Obtaining a travel ID version of the driver’s license, pictured above, is voluntary. However, the standard ID won’t be accepted by airport security starting Oct. 1, 2020. | Courtesy of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Ahead of the introduction of REAL ID-compliant identification, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has debuted a new design for all of its ID cards, which it says offers better counterfeit protection, a modern look and increased durability.

The new design, which includes drivers’ licenses, permits and personal identification cards, will be rolled out in phases starting in early 2019, along with a new voluntary travel ID that meets new federal requirements for domestic air travel as well as serves as a driver’s license.

“We’re taking a holistic approach to enhance the security of the state’s most trusted identity credentials,” Department of Vehicle Regulation Commissioner Matt Henderson said in a news release. “By moving production to a secure facility, improving the identity verification process and upgrading card features, our entire system is more secure against fraudulent use and the reproduction of credentials.”

The new standard driver’s license is nearly identical t the voluntary travel ID. | Courtesy of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

All cards will be produced at a single, secure facility and be able to withstand greater wear and tear as the IDs will be valid for eight years, as opposed to the current four years, the release noted.

Rather than obtaining an ID immediately at the local Circuit Court Clerk office, residents will receive a temporary document, valid for 30 days, while waiting for their new ID to arrive in the mail, which is expected to take five to 10 business days, according to the release.

Design changes include a shift from color to greyscale for photos, which are laser-engraved; a background design featuring symbols such as the state seal, state flower and a 3-D-looking image of the Capitol building, as well as repetitive patterns; and a duplicate photo printed over gold, which turns clear when backlit.

The design for the voluntary travel ID that is REAL ID compliant also will feature a clear star in a black circle. Unlike the new standard driver’s license, the voluntary travel ID version of the driver’s license can be used for domestic air travel and to enter restricted federal facilities. Minors do not need identification as long as they are accompanied by an adult with the acceptable credentials.

The passage of the REAL ID Act of 2005 set nationwide standards in place for what is acceptable for identification. Nationwide enforcement of REAL IDs is slated to begin Oct. 1, 2020.

Kentucky, along with 21 other states, was given an extension to comply with the REAL ID Act after Gov. Matt Bevin initially vetoed a bill that would have brought the state into compliance with the new federal requirements following complaints from Tea Party members. Bevin later approved a similar bill passed by the Kentucky General Assembly.

The driver’s permit will remain vertical. | Courtesy of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Residents are not required to upgrade to the new REAL ID-complaint credentials, and licenses, permits and IDs issued before the implementation of compliance with the REAL ID Act will remain valid until their expiration date.

Those who just want to renew their standard driver’s license will simply have to bring their current license to the Circuit Court Clerk; no additional documentation is needed. However, those wanting the voluntary travel ID or who have personal information that has changed will need to present documents verifying their identity, social security number and residence.

Information about what documentation will be required and acceptable is available here.

The new IDs also come with new pricing, which was previously announced. An eight-year standard driver’s license will be $43, while an eight-year voluntary travel ID will be $48. Cards valid for only four years are half the price.

Non-U.S. citizens, excluding permanent residents, will need a new standard credential and must visit any division of driver licensing regional field office and pay a $30 application fee to cover federal verification charges.