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MVA cuts ribbon on Essex branch expansion

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ESSEX, MD—Residents in Essex and surrounding communities will notice something a little different next time they head to their local Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration branch – more space. The newest 3,300 square-foot addition to the Essex branch adds seven service stations with the ability to increase capacity by an additional 700 weekly appointments to meet growing demand.

MDOT Secretary James F. Ports, Jr., and MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer were joined by Senator Johnny Salling, Paul Blitz from Delegate Ric Metzgar’s office and MDOT MVA’s field operations staff on Monday to officially cut the ribbon and get a behind-the-counter tour.

“We are so excited to be expanding this branch to better serve the growing needs of this important community and its customers,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “Whether a customer chooses to make an in-person appointment, use our 24-hour kiosk or complete their transaction online, we value our customers’ time and will continue to explore ways to improve the customer experience.”

Just last week, Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed December 6 Customer Connect Day to highlight the accomplishments the MDOT MVA has made over the last year following its landmark modernization known as Customer Connect. Customer Connect replaced the agency’s legacy systems, providing customers and employees with a complete view of the customer’s status and history with the MDOT MVA by linking their driver and vehicle accounts.

“MDOT MVA is committed to delivering on Governor Hogan’s premier customer service promise and finding new and innovative ways to serve its customers,” said Secretary Ports. “The addition to the Essex branch, recent IT system modernization and expansion of the one-stop-government-shop partnerships are all ways the agency continues to provide accessible and convenient services for all Marylanders, whether they choose to do their business face-to-face or online.”

Since implementation of Customer Connect, officials say more than 70% of customers completing a transaction at a MDOT MVA branch office are seen within 15 minutes of their appointment time. Not only has the MDOT MVA improved business inside its branch offices, but also through online and kiosk services. Approximately 75% of customers complete their transaction with the MDOT MVA using an alternative service delivery method. MDOT MVA is on pace to process more than 7.8 million e-service transactions by the end of the year, an increase of 13% from 6.9 million in 2021.

Customers can access an array of services by creating a myMVA account. A myMVA account allows customers to access their driver and vehicle information in real time. Customers also can learn their REAL ID status, view copies of any correspondence the MDOT MVA has sent to them, check vehicle emissions inspection program deadlines and complete more than 60 transactions online. All Marylanders are encouraged to sign up for this enhanced feature.

Other renovations include an updated and larger learner’s permit law test room with additional stations for the state’s newest drivers and additional space for the Department of Natural Resources and E-ZPass Customer Service Offices. Over the last several years, the MDOT MVA has worked toward a one-stop-shopping experience, forming partnerships with state agencies.

Most recently, the MDOT MVA expanded its partnership with Maryland Department of Health to issue birth certificates of Maryland-born customers at select MDOT MVA branch offices – including Essex – to assist with the federal REAL ID document requirements. More than 650 customers have utilized this service at the Essex branch and were able to leave with their MDOT MVA product and a vital document. Maryland has one of the highest REAL ID compliance rates in the nation at 89%. With the new REAL ID deadline of May 7, 2025, Maryland is well on its way to meeting that deadline.

The Essex branch is located at 1338 Eastern Boulevard and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Customers also have access to a self-service kiosk 24-hours, seven days a week.

Photo via MDOT; Front: From left to right, MDOT MVA District Manager Kenneth Mason, MDOT Secretary Jim Ports, Paul Blitz, Chief of Staff of Delegate Ric Metzgar, MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, Senator Johnny Salling, MDOT MVA Deputy Administrator Leslie Dews, MDOT MVA Facilities Director Richard Norman, MDOT MVA District Manager Amy Prime. Back: MDOT MVA Essex Assistant Branch Manager John Dear and Assistant Branch Manager Dina Lorenzet.

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