December 4, 2021

Kentucky circuit court clerks to no longer issue, renew driver’s licenses

Getting your driver’s license, or getting it renewed, at your local circuit court clerk’s office will soon be phased out completely in Kentucky. You will instead have to go to a regional Kentucky Transportation Cabinet regional office or renew online.

Several counties have already made this switch. KYTC officials said 40 counties will have phased out of using circuit clerk’s for driver’s license-related needs by the end of July, 60 by the end of September, and by June 30 of 2022, all Kentuckians will have to go to a KYTC regional office to get their license renewed or issued.

Currently, there are 18 regional offices in the state. You can find a full list of them here. KYTC officials explained this transition is happening because of the new license issuance system that involves issuing REAL IDs, The new system would put too much of a workload on circuit clerks.

“They were already kind of overworked, the dockets are bursting at the seams,” Matt Cole with KYTC said. “So you know, it didn’t take long for us to go down that conversation to logically see that it didn’t make sense to put that burden on them.”


By May 3, 2023, you will be required to have a REAL ID to enter domestic commercial flights, military bases, and restricted federal buildings like the White House, FBI headquarters, etc. You can read more about REAL IDs and the process of getting one here.

When the news broke of the transition to getting your license renewed at regional offices, it had several people in rural areas concerned that the service would be less accessible to them.

“If they switch from getting it right down here at the courthouse, I’m going to have to drive about 30, some odd miles to Bowling Green, which I don’t know my way around,” Bob White from Munfordville said.

You can now get your license renewed online if you don’t have a regional office near you. However, some people like White don’t have internet access at home.

KYTC officials said they plan to add about ten more KYTC offices in the near future, as well as host pop-up units in different counties several times a year for people to get their license renewed on the spot.

“We’re going to coordinate that with local officials in the counties to make sure that everybody’s properly represented,” Cole explained. “We’re going to work with retirement homes, community centers, church groups, whoever wants to participate, to bring more traffic to it.”

You can also renew your license at any KYTC regional office in the state, it doesn’t have to be the one nearest to your residency.