Renewing a Noncommercial Driver's License
Certain persons may be eligible to renew their driver's license by mail. All others must apply in person at any MVA office. Click on one of the links below if your license is not yet expired, or has been expired less than one (1) year.
A renewal notice will be mailed to your last address of record with the MVA, 60 days prior to the expiration of your driver's license and it will not be forwarded to a new address if you have moved from this address. Remember, Maryland law requires you to report address changes to the MVA within 30 days.
Note: CDL holders must obtain a corrected license, unless they are eligible to renew and renew their license within this 30 day time period.
Effective October 1, 2012
- A Maryland noncommercial driver's license issued to a customer who is 21 years of age or older may be valid for a maximum of 8-years.
- The Maryland MVA will begin the conversion of Non-commercial driver’s licenses and identification cards (ID cards) by extending their validity/expiration dates up to a maximum of 8 years. New ID cards will be issued for up to a maximum of 8-years if the applicant is 18 years old or older but they will be valid for a maximum of up to 5 years if the applicant is under 18 years of age.
The conversion to an 8-year driver’s license or ID card will be implemented over the next few years. During this phase in period, individuals renewing their driver’s license will receive a product with a validity period ranging from 5 to 8 years, as identified through a computer generated selection process. The fee required for renewing your driver’s license or ID card will be prorated based on the period of validity of this product.If your Maryland driver's license has been expired for one (1) year or more, click here.
Note: Individuals with a limited term ID or driver’s license will continue to be issued a product with a validity period equal to their duration of lawful status in the United States and will NOT be able to renew using the mail, MVA Kiosk or the web.
If you have a Maryland driver's license and you are a member of the U.S. Armed Forces absent from Maryland on active service, or are a dependant living with that member, your license will remain valid during the service member's absence and for a period of 30 days after the member's return to Maryland or discharge/separation from the Armed Forces, whichever occurs first. If the Maryland license has been expired for one (1) year or more, the license holder must provide the MVA with their expired Maryland license, and papers (military orders) which indicate the member's active service outside of this state or the member's discharge or separation from active service document(s). You should also present your current military photo ID card. If you are unable to provide the MVA with your Maryland license, the required acceptable military documentation or this 30 day grace period has expired, ALL tests would be required to renew the license.
The license may be renewed without additional tests, other than vision screening, if the license is still valid or has been expired for LESS than one (1) year.
License Renewal Refusal due to Maryland Tax Deficiency and Unpaid Unemployment Insurance Contributions
Effective June 1, 2011, Maryland Law (House Bill 72) prohibits the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) from renewing the driver's license, renewing a vehicle registration, or transferring a vehicle registration of an applicant who has not paid all Undisputed Taxes and/or Unemployment Insurance Contributions payable to the Comptroller or the Secretary of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (DLLR) or provided for payment in a manner satisfactory to the unit responsible for collections.
If a customer has received a letter of noncompliance from the MVA regarding either a MD tax deficiency or unpaid Unemployment Insurance Contributions, it is because the MVA has been notified that this individual driver (business) has unpaid taxes and/or unemployment insurance contributions which will prevent the renewal of their driver's license or vehicle registration or transferring a vehicle registration until they have satisfied their debts/obligations.
This includes both noncommercial renewals and correction renewals as well as commercial license renewals.
The MVA does NOT accept payment for taxes or unemployment contributions.
To resolve an outstanding Tax Obligation:
The driver may make payment in full by going online at the Comptroller's website www.marylandtaxes.com. Click "Online Services" to see all of the online options available to pay outstanding individual or business taxes. If the driver cannot pay the debt in full, they may contact the Comptroller via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone to discuss payment options. For individual income tax liabilities, call the Comptroller's Office toll free at 855-213-6669 or for business tax liabilities call 410-649-0633.
To resolve an outstanding Unemployment Insurance Obligation:
Businesses with unpaid unemployment insurance obligations should contact the DLLR to satisfy their debts or make acceptable payment arrangements. They may contact the DLLR by phone at 410-767-2699 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss payment options.
Once the tax and/or unemployment insurance liabilities have been resolved, the Comptroller or the DLLR will notify the MVA that the hold on the driver's license or vehicle registration renewal/transfer has been lifted. The MVA will then be authorized to proceed with the renewal of the customer's driver's license or vehicle registration. Please allow up to two (2) business days after the receipt of payment by certified funds or beginning an approved payment plan for a hold on the renewals/transfer to be released. Do not wait until the last day to renew to address your unpaid tax or unemployment insurance contribution debts.
