New laws that went into effect on July 1st are making it easier to obtain and renew certain products including driver’s licenses, learner’s permits and identification cards with the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA).
Introduced by MDOT MVA leadership and passed by the General Assembly, House Bill 730 updates existing MDOT MVA processes, ultimately reducing the number of required branch visits and providing customers more peace of mind about their products. The changes impact the following services:
Driver’s Licenses & Identification Cards
Under the new law, Marylanders are eligible to renew driver’s licenses up to 12 months before its expiration date, providing customers twice as much time as the previous six months to renew. Also, Marylanders were previously required to complete an in-person renewal every other renewal cycle – or every eight years – to have an updated photo taken. A provision of HB730 extends the requirement to come into a branch to take a new photo to once every 16 years. The bill also permits the issuance of a temporary ID card with an expiration date up to 90 days.
The new law also extends required vision certification from a licensed physician or optometrist from one to two years. This provision is still in line with the standard medical guidance of testing and improves customers’ eligibility to renew online without a branch visit.
In addition, HB730 repeals the requirement for a certified copy of a school attendance record to obtain a learner’s permit. This change allows MDOT MVA to work with the school system to streamline this process and continues MDOT MVA’s efforts to promote more electronic transmission, made possible by MDOT MVA’s Customer Connect IT modernization project.
“This new law is a direct result of feedback and suggestions from our staff during the pandemic, and I’m so proud of our employees for their commitment to providing premier customer service,” MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer said. “While the past year has been filled with unprecedented challenges, our team was able to identify processes that could be altered or simplified to enhance the services that we provide to Marylanders every day.”
Other laws going into effect July 1 that will impact the MDOT MVA include:
- HB 0559/SB 0429 – For-Hire Driving and Vehicles: Regarding requirements pertaining to for-hire drivers and information with the Maryland Public Service Commission.
- HB 0072/SB 0448 – County Boards of Education Student Transportation: Allows a county board of education to use certain vehicles to transport students and requires the State Department of Education to work with county boards of education and MDOT MVA to adopt minimum vehicle and driver safety standards.
- SB 0726 – Vehicle Laws – Personal Delivery Devices: Establishes standards and requirements for registration and operation of personal delivery devices in Maryland.
As the new laws go into effect, Marylanders are reminded of the Governor’s Executive Order issued on March 12, 2021, establishing deadlines for MDOT MVA products that expired during the State of Emergency:
- All driver’s licenses, both non-commercial and commercial (CDLs) – as well as learner’s permits and ID cards must be renewed by August 15, 2021.
- All other expired documents issued by MDOT MVA and extended during the State of Emergency, including vehicle registrations and handicap placards, officially expired June 30, 2021.
Customers should note that the State of Emergency announcement has no effect on the federal REAL ID deadline, which has been extended to May 3, 2023. For more information on obtaining your REAL ID, go to https://mva.maryland.gov/Pages/realid.aspx.