date, more than 102,000 Kentuckians have skipped a trip to a regional office by renewing their current license online, and more than 6,400 have done so by mail. To learn more about how to renew your license, visit drive.ky.gov.