Maryland is extending the June deadlines for 43,000 drivers who have been told they need to visit the Motor Vehicle Administration and file documentation to ensure their licenses are Real ID compliant.
Those drivers now have until July 3 to file the required paperwork at their local MVA or risk having their license recalled, officials said.
The drivers represent more than half of the 80,000 Marylanders asked to present additional documentation by June, but have failed to respond despite multiple warnings since December, the state said. They faced deadlines of June 5, 12 or 18.
Maryland officials say those required to file documents received their licenses starting in 2016, when the MVA began issuing Real ID licenses and identification cards under a process approved by the federal government. In late 2017, the Department of Homeland Security notified the state that all drivers who had the new Real ID card would also need to have scanned copies of the documents that prove their identity and U.S. residency on file at the MVA.
MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer said last week that 1 million drivers with Real ID licenses — identified by a star in the upper-right corner — don’t have the necessary documentation on file. To avoid a crush at MVA offices, the state has given drivers deadlines, bringing them in in groups. The first group was due to file documents this month.
MVA officials say they are giving residents more time to comply before their licenses are placed on a recall list; being on the list means your license could be confiscated by a police officer if you are pulled over for any reason.
“They were notified by email to present the federally-mandated REAL ID documents no later than close of business on Wednesday, July 3,” MVA spokeswoman Kellie Boulware said Wednesday. “After this date, the license or ID card is subject to recall action and could be confiscated by law enforcement.”
In Maryland, the MVA website has a lookup tool that people can use to check whether their file is missing documents. It also provides a checklist of documents needed and facilitates making an appointment at the MVA.
The new license was designed to comply with the Real ID Act, a law that passed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to tighten security for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification. It aims to prevent identity fraud and sets minimum standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and IDs. Applicants are required to provide proof of identity and legal U.S. residency to obtain the new ID.