Bill expanding access to ID, driver’s license services advances Skip to content

Bill expanding access to ID, driver’s license services advances

Some Kentuckians may soon have a way to get a state-issued ID or driver’s license closer to home.

Some Kentuckians may soon have a way to get a state-issued ID or driver’s license closer to home.

The House Transportation Committee approved House Bill 434 on Tuesday. Primary sponsor Rep. Kevin Jackson (R-Bowling Green) said the legislation allows a third party to partner with the Transportation Cabinet to issue and renew driver’s licenses and personal ID cards.

“Currently, there are 32 regional driver’s licensing centers in our state for 120 counties … and that seems wrong,” Jackson said. “I know the Transportation Cabinet is doing all they can, we just want to give them another tool in their toolbox.”

HB 434 defines a “third party entity” as a business or nonprofit member association. The bill would require the cabinet to establish an application procedure for third parties who wish to offer ID services.

Jackson said the legislation also includes language from Senate Bill 91, which would require the cabinet to establish at least one driver’s license regional office within each of Kentucky’s senatorial districts. A provision of SB 91 that would establish a driver’s license skills test pilot program with Kentucky State Police in five counties has also been added.

The Kentucky Senate unanimously approved SB 91 on Feb. 20.

Several lawmakers had questions about HB 434.

House Minority Whip Rachel Roberts (D-Newport) asked Jackson what the fiscal impact of allowing third parties to issue IDs and licenses would be if the legislation became law.

“I agree with the intent of the bill that we definitely need more places to receive their IDs in the state,” she added.

Jackson said the third party would be financially responsible for the equipment, not the state.

Rep. Keturah Herron (D-Louisville) said the current system is “a headache.” She asked Jackson if it would be possible for IDs to go back to being issued through the county clerk offices instead of the regional centers.

Jackson and committee chair, Rep. John Blanton (R-Salyersville) said county clerks were included in the original version of the bill, but several factors played into removing that option from the legislation. Blanton said the REAL ID program established by the federal government makes getting an ID a “difficult process.”

“Now the clerk’s office has to have background investigations, and they have to receive a security clearance for whatever clerk may be issuing (the REAL IDs), and it’s costing thousands and thousands of dollars in order to issue these new licenses,” Blanton said, adding that a bill to address the issue is forthcoming, but won’t be included in HB 434.

Rep. Thomas Huff (R-Shepherdsville) said he’s “all for getting more facilities,” but wanted to know why a business or nonprofit would want to spend its own money to offer ID services.

Lori Weaver Hawkins, public affairs manager for AAA Clubs in Kentucky, said AAA Clubs in other states have been offering ID services for decades. She said AAA can charge a convenience fee for the service.

As for the customer, Hawkins said members are drawn to the convenience and being able to accomplish multiple things in one visit to a AAA office, like meeting with an insurance agent or travel advisor.

The House Transportation Committee approved HB 434 by a 21-1 vote with one pass vote. It now heads to the full House for consideration.

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“Capitol Update” is a non-partisan publication of the Legislative Research Commission



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