Sources of Proof
NEW Applicant Effective June 1, 2009
A new applicant for a learner's permit, driver's license, moped operator's permit or identification card must present (1) document to prove age and identity, (1) document to prove they possess a valid, verifiable Social Security Number (SSN) or proof of ineligibility for an SSN, (1) document to prove lawful status in the United States and (2) Maryland residency documents.
The source document(s) must be the original, (if multiple pages, all pages must be present) or certified copy or true test copy from the issuing agency. Photocopies, notarized copies, and documents with alterations, erasures, and tears are not acceptable. If the document is damaged, or overly worn to the degree that it cannot be authenticated, the applicant may be required to obtain a replacement document.
Applicant's full legal name* must be consistent on all documents. If the name on the age and identity source is different from the current full legal name, supporting documentation is required (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce degree, certified court order of name change). If there are discrepancies or mismatches in the name as used on the documents, the applicant may be required to obtain corrected documentation.
- Marriage licenses are acceptable if it is a certified official marriage certificate signed by a clerk of the court and contains an embossed seal. Marriage certificates signed by the Pastor/Minister/Clergy received after the ceremony was performed will not be accepted. A certified official marriage certificate can be applied for and obtained from the court.
- 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 recognize a valid Same-Sex marriage (also referred to as civil unions) that was performed in a jurisdiction that has passed and enacted legislation that permits this action as valid in Maryland for the purposes of name change and vehicle titling. Customers who have entered into a same-sex marriage, and present the necessary documentation, will be processed the same as customers of opposite genders. Please also be advised that the MVA can ONLY accept a Marriage Certificate certified by a court, versus a signed marriage license. A marriage license alone, even if signed, is not the official proof of marriage. All court documents reflecting a marriage or civil union will be visually inspected and authenticated in the same manner as all other paper documents of this type are authenticated.
*Full legal name means an applicant's first, middle, and last name or surname, without the use of initials or nicknames.
Minor applicants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and the parent or legal guardian must cosign the minor's application. The cosigner must provide acceptable proof of relationship to the minor. Examples of acceptable documentation to prove relationship may be a birth certificate, court order or current tax return which shows dependency.
Note: A checklist is provided at the end of this page for your use to ensure that you have all the acceptable source documents required to get your product.
- Original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics (OVS) or equivalent agency in the applicant's state of birth (U.S. or territorial)* NOTE: Birth documents issued by a hospital, notifications of birth registration, birth registration cards, and foreign birth certificates are not accepted.
NOTE: Puerto Rican Birth Certificates issued PRIOR to July 1, 2010 will no longer be accepted as of October 31, 2010. For more information...
- Valid, unexpired U.S. passport*
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), Form FS-240, DS-1350 or FS-545*
- Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551, issued by the U.S. DHS*
- Certificate of Naturalization, form N-550 or N-570 issued by the U.S. DHS*
- Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-560 or N-561 issued by the U.S. DHS*
- Unexpired employment authorization documents (EAD), Form I-766 or I-688B issued by the U.S. DHS*
- Unexpired foreign passport with a valid, U.S. visa (unexpired or expired) affixed accompanied by the approved I-94 form documenting the applicant's most recent admittance into the U.S.*
* Also satisfies lawful status requirements.
NOTE: Only the above age and identity documents are acceptable at this time. Other documents may be added in the future if deemed acceptable by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and acceptable by the MVA.
- Original Social Security (SS) Card; or
- W-2 form, not more than 18 months old; or
- 1099 form, not more than 18 months old; or
- Pay stub bearing the applicant’s name and SSN, not more than 3 months old; or
- Documentation demonstrating non-work authorized status; or
- Other proof of ineligibility for an SSN acceptable by the MVA.
- The name(s) on the actual Social Security Card or other acceptable document used to provide proof of a valid, verifiable SSN or proof of ineligibility MUST match the source document(s) used to provide proof of the applicants' Age and Identity and licensure if required.
- The full social security number (all 9 digits) must be present on the document being used to prove Social Security. (Example of what is NOT acceptable: XXX-XX-1234)
- (For information on how to apply for a Social Security Number, please visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssnumber/).
