Proof of Lawful Presence
Maryland's law is changing to require proof of legal presence in the United States before an individual can be granted a Maryland driver's license or identification card. This law, intended to increase the security of state issued forms of identification, will take effect June 1, 2009. Proof of legal presence is a condition required by the federal REAL ID Act of 2005. Licenses and identification cards from states that are not in compliance will not be accepted by federal agencies for official purposes such as boarding airplanes and entering federal buildings.
The issue of legal presence is about the need to protect the integrity of Maryland's driver's licenses and identification cards against fraud and to stop the degradation of their value as necessary identity documents for Maryland citizens.
Effective June 1, 2009, all new applicants for a Maryland driver's license or identification card will be required to provide a verifiable social security number (SSN) and demonstrate proof of lawful presence in the United States, in addition to the residency and identity requirements. Sources of Proof information and the acceptable documents to provide your SSN include:
- Your social security card (not a copy, the actual card itself)
- A current W-2 form
- A current SSA-1099 form
- A current non-SSA 1099 form
- A current pay stub with the applicant's name and social security number on it
In addition, to demonstrate lawful presence, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) also will accept any of the following documents:
- A valid un-expired U.S. passport
- A certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individuals state of birth
- A consular report of birth abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State, form FS-240, DL-1350 or FS-545
- A valid, un-expired permanent resident card (form I-551) issued by the DHS or INS
- A certificate of naturalization issued by the DHS, form N-550 or form N-570
- A certificate of citizenship, form N-560 or form N-561, issued by DHS
- An unexpired foreign passport with a valid (expired or unexpired) U.S. visa affixed and an approved I-94 form documenting your most recent admittance into the U.S.
- Other documents may be added based on federal law
Under the provisions of the new law, those individuals that currently hold a valid Maryland driver's license or identification card but cannot provide proof that they are in the United States legally will be allowed to renew their license or identification card until June 30, 2015. After June 30, 2015, any renewal will require all individuals to provide proof of legal presence utilizing acceptable documents outlined above.
For those individuals seeking a Maryland driver's license or identification card who have already scheduled an out-of-country appointment with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, appointments will be honored through May 30, 2009.
For more information on proof of lawful presence please see the Frequently Asked Questions.
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