According to the 9/11 Commission Report, "For terrorists, travel documents are as important as weapons."

In response, Congress passed the REAL ID Act of 2005 as a nationwide effort to prevent terrorism, reduce fraud and improve the accuracy of identification documents issued by U.S. state governments.

In 2016 the Kentucky Governor’s office supported state legislation to conform the Commonwealth’s law to the federal standards. Gov. Matt Bevin touted the bill as “common sense” legislation in a video posted on social media. The legislation sailed through the Kentucky Senate and the House approved it too.  After all, once federal extensions expire, existing Kentucky driver’s licenses will not be acceptable identification for federal purposes, including commercial air travel. 

But, on April 27 Gov. Bevin vetoed the legislation, citing “widespread opposition…from citizens of Kentucky across the entire political spectrum for a variety of different reasons.”  Opponents of the bill cited personal privacy among the concerns about Kentucky’s effort to implement the federal standard.  For example, the ACLU claims the federal law, fully implemented, “would facilitate the tracking of data on individuals and bring government into the very center of every citizen’s life.”  Meanwhile, also claiming privacy concerns, at least two of Kentucky’s congressional members are co-sponsoring legislation to repeal the federal law.