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Driver Licensing Questions

NOTE: The term DL/ID refers to any driver's license, learner's permit, moped permit and/or identification card when you see this mentioned throughout the page.

What do I need to know about the new process taking effect January 1, 2014?
Effective January 1, 2014, the MVA will implement a new process for immigrants, presenting foreign documentation without valid accompanying United States Citizenship and Immigration Services documentation, to obtain a driver's license, learner's permit, moped permit or identification card (DL/ID).

Customers who are interested in obtaining one of these DL/IDs are advised to take the following steps in preparation for the new law:

Customers presenting foreign documentation without valid accompanying United States Citizenship and Immigration Services documentation MUST schedule an appointment online to apply for a Federally Non-Compliant DL / ID.

Before you make an appointment, you must have contacted the Comptroller's Office of Maryland to obtain proof of Maryland income tax filings. You may obtain a certification letter by applying online here or by making an appointment to visit one of the Comptroller's branch offices.

You may visit the Online Document Guide to start the process for scheduling an appointment.

Also effective January 1, 2014, all Identification cards, new Type 1 GLS Learner's permits, and any Federally Non-Compliant DL/IDs will be mailed to your Maryland residence address on file.

Please continue to check the website for the most up to date information on this new process.

Please refer to Sources of Proof for details on the required documentation and instructions on how to obtain a DL/ID under this new law.

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What do I need to do to make an appointment for after January 1, 2014?
Before you make an appointment, you must have contacted the Comptroller's Office of Maryland to obtain proof of Maryland income tax filings. You may obtain a certification letter by applying online here or by making an appointment to visit one of the Comptroller's branch offices.

After receiving this letter from the Comptroller's office, you must visit the Online Document Guide to start the process for scheduling an appointment.

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What is the Real ID Act?
Information pertaining to the Real ID Act will remain in effect for individuals that are eligible for a Federally Compliant DL/ID.

The Real ID Act is a federal law that requires State issued DL/IDs to meet certain minimum standards. The cards are accepted for federal purposes, such as access to federal facilities, boarding commercial aircraft, or other secure federal facilities designated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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What is the difference between a Federally Compliant and Federally Non-Compliant DL/ID?
US Citizens, immigrants with permanent residence and non-immigrants with valid US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) documentation to prove lawful status in the US are eligible for a federally compliant DL/ID.

Immigrants that do not have valid US Citizenship and Immigration documentation are eligible to apply for a non-compliant DL/ID effective January 1, 2014.

Current Maryland DL/ID holders that do not have a verified Social Security number, and have maintained a valid DL/ID without expiring over one (1) year are also eligible to renew their DL/ID. Their new DL/ID will be Federally Non-Compliant.

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What happens to people who do not have a federally compliant driver's license or identification card?
Those with DL/ID that do not meet the federal standards:

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What do I need to bring with me to get my driver's license or identification card renewed?
For a Federally Compliant DL/ID:

For a Federally Non-Compliant DL/ID:

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, you will be able to renew without additional documentation or proof of Maryland tax filing and no appointment will be required.

Note: If your first Maryland license was issued between April 19, 2009 and June 1, 2009, you must meet lawful status requirements to renew your license if you come into the MVA prior to January 1, 2014.

Before January 1, 2014After January 1, 2014
Can renew, but new expiration will be June 30, 2015Can 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 June 1, 2009, you must meet lawful status requirements to renew your license.If your first Maryland license was issued between April 19, 2009 and June 1, 2009, you may renew your license your license w/out lawful status documents, but it will contain the restrictions listed above.

If your license or ID has expired over one (1) year, you will be required to meet requirements as if you are a new applicant. Please refer to Sources of Proof for details on the required documentation and instructions for new applicants.

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What documents are needed for a new driver's licenses or identification card?

Pre January 1, 2014:

A new applicant for a learner's permit, driver's license, moped operator's permit or identification card must present

Effective January 1, 2014:

If you cannot meet the requirements for a Federally Compliant DL/ID you must make an appointment and present:

Please refer to Sources of Proof for details on the required documentation and instructions

 

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What do I need to get my learner's permit?

To get a Maryland learner's permit, please refer to Sources of Proof for required documentation and instructions. If you are under 16 years of age, the Verification of Identity and/or School Attendance (form DL-300) is required.

If the applicant is a minor this includes having their parent, step-parent, or guardian co-sign the application.

Pre January 1, 2014:

A new applicant for a learner's permit, driver's license, moped operator's permit or identification card must present

Effective January 1, 2014:

The same information above applies to individuals applying for a Federally Compliant DL/ID.

If you cannot meet the requirements for a Federally Compliant DL/ID you must make an appointment and present:

Effective January 4, 2014: All new GLS learner's permit will be mailed to the Maryland residential address on file.

Note: A GLS learner's permit is issued to individuals that have never been licensed in this State, any other US State or any other Country.

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What is needed to get an identification card?
To get a new identification card, please refer to Sources of Proof for required documentation and instructions. The information that applies to the identity documents for a Maryland learner's permit or driver's license that takes effect January 1, 2014 also applies to a Maryland ID.

There is a fee.

The identification card will be mailed to the Maryland residential address on file with the MVA. For more information.

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As a new resident of Maryland, how long do I have to obtain a Maryland driver's license?
You must obtain a driver's license within 60 days after becoming a Maryland resident if you hold a noncommercial license. You have 30 days if you hold a commercial driver's license. Please refer to Sources of Proof for required documentation and instructions. You will need to visit a Full Service MVA office. If you are under eighteen (18) years of age, you must also have a parent/guardian accompany you and co-sign your application. If you have a valid out-of-state (or expired less than one (1) year) license, you must also pass a vision test/screening and your license cannot be suspended, cancelled, disqualified or refused.

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