More than 66,000 Maryland drivers must provide the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration with additional documentation for their secure driver’s license or identification cards by June, or the state will invalidate their licenses.
The state is reaching out to drivers who would be affected, reminding them that they have to bring the required documents to an MVA office in the coming weeks, MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer said Thursday in a conference call with reporters.
The documents are required as part of the state’s transition to the federally required Real ID program, which will be completed by October 2020.
Drivers can check their Real ID status at www.mva.maryland.gov/realidlookup.
Drivers with the June deadline will receive a message that, “You are required to present documents in order to meet federal Real ID Act requirements.”
Passed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the purpose of the program is to create standards for secure driver’s licenses and identification cards across the country.
On Oct. 1, 2020, Maryland residents will need a Real ID-compliant license or identification to board an airplane or enter federal government facilities.
Maryland has 5 million drivers with a license or identification card, according to the MVA. Less than half of those, about 2.3 million, have the necessary Real ID documents on file.
The 66,300 residents whose licenses could be recalled in June are part of a group that the MVA has been notifying since December that they need to provide the documentation needed to verify the Real ID licenses.
They will receive three more notices in upcoming weeks by mail and email.
Documents can include a birth certificate or passport, proof of social security, and two documents that prove someone is a Maryland resident.
The state began issuing Real ID licenses and IDs in 2009 with a process that the Department of Homeland Security had approved, that did not require people to provide documents, Nizer said.
They were told in October 2017 that customers must have their documents on file with the MVA to get their star on their license identifying it as being Real ID compliant.
Drivers whose licenses are recalled will still have valid driving privileges because they haven’t had a driving infraction that would lead to suspension, but their licenses would be confiscated if they are pulled over by law enforcement, Nizer said.
Six offices around the state, including the Frederick office on Bowmans Farm Road, have extended hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays through July 2 to help meet the demand for Real ID customers.
Nizer urged drivers to make an appointment before coming in to provide their documents, but they are not required to do so.
For drivers who have gotten the new license or ID but have not provided the required documents, there is no additional charge for providing the documents.
Even after the June deadline, nearly a million Maryland drivers will still need to file documents with the MVA to meet the federal requirements.
During May, the MVA will start notifying those with a November deadline, followed by notifications each month for others facing deadlines. Each driver will have six months to provide the documents.