Senator Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson, has filed legislation to reinstate sending reminders through the mail to alert drivers that their licenses, permits or personal identification cards are about to expire.
“Tens of thousands of citizens across the commonwealth have let their license lapse and you could be one of them,” said Ridley, the Senate Democratic Caucus Chair and a member of the Senate Transportation Committee. “If you have not renewed your license recently, I suggest you look at it today. In September 2016, the state announced it would stop mailing renewal reminders and, once that happened, drivers — accustomed to receiving notices — did not realize their licenses had lapsed. It happened to me because I did not get a reminder postcard. I did not know my license had expired until I was using it for identification purposes and it was pointed out to me.”
Gov. Bevin made the decision, without a directive from the Kentucky legislature, to discontinue mailing driver license renewal notices to save the state funds, estimated by officials from the Transportation Cabinet at about $250,000 annually.
“The intent to save money was good,” said Ridley. “However, it might have been more effective to continue to mail notices, while at the same time collecting e-mail addresses. We could have eventually phased out mailed reminders and replaced postcards with e-mail notices.”
Ridley’s bill (BR 187) directs that notices be sent by either mail or e-mail at least 45 days prior to the expiration date of any instruction permit, operator’s license, or personal identification card issued by the Transportation Cabinet. Residents can opt out of receiving notifications.
Renewal dates are usually every four years in the driver’s birth month. The renewal fee is $20. If the license has expired for longer than a year, both a written and vision test are required.
Along with sending a notice to drivers, Ridley’s legislation also directs the cabinet to put into place a mechanism for individuals to provide an email address to receive notifications or to opt out of receiving them.
Although this bill would reinstate sending notices to drivers, a failure to receive a renewal notice would not constitute a defense for failure to renew an expired license or permit.
The Kentucky General Assembly may consider BR 187 when it reconvenes in January for the 2018 Legislative Session.
To read the full article in the Henderson Gleaner click here.
You may leave Sen. Ridley a message by calling the toll-free Legislative Message Line at 800-372-7181. You can also e-mail Sen. Ridley directly at Dorsey.Ridley@LRC.KY.GOV.
Dorsey Ridley is represents Senate District 4, that includes Caldwell, Crittenden, Henderson, Livingston, Union, and Webster Counties. He is the Senate Minority Caucus Chair.