MVA Signature Guidelines
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:
- Mr. or Mrs. etc.
- Dr. or Esquire or Reverend/Pastor, etc.
- Nick Names that are not a shortened version of the first name as noted below.
- Artwork, Characters, Symbols or additional Marks of any kind such as: Smiley Faces, Flowers, etc.
- Additional Names not verified on/by their ID documents (or approved by the MVA) or additional comments or Notes, etc.
Note: The applicant may sign a shortened version of their first name instead of using the full name such as:
- "Nick" for Nicholas
- "Bob" for Robert
- "Sam" for Samantha
The MVA 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 legal name as described above.
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, 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 either sits for another image or is refused the issuance of the MVA product.
- 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.
- Baseball caps, knitted hats and general head coverings are not permitted unless permitted as mentioned above.
1. 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.
2. Form and contents of an Identification Card: TR, 12-301(g)(2v): A color photograph of the applicant taken by the procedure that the Administration requires.
3. 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.).