The MVA does NOT accept payment for taxes or unemployment contributions.
Note: Vehicle Transactions that may not be processed are:
- Registration Renewal
- Replacement Tag Renewal
- Substitute Tag
- Substitute Sticker
- Tag Transfer
- Tag Transfer with Renewal (this includes plates being repurchased under a new class, i.e. War of 1812, personalized, or any special tags, etc.)
If the name is different from the name on your birth certificate, then you are required to provide the MVA with an original or certified copy (from the issuing agency) of the document or documents that changed your name i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, court ordered name change, etc. However, a cross-reference record must be created with the name on your birth certificate.
- The MVA will typically ONLY accept a Marriage Certificate or a Certificate of Marriage that has been certified and issued by that jurisdictions proper government authority such as their Department of Vital Records/Statistics or their local or state court system. A marriage license or marriage certificate that is only signed by a minister or other authorized officiant and issued by a church, etc. is a keepsake document and is NOT an official marriage document. Note: The local or state government authority will issue a marriage license granting the couple permission to get married by an authorized officiant. The minister/officiant who solemnizes the marriage will complete and sign the actual marriage license that was issued by the proper government authority and then return it to the proper government authority, which will then verify and record the marriage/civil union in their records. The married couple may then obtain a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate or Certificate of Marriage from this authority. Note: Though rare, it is possible that the customer may have been issued a Marriage License by the court system or other authorized government authority as the official marriage document as legal proof of marriage after the marriage ceremony has taken place and the marriage has been verified and recorded by them.
- Effective January 1, 2013 the State of Maryland will permit Same-Sex marriages to be performed in Maryland and the MVA will recognize these marriages/civil unions. Customers who have entered into a same-sex marriage and present the necessary documentation will be processed the same as customers of opposite genders. The MVA will also continue to recognize a same-sex marriage that was performed in another jurisdiction that has passed and enacted legislation that permits same-sex marriages to be performed in their jurisdiction.
APOSTROPHE’S & HYPHENS
The MVA has permitted the use of an Apostrophe (‘) in a person’s name when they are processed for a driver’s license, learner’s permit or identification (ID) card since 2010, and it also permits the use of a Hyphen (-), however, this ability has not been widely publicized due to computer compatibility issues.
An apostrophe and/or hyphen can be added to a customer’s name in a New, Renewal or Corrected MVA produce as long as the customer provides the MVA with acceptable documentary evidence to support the use of the apostrophe and/or hyphen (i.e. birth certificate, marriage license, etc.). The placement of these punctuation marks/signs must be done in accordance with the name as displayed on the customer’s documentary support.
- The customer must apply in person to request this change.
- A Social Security card may be used for the purpose of adding the apostrophe or hyphen to the name of current MVA product holders only. The Social Security card is not an acceptable document for any other identity or name change purposes (i.e. marriage, divorce, etc.) unless it is used as part of a common law name change.
FEES: The normal fees associated with corrections and/or renewals will apply.
A copy of the March 13, 2013 press release may be found here: http://www.mva.maryland.gov/About-MVA/PRESS/130313.htm
If you are eligible to renew your license by mail, the MVA will send you a Maryland Mail-In Driver License Renewal Application (form #DL-179A or B) at least 60 days before its expiration date. Upon receiving the application, carefully review the information included with it. You will be required to:
- Answer all of the "yes/no" questions on the application including the following:
- Have you been diagnosed with any physical or mental disabilities, other than vision, which may affect your driving?
- Is your license or privilege to drive suspended, revoked, refused, canceled, or disqualified in this or any other state, Washington D.C. or Canada?
- Are you currently employed? If yes, where?
- If you are 40 years of age or older, you must meet the MVA's vision requirements. Your vision specialist must complete the Vision Certification section of the Mail-In Driver License Renewal Application. No other form of vision certification will be accepted. If you are less than 40 years of age, you are exempt from meeting this requirement.
If you wish to renew your license by mail, complete, sign and return the Maryland Mail-In Driver License Renewal Application. Include with it your payment for the license; if you are returning more than one application by mail, there should be a separate form of payment for each application.
Upon receipt of your application, the MVA will review it to confirm that you are eligible to renew your license by mail; if not, you will be notified that you must apply in person.
