ANNAPOLIS, Md. — More than 40,000 Maryland drivers whose licenses are not Real ID compliant have received a month’s extension to show their documents to the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration.
If those 43,000 residents who already received notices in the mail don’t present paperwork by July 3 that proves their age and identity, Social Security eligibility and address, they risk having their driver’s licenses declared invalid, state officials said.
The federal Department of Homeland Security will require Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses for air travel and entry into secure federal facilities such as military bases beginning Oct. 1, 2020, based on a law passed in 2005.
After the deadline, people in states without Real ID in place yet or those without compliant driver’s licenses will be able to use passports, passport cards or Global Entry cards for domestic air travel. As of Thursday, Homeland Security officials listed five states — not including the District, Maryland, Virginia or West Virginia — as receiving extensions to put the rules in place; none were totally out of compliance.
But the problem for Maryland drivers who haven’t met documentation standards for Real ID is that a police officer will confiscate the revoked licenses if they’re stopped for a traffic violation, state officials said. This is happening because these driver’s licenses have a star in the upper-right corner, the designation for a Real ID license, Administrator Chrissy Nizer of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration told The Washington Post.
One million Maryland drivers with Real ID licenses don’t have the necessary documentation on file, she said. To avoid a crush at Motor Vehicle Administration offices, the state has given drivers deadlines, bringing them in groups.
The first group was supposed to file documents this month. Those drivers are the ones who received the extension to bring in their paperwork.
► MARCH 21: VERIFY: Do I need to upgrade to Real ID in DC, Md., Va.?
► APRIL 2014: What you need to know about REAL ID
Virginia is offering Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses as an option but hasn’t run into the same snafu of issuing licenses that appear compliant but aren’t. West Virginia also has two classes of licenses: one for federal identification and one not.
If you have a driver’s license in the District of Columbia, it’s already Real ID compliant, according to the D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles.
Maryland drivers can check a state website to see whether their license, even if it has a star in the corner, complies with Real ID standards; about 2.4 million residents are OK. If yours is not, the state’s online document guide can guide you in gathering the necessary information and making an appointment to show the materials in person.
If a police officer takes your license, you’ll have to go to a Motor Vehicle Administration office with the proper documents to get it back.
The list of documents legally acceptable is long.
If you already have an unexpired U.S. passport, that goes a long way. But you still must establish that your Social Security number is legal; that you live where you say you do via utility bills with your current address; and if your name is different on some of your documents, marriage licenses, divorce decrees or court orders showing the name change.