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MVA: One-year REAL ID countdown has begun

BALTIMORE, MD—With the rapidly approaching October 1, 2020, federal REAL ID deadline, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration and transportation officials from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport have announced the one-year countdown for Marylanders to get a federally mandated REAL ID.

Marylanders have just one year left to get a REAL ID before MDOT MVA branches close on September 30, 2020.

“The clock is officially ticking down on REAL ID,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “If you have travel plans for this time next year, it is important that you know your REAL ID status and find out what, if any, additional steps you need to take to be REAL ID ready on October 1, 2020.”

To date, more than half of eligible Maryland drivers are REAL ID compliant with a total of 2.3 million Marylanders now REAL ID compliant. REAL ID requires one proof of age and identity, one proof of Social Security, and two proofs of Maryland residency to be on file with MDOT MVA, as well as a driver’s license or identification card with the REAL ID star in the upper right-hand corner. In Maryland, 4.6 million licensed drivers and ID card holders are eligible to get a REAL ID.

REAL ID was passed by Congress after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In August, MDOT MVA became the first state in nation to get re-certified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, giving its stamp of approval for Maryland’s compliance with federal REAL ID requirements.

As of October 1, 2020, all Marylanders must have documents on file and a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or identification card in order to board commercial aircraft or gain access to federal facilities.

“We want our passengers to be fully prepared to pass through airport security checkpoints when the new federal requirements take effect,” said Ricky Smith, Executive Director of BWI Marshall Airport. “We encourage Maryland residents and visitors from across the country to complete their REAL ID requirements. Don’t wait until the last minute.”

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Since January, MDOT MVA has served 297,000 customers with appointments. To help Marylanders to complete their REAL ID transactions, MDOT MVA will extend hours on Saturdays at nine branch locations, beginning on Saturday, October 5. The following branch offices will be open until 4:30 p.m. – Beltsville, Bel Air, Columbia, Glen Burnie, Frederick, Parkville, Walnut Hill, and Westminster. In addition, the Loveville branch office will be open from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday. Statewide, there will be more than 20,000 appointments available each week.

“We are constantly looking for ways to make meeting federal REAL ID requirements as simple and efficient as possible for our customers,” said Administrator Nizer. “These extended hours will provide additional options for customers to visit MDOT MVA at their convenience.”

Marylanders can check their REAL ID status by entering a driver’s license or identification card number into the REAL ID Lookup Tool at https://realid.mva.maryland.gov. If required to bring in documents, customers should visit https://www.mva.maryland.gov/odg to collect the correct documents needed and to schedule an appointment. With an appointment, customers are guaranteed to be seen within 15 minutes of that scheduled time.

In Maryland, half or close to half of each jurisdictions’ residents are REAL ID compliant.

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