After preparing your new license using the latest photo available, the MVA will mail it to the address printed on your Maryland Mail-In Driver License Renewal Application. The MVA cannot mail it to an alternate address. You will be advised to destroy your current license upon receipt of the renewed license.
Note: You may choose to exchange your driver's license for and Identification (ID) card.
The MVA typically will send you a renewal notice at least 60 days before your license expiration date. However, you do not need the notice to apply. If you are 25 years or older, you are permitted to apply for renewal at any time during the period from 6 months before your license expires to one year after it expires (note that it is illegal to drive with an expired license). If you are under 21, you must wait until your 21st birthday or thereafter to renew. Your license will expire no later than 60 days after your 21st birthday.
Gather the documents and other items that you will need to take to the MVA:
- Maryland Driver License Renewal Notice - note that if you do not have one, you still will be able to renew your license;
- Current (expiring) Maryland Driver's License - if you have lost it, you may have to prove your identity. Contact the Customer Service Center for more information;
- Documented proof of your social security number that can be verified by the Social Security Administration;
- Glasses or contact lenses if needed - see Vision Screening and Requirements for more information;
Visit any MVA office. When you arrive, the Customer Agent will:
- Take your photograph. See MVA Photo Guidelines below;
- Review the documents you brought with you;
- Give you a vision screening or scan your Vision Screening Form;
- Ask you various questions to verify that you are eligible for license renewal;
- Have you sign the application following the MVA Signature Guidelines.
- Collect the fee owed; and
- Issue your new license.
MVA Photo Guidelines: Because of the ever increasing need to use a photo driver’s license, learner’s permit or moped permit as proof of personal identification (i.e.: MVA, Law Enforcement, Homeland Security, etc.) in addition to its role as a licensing document, the Maryland MVA is required to follow and enforce certain guidelines concerning approving and using an acceptable digital image/photograph on these license products. The same guidelines would also follow for the issuance of a Maryland Photo Identification Card.
The MVA will not permit an applicant to significantly alter, hide or enhance their face or facial features by the use or excessive use of:
- Face Paint
- Cosmetic Contacts
- Facial Contortions
- Hats/Scarves/Other Clothing
- Hands, etc.
If a supervisor deems it necessary, the customer will be required to remove the unacceptable face paint, cosmetics or garment, etc. before a photo is taken.
If a photo image is taken and it is determined to be unacceptable by an MVA supervisor due to any of the above reasons or otherwise, the MVA reserves the right to require that the customer be re-photographed or is refused the issuance of the MVA product.
Notes: Head Coverings/Scarves
- Certain individuals may possibly be permitted to be photographed while wearing a head covering such as a hat, scarf or habit, if the individual states that this garment must be worn as a religious or cultural ordinance, practice, faith or belief; however, this garment cannot cover the applicant’s face, eyes or forehead.
- An applicant citing religious or cultural reasons may also request that an MVA employee of a particular gender take the applicant’s photo.
- If an individual requests that they be permitted to wear a head covering or scarf due to a physical disfigurement concern (i.e. hair loss due to cancer treatments, surgery, etc.) it may be permitted.
- When the photo is taken the MVA employee should:
- Ensure that the applicant’s garment does NOT cover their face, eyes or forehead.
- If possible, adjust the camera angle and or framing of the individual so that the head covering, for the most part, does not show.
- If requested, permit the applicants relatives or friends to shield them from the view of others while their garment (face covering is lifted). If requested by the applicant on religious or cultural grounds, switch places with another employee of the opposite gender so that they may take the photograph.
- Ensure that the applicant signs his or her own signature onto the signature pad. Another member of the applicant’s family is not authorized to sign for the applicant.
- If the applicant declines to comply with the above requirements or is otherwise not satisfied, ask your supervisor or manager for assistance.
5. Baseball caps, knitted hats and general head coverings are not permitted unless permitted as mentioned above.
- Issuance of license: TR, 16-111.1(d)(2-iv: A color photograph of the applicant that is taken in accordance with a procedure that the Administration requires.
- Form and contents of an Identification Card: TR, 16-111.1(d)(2-iv: A color photograph of the applicant taken by the procedure that the Administration requires.
- Driver and Vehicle Policy # 27000-002: Certain possible exceptions to individuals who may request to wear a head covering due to religious or cultural ordinance, practice, faith or belief or in the case of an individual’s physical disfigurement concerns (i.e. hair loss due to cancer treatments, surgery, etc.).