- If you have a different name on your social security card than your source documents, you must change your name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) prior to coming to the MVA. The new name(s) must match the name(s) that the SSA has on record.
If the identity document does not also satisfy proof of lawful status, the applicant must present another document issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security or other federal agencies demonstrating lawful status and determined to be acceptable by the Administration.
All documents presented for proof of lawful status must be verified by the Department of Homeland Security through their SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) Program. This verification may not be able to be completed on the day of your visit and may require additional verification which can take up to 3 weeks to complete. Please consider processing time when planning to apply for a Maryland permit, license or identification card.
**The valid U.S. visa that is affixed to a foreign passport may be unexpired or expired. The foreign passport and the I-94 must be unexpired and verifiable though the Department of Homeland Security.
To establish residency, an applicant for a learner’s permit, license, moped operator’s permit or identification card, must present at least two of the following source documents which include the applicant's residence address. The documents may not be from the same business, company or agency. The address on the applicant’s Maryland residency sources must match the residence address on the application. A post office box may be used only in conjunction with a resident’s address if it is in the same zip code area. The use of a private mail drop or other commercial address is not permitted.
- Maryland vehicle registration card or title;
- Utility, telephone or cable/satellite TV bill;
- Checking or savings account statement;
- Life insurance card or policy (over 3 years old);
- Property tax bill or receipt;
- Mortgage account or proof of home ownership;
- Residential rental contract (apartment lease or other rental of real property);
- First class mail from a federal, state or local government agency (to include the contents and envelope); MVA mail is not acceptable;
- Copy of federal or MD income tax return filing not more than 18 months old, with proof of filing;
- Installment contract from a bank or other financial institution;
- Sales tax or business license;
- Major credit card bill;
- Residential service contract (refers to services performed at the address of residence; for example, cable or satellite television, TV repairs, lawn service or exterminator contract);
- Canceled check with imprinted name and address;
- Voter registration card;
- Selective Service Card.
NOTE: The following is applicable if the applicant is:
- A dependent, the MVA may accept a certified statement of residency from the parent or guardian, signed in the presence of a MVA official. (Satisfactory proof of identity, Maryland residency, and relationship of the parent or guardian to the applicant is required. If the dependent is 18 years of age or older, documentation to prove the applicant is a dependent of the parent or guardian is also required); or
- A married person, the MVA may accept a certified statement of residency from the applicant’s spouse, signed in the presence of a MVA official. (Satisfactory proof of identity, Maryland residency, and marital relationship is required.); or
- An inmate or former inmate, the MVA may accept an Order of parole, Order of Mandatory release, or an address certification issued by the Administration and signed and dated by DPSC official, dated within 60 days of release; or
- Homeless or a resident of a nursing home, the MVA will accept certification from nursing homes and homeless service providers under certain conditions for proof of residence.
Are You Ready for the MVA?
Review this simple checklist to make sure you have all your documents in order to visit your local MVA Branch Office
- Are your documents the original (or certified copies) from the authorized issuing agency (not photocopies, and without alterations, tears or overly worn)?
If YES Go to number 2
If NO You must obtain the original, or certified copy from the authorized issuing agency.
2. Is your name and age consistent on all documents (full first, middle, and last names)?
If YES Go to number 4
If NO Go to number 3
3. Do you have documentation supporting differences in your name(s) or date of birth (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree)?
If YES Go to number 4
If NO You must present original or certified copies of documentation to support the difference in names (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce degree, court order change of name).
4. Are your documents unexpired (if applicable, e.g. passports, Permanent Resident Cards)?
If YES Go to number 5
If NO Your documents must be valid, however, special circumstances may apply. Please contact the MVA at 1-410-768-7000 to assist you with possible questions regarding your documents.
5. Do you have two (2) Maryland residency source documents?
If YES It sounds as though you are ready to visit the MVA. Keep in mind this is a very simple, basic checklist and all circumstances may not be covered. If you have a unique situation, please call ahead, 1-410-768-7000 to assist you with possible questions regarding your documents.
If NO You must present two (2) sources from the list of Maryland residency documents above. Please review the list again to ensure that you have everything you need prior to visiting the MVA, OR contact the MVA at 1-410-768-7000 to assist you with possible questions regarding your documents.