From U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Federal review is part of REAL ID process; Maryland recognition is first in nation
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has given the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) its stamp of approval for its compliance with federal REAL ID requirements. The agency on Wednesday recertified MDOT MVA’s REAL ID process, making Maryland the first state to achieve that designation.
The recertification affirms that Maryland has all documentation and security procedures in place that are required to make the state’s REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards compliant with federal law. In 2011, Maryland became one of the first states in the nation to have its REAL ID process certified. The REAL ID Act requires all states to recertify periodically, on a timetable determined by DHS.
“With about 14 months to go until the October 1, 2020, deadline for REAL ID, more than half of Marylanders are REAL ID compliant,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “I want to thank our customers for taking the time to collect their documents and come to our branches. With this recertification, Marylanders can feel confident their REAL ID driver’s license or identification card is one of the most secure in the country.”
The REAL ID Act was passed by Congress after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and creates standards for secure driver’s licenses and identification cards nationwide. By the October 2020 deadline, all Marylanders must have documents on file and be REAL ID compliant to use a state-issued driver’s license or identification card to board an airplane or enter federal government facilities. Documents required include: a birth certificate or passport, proof of social security and two documents proving Maryland residence.
Since launching its REAL ID process, MDOT MVA has expanded its appointment schedule, and now has more than 4,000 appointments available every day. In addition, the agency has extended hours on Thursdays statewide, and opened annex offices in Parkville and Columbia to help accommodate REAL ID customers.
“This recertification acknowledges all the hard work our MDOT MVA team has done to make it easier for customers to comply with REAL ID,” said Administrator Nizer.
MDOT MVA launched a secure online REAL ID Look Up tool, at realid.mva.maryland.gov, that allows customers to determine if they are REAL ID compliant or if action is needed. Customers can also access the Online Document Guide and make an appointment. Those with appointments are guaranteed to be seen within 15 minutes of their scheduled time. MDOT MVA has also expanded its social media and outreach efforts. REAL ID Ambassadors have attended 81 community events across the state since April to help educate Marylanders. Check out the outreach calendar to see when representatives will be at upcoming events.