Each applicant for an MVA License, Learner’s Permit, Moped Permit or Identification Card “MUST” sign their usual signature (actual legal name only) on the MVA product application certifying that the statements made in it are true. The usual signature must consist of their “Actual Legal Name” and may NOT contain additional titles, verbiage, information or anything else such as:
1). Mr. or Mrs. etc.
2). Dr. or Esquire or Reverend/Pastor, etc.
3). Nick Names that are not a shortened version of the first name as noted below.
4). Artwork, Characters, Symbols or additional Marks of any kind such as: Smiley Faces, Flowers, etc.
5). Additional Names not verified on/by their ID documents (or approved by the MVA) or additional Comments or Notes, etc.
- The applicant may sign a shortened version of their 1st name instead of using the full name such as:
a). “Nick” for Nicholas
b). “Bob” for Robert
c). “Sam” for Samantha
Note: The MVA customer agent and/or supervisor may require the applicant to resign the application if they sign the application using anything other than their actual legal name. The MVA reserves the right to refuse the issuance of the MVA product if the applicant fails to sign or refuses to sign the application using their actual name as described above.
2, Customers must make sure that they change their name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) prior to coming to the MVA. The license, learner's permit or ID card will not be issued if the new desired name change does not match the SSA records and is not automatically verified by the SSA files. It may take a minimum of 48 hours or longer for the SSA to update their records with your name change.
3. Customers may obtain a Change of Address form (VR-154) at any MVA office, online or the form may be mailed to you. To have the form mailed, please call the MVA Customer Service Center at 1-800-950-1MVA (1-800-950-1682).
To use the MVA Kiosk machine, you must visit an MVA branch office and follow the instructions given by the Kiosk terminal.
Note: The actual driver's license will be mailed to your Maryland residence on record within 10 business days. Please visit a branchoffice if your license will expire before this time. The Kiosk will accept Cash, Check or Credit Cards as payment for the renewal.
You may be eligible to renew your license using the MVA Kiosk or Online if you meet the below requirements:
Eligible Customers for Driver's License Renewal:
- You must be between the ages of 21 and under 40 years of age. Note: Effective March 25, 2013, driver license holders who are 40 years of age and older may now be eligible to renew using the MVA's Kiosk or Online services if your Eye Care Provider (Physician, Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) is licensed to practice in Maryland and has become an authorized MVA Online Vision Certification Provider. Click here to view additional information, the current provider listing and to view the Frequently Asked Questions concerning this program.
- You must have a Verifiable Social Security Number on record with the MVA, or a current Driver's License with a "U" (Non-Compliant) restriction.
- You must have a Valid and Unexpired Maryland Non-Commercial license within six (6) months of its expiration date.
- You must have a verifiable Maryland residential address on record with the MVA.
- You must have an acceptable digital photo image on file with the MVA.
- You must have a retrievable signature on file with the MVA.
- Your last/current license issued must have been processed/completed in person at an MVA branch office. (If your current license was renewed through the mail, at a Kiosk or via the Web, you are NOT eligible to renew through the mail, at the Kiosk or via the Web, as you may only renew using one of these methods every other renewal period).
- You may renew a Non-Compliant "U" restricted license however, the license will expire on 06/30/15. Due to federal regulations, the MVA can not renew a non-compliant license after 06/15/15. You may renew if you have a "B" restriction (glasses/contacts) on your current non-commercial license.
Ineligible Customers for Kiosk or Internet Driver's License Renewal.
- If you have an ALERT on your Maryland driving record.
- If you have a Limited Term "T" license restriction.
- If you are currently Suspended, Revoked, Cancelled or Refused.
- If you have a Tax Non-Compliance Flag.
- If you have a Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS) or a Commercial Driver License Inquiry Status (CDLIS) Hit.
- If you have a "Must Clear Medical Advisory Board (MAB) Flag".
- If you have an unpaid Restoration Fee and/or a Bad Check fee.
- If you have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL).
- If you have a Learner's Permit (non-commercial or commercial).
- If you have a Provisional license.
- You may not be able to take the skills test on the same day unless you've made an appointment ahead of time.
- The MVA Central Scheduling System will not permit you to schedule an appointment since you do not have a valid license or learner's permit.
- If your license has been expired for one (1) year or more and if you are required to retest, you may be required to schedule a skills test appointment once you have passed the Vision and Knowledge tests if the MVA office is not able to fit you in on the same day. Click here for additional information on scheduling a test appointment or you may call 1-410-768-7000 for assistance.
