The “Real ID” a program initiated in light of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, is playing a role in the permanent closure of the driver’s license satellite offices in Belfry and Phelps.

Pike County Judge Executive Ray S. Jones II said Pike Circuit Clerk Anna Pinson Spears’ office is not responsible for the action.

“I received a letter from the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) signed by Chief Justice John Minton of the Kentucky Supreme Court and they gave notice to the county that they will discontinue to issue driver’s licensing at the Belfry Satellite office and Phelps satellite office,” Jones said.

The letter stated that the decision followed an earlier decision by AOC to not reopen many of the satellite driver’s licensing locations throughout the state that were closed due to  the COVID-19 pandemic and given the forthcoming transition of drivers licensing to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

“If anyone is upset why the Belfry and Phelps driver's licensing offices are not open, it’s not the Circuit Clerk’s fault and it’s not the fiscal court’s fault,” Jones said. “This is a decision made in Frankfort because in upcoming months driver's licensing will transfer over to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet as part of the federal government’s Real ID.”

Soon, a Real ID-compliant driver's license, or passport, will be needed to board domestic airline flights and to gain entry into certain government properties and buildings.

“I just wanted the public to know that this was a decision made by the Administrative Office of the Courts,” Jones said. “Not locally.”

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