Regional drivers license office opens in Danville

Published 1:44 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Danville is home to the state’s newest regional drivers licensing office.

The new office opened on Monday, and Boyle County Circuit Court Clerk Cortney Shewmaker said it will be a good thing for the community, as well as neighboring counties.

No official announcement has been issued from the state, but Shewmaker said she spoke with Commissioner Matthew Cole of the Department of Vehicle Regulation on Monday and she has been informed that an official statement will be released in the coming days. She did confirm that the office is operating, and she visited it Tuesday morning to upgrade her own license to a REAL ID.

“I think the idea of not announcing it prior to now is to not bombard them,” Shewmaker said. “They are still setting up the office. But it is coming, and it’s a good thing. I wanted to let the public be aware of that because this has been a challenging, kind of confusing process from the beginning, from the time REAL ID came. We’ve changed what that’s going to look like and who’s going to do it, and then the law changed, and then we’ve had COVID. We keep pushing off this enforcement date, and I think the closer we get to that date and the closer it’s getting to DOT transitioning out of our offices, as that happens across the state people are getting more anxious.”

Shewmaker’s office is still issuing drivers licenses, and that service is provided by appointment only. Once the regional licensing office is up and running, that service will be removed from the circuit court clerk’s office, as has been the case in some neighboring counties, including Lincoln and Garrard. The Mercer County Circuit Court Clerk’s office is still issuing drivers licenses for residents with no appointment, but that will end on March 25, according to deputy clerk Kelly King. After that date, Mercer residents will have to use a regional office such as the one in Danville.

“It will be a positive thing as opposed to our citizens going to the transportation cabinet in Frankfort. Having it in Boyle County will make it less of a painful transition,” King said.

Shewmaker said having a regional office in Danville will help people in surrounding areas, especially those who may work here but live elsewhere.

“Years ago it made sense that people got their license in the county where they lived, but as people got more transient, it didn’t make sense that you had to do that,” she said. “I was one of those people that worked out of town. I worked in Frankfort, and it would have been much easier for me to go on my lunch hour to Franklin County and get a driver’s license, but the statute prohibited that. So that’s a positive thing about this change. It allows people to go to any of those regional offices.”

Lincoln County Circuit Court Clerk Angie Doolin said her office has not issued drivers licenses since October 2021. She said the new Danville regional office will help the people of Lincoln County. Since October, the closest location for Lincoln County residents to get a license was in Pulaski County.

“We’re excited about it. We were grateful that Pulaski was as close as it was, but we’re excited that it’s going to be in Danville. It will be a little bit closer for the citizens of Lincoln County,” Doolin said. “I know it’s been an inconvenience, and we’ve been trying to help people out with appointments. There are still a lot of people who don’t have internet access or smartphones, and I know it’s been hard for them making appointments.”

Doolin said her office will continue to help anyone who needs assistance making appointments, and they can call her office at 606-365-2535.

The Danville regional drivers licensing office is located at 1714 Perryville Road, Suite 110. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on REAL ID, including the cost for your license and documents required to receive the new license, visit www.drive.ky.gov.

What is REAL ID?
According to information published online at www.drive.ky.gov, the official website of the state’s drivers licensing services, Kentucky is working to make REAL ID-compliant drivers licenses available statewide at regional locations as quickly and efficiently as possible. When REAL ID enforcement goes into effect May 3, 2023, Kentucky driver’s licenses without a black star cannot be used at airport security checkpoints for U.S. commercial air travel or to visit military bases and federal facilities that require ID (like the White House). Although there will be travel and access restrictions on the enforcement date, REAL ID cards are optional and citizens do not have to obtain one before the deadline. Other federally approved documents, like a valid passport or passport card, are accepted for U.S. air travel and military base entry.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is opening Driver Licensing Regional Offices to make the new card versions available. To save time and avoid repeat trips when applying for a REAL ID, citizens are urged to prepare now. Take the IDocument Guide quiz or review our valid proof documents checklist to learn what required documents you need to gather or update before applying.