Driver Licensing Information
Renewing Your Maryland Driver's License
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 by extending their validity/expiration dates up to a maximum of 8 years.
- The conversion to an 8-year driver’s license 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 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.
You can renew one of four ways:
To Renew by Mail
You may skip the visit to the MVA and renew your driver's license by mail if you received a new "renew by mail" package. Your license will be sent to you in the mail, and you will not have to go to an MVA office again until the new license expires in 5 years. Just complete the "mail in renewal" application and send it in if you have more than 15 days before your current license expires.
Note: Your new license will be mailed to your address printed on your Maryland Mail-In Driver's License Renewal Application. You cannot renew your license by mail if your address does not match the address printed on your Maryland Mail-In Driver's License Renewal Application. The MVA cannot mail or forward a renewed license to an alternate address.
You cannot renew by mail if:
- Your social security number cannot be verified; OR
- Your address is incorrect on the renewal notice; OR
- Your address has changed; OR
- A request to correct or update your address has been submitted by you to the MVA since you received your Maryland Mail-In Driver's License Renewal Application.
- If you do not send in your renewal at least 15 days prior to expiration, your current license could expire before you receive the new license. Note: It would be best to go into an MVA office and renew in person if your birthday is two weeks or less away.
When you receive our new license you must destroy your old license. Maryland law allows only one driver's license per driver. You should receive your new license in two weeks or less. Please call the MVA at 1-410-768-7000 if you do not receive your new license after 15 days.
- Read the information carefully to make certain you qualify to renew by mail. If you find any errors in your information, you must visit an MVA office to renew in person.
- Complete your renewal application.
- If you are over 40, you must have your doctor complete and sign the "vision certification" portion of your renewal form. Please note, the vision certification portion of the renewal form is the only form that can be "read" by the MVA technology that renews your license by mail. If you use a separate form, you must renew in person.
- Mail in your renewal with the proper fee.
Customers eligible to renew their driver's license (DL) at an MVA self service kiosk are notified with their driver;s license renewal notification, which may be an email or U.S. Mail. Customer's aged 40 and over must have their vision results submitted electronically by an Authorized Online Vision Certification Provider.
Note: Your new license will be mailed to your address on record within 10 business days. If you need your driver's license sooner you must visit an MVA office with your current driver's license.
Just visit one of the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) locations with your expiring license and appropriate fee. You are responsible for renewing your driver's license before it expires. You have up to one year after it expires to renew without having to take additional tests. However, it is against the law to drive with an expired license.
- Please check your renewal notice for any errors.
- Present your renewal notice, expiring license, and fee in person to any one of the MVA locations.
- Complete a vision exam or screening. Click here to view vision requirements options.
- If you have changed your name since your last license was issued, you must change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) prior to coming to the MVA and bring the appropriate documentation that indicates how the name was changed (ex: marriage certificate, divorce decree.).
- If you held a valid Maryland driver's license prior to April 19, 2009, you do not have a social security number, and your license has not expired more than 1 year.
Note: If your first Maryland license was issued between April 19, 2009 and May 31, 2009, you must meet lawful status requirements to renew your license until December 31, 2013. See the chart below for the new process after January 1, 2014.
Before January 1, 2014
After January 1, 2014
Can renew, but new expiration will be June 30, 2015
Can renew with a 5 to 8 year expiration
Will have a “U” restriction, ”Not acceptable for Federal Purposes”
Will have a “U” restriction, ”Not acceptable for Federal Purposes” and a “A” restriction, “May not be used to purchase a fire arm”
If your first Maryland license was issued between April 19, 2009 and May 31, 2009, you must meet lawful status requirements to renew your license.
If your first Maryland license was issued between April 19, 2009 and May 31, 2009, you may renew your license your license w/out lawful status documents, but it will contain the restrictions listed above.
- If you currently hold a limited term temporary license (contains a “T” restriction), you will be required to present current lawful status documentation to renew your license. Renew early, as the documents must be verified through the Department of Homeland Security and that process could take a couple weeks.
For the safety of all drivers, the MVA must consider your medical status as part of your license request. Medical conditions, which could affect your driving, must be reported to the MVA. Please submit with your application, a certificate from your doctor indicating the onset of the disability, diagnosis, and medications, if any. All medical data is kept confidential and will only be used by the MVA to determine your qualifications to drive.
For information on requirements for military personnel and U.S. Foreign Service members (how to apply, renewal, etc.) please refer to the Military and U.S. Foreign Service Driver Licensing page.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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.)
- 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.
How do I renew my driver's License by Mail?
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.
How do I Renew My Driver's License in Person?
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.
- 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.
- 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.
How do I renew my driver's license using the MVA Kiosk or Online via the MVA Website?
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 branch office 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 Online or at a MVA Kiosk:
- 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.
You may NOT renew at a 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.
How do I renew my license if it has been expired for one (1) year or more?
You will be required to present your identity and residency documents as if you are a new applicant. Please refer to Sources of Proof for required identity and residency documentation and instructions.
- 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 walk in to any MVA. You are no longer required to schedule a skills test appointment once you have passed the Vision and Knowledge tests. Only if you have a learner's permit are you required to scheudle a skills test appointment. 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:
- 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: 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
Note: 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.
The Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
For information on CDL requirements (how to apply for a CDL, renewal of a CDL, etc.) please refer to the CDL Information page.
Apply to Register to Vote
You may apply to register to vote when you visit an MVA to renew your driver's license. Ask an MVA customer service representative for details.
Veteran Status Code:
Effective January 1, 2013: You may be able to add a certain code to your license indicating you are a US Veteran, click here for more information.
- 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:
MVA Customer Service Center: 1-410-768-7000
TTY/Hearing Imparied: 1-800-492-4575