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 Maryland Department of Transportation(MDOT) , Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Information on the REAL ID Program

Recent correspondence from the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) regarding REAL ID licenses and identification cards has created uncertainty regarding the process in Maryland.  Here is a summary of the REAL ID program and the necessary action on your part:

  • REAL ID was passed by Congress after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and creates standards for secure driver’s licenses and identification cards nationwide.
  • As of October 1, 2020, all Marylanders must have documents on file and be REAL ID compliant if they wish to use a state-issued driver’s license or identification card to board an airplane or enter federal government facilities. Documents needed include a birth certificate or passport, proof of social security and two documents proving a Maryland home address.

 Information on REAL ID licenses and identification cards already issued that require additional action:

  • Maryland began issuing REAL ID licenses and identification cards in 2009 under a process that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deemed compliant. At that time Maryland was only required to collect documentation from new drivers, allowing those renewing or obtaining a duplicate or corrected driver’s license or identification card to obtain a REAL ID without additional documentation.
  • However, in October 2017, DHS informed Maryland that all customers with a driver’s license or identification card containing the REAL ID star must have documents on file with MDOT MVA.
  • MDOT MVA is directly contacting drivers who have a new REAL ID star license or identification card and have not filed the required documents – in groups, requesting the needed documents within six months. The first group was initially contacted in December of 2018 with instructions to bring documents to MDOT MVA by June 2019. This group has now received four notices since December that warn of their June 2019 deadline, and will receive two additional notices in the coming month. The second group received notification beginning last week (May) with a November 2019 deadline; other notifications will go out monthly for those facing later deadlines.
  • Documents not received by the stated deadline, will trigger MDOT MVA to begin flagging the affected driver’s licenses and identification cards as of the deadline date as “recalled.” The recall of a driver’s license will make the physical card invalid. Customers would still be licensed drivers, but if pulled over by law enforcement, they would have their driver’s licenses confiscated. To avoid this, customers who are part of this group MUST come to a MDOT MVA branch with the required documents as soon as possible based on their notification date and are urged to make an appointment.
  • The MVA has added more than 1,900 weekly appointment slots across the state, and now has more than 3,000 appointments available every day. Branch offices in Baltimore City, Essex, Easton, Frederick, Gaithersburg and Westminster have extended hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays, and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays, continuing through July 2 to assist in handling high volumes of REAL ID transactions.

MVA Information for Maryland Residents that have not received notification, nor applied for a REAL ID licenses and identification card:

MVA is encouraging all Marylanders to:

ü  Check your REAL ID status to determine if documents are required for your particular product either upon renewal or ahead of renewal using MDOT MVA’s REAL ID Look Up Tool:

ü  If documents are required, make an appointment by navigating through the document guide:

In addition to directly reaching out to affected customers, we have been focused on general education via traditional media, social media, and live community engagement to ensure all Marylanders are educated about REAL ID.  There is a list of community events that we will be attending on our website at .

I hope this information is helpful to you.

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