Stop right now. Open your wallet. Check the expiration date on your driver’s license. This 5 second task could save you countless time, unnecessary fines, penalties and hassles. By law your driver’s license needs to be renewed every 4 years and the state of Kentucky no longer mails written notification reminders.
A personal true story follows. Recently, upon presenting my driver’s license at an airport security checkpoint, I was informed it had expired. Yes, a bit of panic briefly ensued and then the nice TSA agent said, “it’s happening more and more frequently these days since the state of Kentucky has stopped issuing reminder notices,” and he graciously allowed me to continue my journey. I can’t report that I had quite as much success at the rental car kiosk in my destination city. When it came time to present a valid license to complete the paperwork, the process abruptly ended. Thankfully, I was traveling with a companion who had a current license and we were quickly on our way.
So, have notification policies changed in the state?
Here’s the answer. The State of Kentucky recently announced it will no longer send out a card telling drivers it is time to renew their license.
Nearly one million Kentucky drivers receive reminder cards each year. However, state officials say that courtesy comes with a cost. Officials have decided to stop sending those cards in an effort to build up the state’s road fund.
“This was one way that we can make sure by eliminating the expense of sending out these reminder cards, any cost savings can now be stewarded toward that road fund which we know goes toward building those bridges and roads,” said Naitore Djigbenou from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Officials say by not sending the reminder cards, the state will save about $250,000 each year. However, the Letcher County Circuit Court Clerk says she worries people will not remember to renew their license, which will cause them problems.
“If you let it go more than one year, you have to take the written test over. If it goes for another period, then you have to start all over. So, it’s really good not to let them expire,” Margaret Nichols said.
They hope to offer a digital reminder via text or email in the future. In the meantime, set yourself a personal reminder to annually check your driver’s license on your birthday to avoid added fees, penalties and unnecessary embarrassment as you travel the highways and friendly skies.