New Maryland driver's license requirements creating frustration amongst residents

    Maryland Department of Transportation<p>{/p}

    The state of Maryland's new driver's license requirements demanded by federal law are not only creating longer lines at Maryland Motor Vehicle offices but also frustration for many residents who are having their identification documents rejected to get a Maryland REAL ID.

    According to the Maryland Reporter, 60 percent of the state's almost three million licensed drivers will have to submit new documentation to prove age, identity and residence by Oct. 2020, or they will be denied access to federal facilities and to boarding commercial aircraft.

    For older citizens who are having their original birth certificates rejected along with women (regardless of age) who have had their last names changed by either marriage or divorce, many are finding the process extremely difficult to obtain the state's new REAL ID before Oct. 2020.

    After Oct. 2020, Maryland residents without a compliant REAL ID from a state or a federal ID, such as a passport, will not be able to get through airport security to get on a flight.

    The four documents needed for the Maryland REAL ID:

    • Proof of age and identity (either a birth certificate or passport)
    • Social security card
    • Driver's license
    • Proof of Maryland residency (such as a utility bill or bank statement)

    Maryland residents who currently have a driver's license with the small star in the upper right hand corner will still need to submit the same documentation to the MVA in order to get the REAL ID. However, residents are finding the process to be extremely difficult due to the rejection of one or many of the four documents that are to be provided.


    The most common problem Maryland residents are facing with the REAL ID renewal due are the rejection of original birth certificates, including those issued by hospitals. In a letter to the Calvert Recorder and Del. Mark Fisher featured in the Maryland Reporter, Chesapeake Beach resident Patricia Dennis wrote about her experience in the Prince Frederick office:

    The lady behind the desk stated that the MVA wouldn’t accept my birth certificate because they don’t accept the old ones issued by the state of Maryland. Mine was issued in 1955. She instructed me to go the health department and have them print off another copy of the birth certificate and bring it back. I did that– it cost me $20 to get a copy of a document that I already had.

    Dennis mentioned in the Maryland Reporter that she used her original birth certificate that she provided for many purposes, including getting her first driver's license within the state.

    I sat in there for hours and watched elderly person after elderly person be turned away from renewing their licenses for the very same reason: The MVA wouldn’t accept their original birth certificates. I saw this as a form of discrimination. We seniors have no control over the type of birth certificate that was issued, legally, by the state of Maryland, or anywhere else, when we were born. How much money is the state sucking away from its senior citizens by forcing them to pay $20 apiece to get a copy of a document they already have?


    Maryland MVA authorities suggest to residents to visit their website to set up an appointment for renewing licenses and ID cards. Customers are guaranteed to be served within 15 minutes of their appointment time.

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