- You must provide a safe test vehicle for the driving test. If this vehicle is a rental vehicle your name MUST appear on the rental contract as an approved driver of that vehicle or the test will be canceled and you will need to set up another test appointment date.
When you are prepared for these tests, gather the documents and other items that you will need to take to the MVA:
- Customers with licenses expired one (1) year or more are considered a new applicant and MUST prove identity, residency, SSN and lawful presence. Please refer to Sources of Proof. Contact the Customer Service Center for more information;
- A vehicle in the appropriate class, with valid registration;
- Accompanying driver - note that it is illegal to drive with an expired license;
- Glasses or contacts if needed - see Vision Screening and Requirements for more information;
Second, visit any MVA full-service branch office; no appointment is needed. A Customer Agent in the office will:
- Take your photograph. See MVA Photo Guidelines
- Review the documents you brought with you;
- Give you a vision screening or scan your Vision Screening Form;
- Have you sign the application. See MVA Signature Guidelines and
- Verify that you meet all eligibility requirements.
After completing these steps, you will be given a knowledge test. If you pass the knowledge test, you will be directed to a Driver Licensing Agent to determine if the skills test can be taken that day or if you will need to schedule an appointment for another day. Note that if you have a class A or B license (commercial or noncommercial), you must schedule an appointment to take the skills test. Upon successful completion of your skills test, your driver's license will be issued.
- If you test for a (learner's permit or driver's license) and pass the required Knowledge test(s) and or Skills tests, the passing scores are only valid for six (6) months from the date the test was passed. If the learner's permit and or driver's license has not been issued within this time frame, then you must retest to obtain the permit or license.
- You must also change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) prior to coming to the MVA. The license, learner's permit or ID card will not be issued to you if the new desired name change does not match the SSA records and is not automatically verified by the SSA files. It may take a minimum of 48 hours or longer for the SSA to update their records with your name change.
- You may change your address online, or download a Change of Address form (VR-154) to mail back to us. To have the form mailed to you, please call the MVA Customer Service Center.
- The conversion to an 8-year driver’s license and identification card will be implemented over the next few years. During this phase-in period, individuals renewing their noncommercial driver’s license or identification card will receive a product with a validity period of a maximum of 5 to 8 years. Because the expiration date of the license or identification card is determined by a computer generated selection process, the fee required to renew will vary. This fee is prorated (for each year the product is valid) based on the period of validity of the license or identification card which may be for a maximum of 5-8 years.
Note: Commercial driver’s licenses will continue to be valid for a maximum of 5-years.
- If the customer's license is eligible for renewal (not expired, or expired for less than one (1) year), there is a driver license renewal fee.
- If the customer's license has been expired for one (1) year or more, the driver license (new resident) fee is charged.
Driver Services Division
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
For telephone questions:
Veteran Status Code:
Effective January 1, 2013 if you are able to present certain United States Military Veteran documentation (original or certified copy issued by the appropriate department/agency) certifying your veteran status you may apply to add a “W” restriction code indicating that you are a U.S. Veteran onto your Maryland driver’s license or identification card (ID card). You can add this “W” restriction code when you are processed for a license or ID card Renewal, Correction or New product.
- In choosing to add this code to the driver’s license or ID card, you consent to being contacted by the appropriate Executive Branch agencies regarding your eligibility for State or Federal Veteran’s benefits.
- “Veteran” means an individual who served on active duty in the armed forces of the United States, other than for training, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.
- If you do not have one of the below acceptable proof of veteran status documents indicating a discharge or release under conditions other than dishonorable, you will need to contact the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) Service Office to obtain documentation verifying your status as a veteran. You may call 1-800-446-4926 or visit the MDVA website at http://www.mdva.state.md.us/about/serviceProgram.html for information and assistance.
The acceptable proof of veteran status documents are:
- DD-214 Military Discharge Certificate, or;
- Honorable Discharge Certificate, or;
- Letter from U.S. Military Center in St. Louis, Missouri, or;
- Letter from the Maryland Veterans Administration Service Program
The acceptable documents must show the Veteran status as:
- Honorable, or;
- General, or;
- General Under Honorable Conditions, or;
- Discharged or Released under conditions other than Dishonorable
Fee: There is a fee if the applicant chooses to add or remove this designation onto their license or ID card as a correction.