June 12, 2024
Annapolis, US 76 F

REAL ID is REALLY Coming This Time! Are You Ready?

In less than a year, anyone planning to board a commercial flight or enter a federal facility will be required to have a REAL ID compliant identification credential. The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) wants to ensure that no Marylander is left behind by encouraging customers to sign up for a myMVA account now to check their REAL ID status.

“Maryland is heading into the implementation of REAL ID in a really great spot, and has already converted more than 4.7 million credentials, giving our state one of the top REAL ID compliance rates in the country at 95%,” said Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “We’ve made it easy for customers to assess whether they are compliant or not through their myMVA account. By setting up a myMVA account, Marylanders can see their REAL ID status, as well as other relevant driver and vehicle information.”

As of May 7, 2025, all Marylanders 18 years of age and older must have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or identification card to board an airplane or enter a federal facility. Obtaining a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card requires that customers have one proof of age and identity, one proof of Social Security, and two proofs of Maryland residency on file with the MVA. Customers are reminded that due to the REAL ID Modernization Act, passed in 2020, existing MVA customers are no longer required to provide a physical copy of their Social Security card.  

In addition to learning their REAL ID status, myMVA gives customers access to their driver’s license information, vehicle registration status, copies of any correspondence the MVA has sent to them, vehicle emissions inspection program deadlines and more. It also alerts customers if the transaction they are attempting to complete can be done online. Customers can also check their REAL ID status by entering a driver’s license or ID card number into the REAL ID Lookup Tool here.

Customers may renew their driver’s licenses up to 12 months before the expiration date. This gives customers the opportunity to renew their license before the deadline – and thus obtain their REAL ID without an additional fee. Customers can schedule an appointment for renewal or to present documents through their myMVA account. The MVA has appointments available at branches statewide within one to three days, and often on the same day.  More than 83% of customers visiting an MVA branch office complete their transaction within 10 minutes.

In addition, Maryland-born customers can request a certified copy of their U.S. Birth Certificate and have it printed onsite at the following branch offices: Annapolis, Baltimore City, Essex, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Largo and Salisbury. This fulfills the proof of age and identity requirement. To date, more than 4,400 customers have taken advantage of this added service.

The federal REAL ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 as a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission.  In December 2022, the Department of Homeland Security extended the REAL ID compliance deadline to May 7, 2025, due to impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Once in effect, individuals will be required to have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or identification card to board a commercial aircraft or gain access to federal facilities.

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