EASTON — REAL ID was passed by Congress to create standards for secure driver’s licenses and identification cards nationwide in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. As of Oct. 1, 2020, all Marylanders must have documents on file and be REAL ID compliant if they wish to use a state-issued driver’s license or identification card to board an airplane or enter federal government facilities.

Maryland began issuing REAL ID licenses and identification cards in 2009; at that time, Maryland was only required to collect documentation from new drivers, allowing those renewing or obtaining a duplicate or corrected driver’s license or identification card to obtain a REAL ID without additional documentation.

However, in October 2017, federal mandates required those with the newly designed driver’s license or identification card to still bring in additional documents to become REAL ID complaint. The documents can include: a birth certificate or passport, proof of Social Security and two documents proving a Maryland home address.

MVA has been working to directly contact drivers that have a new REAL ID license or identification card but still need to file the additional required documents, requesting these documents be submitted within six months. The timing of the notifications allows customers six months to submit documents and allows MVA to provide customers with the best possible service. These customers must come to a MDOT MVA branch with the required documents as soon as possible and are urged to make an appointment.

In order to accommodate the shift to REAL ID, the MVA has added more than 1,900 weekly appointment slots across the state, and now has more than 3,000 appointments available every day.

All Marylanders are encouraged to:

Check your REAL ID status to determine if documents are required for your particular product: www.mva.maryland.gov/realidlookup.

If documents are required, make an appointment by navigating through the document guide: www.mva.maryland.gov/odg.

If you need to obtain a birth certificate, go to your local health department or go online to health.maryland.gov/vsa/Pages/birth.aspx.

If you need to obtain a Social Security card, go to www.ssa.gov/ssnumber.

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