Maryland drivers warned of license recall, confiscation risk

More than 66,000 Maryland drivers could have their licenses confiscated if they don’t quickly provide documentation to make them compliant with the federally-mandated REAL ID process.

According to Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration, 66,300 are in possession of the newly-designed license, which include a REAL ID star near the upper-right corner, but haven’t brought required documents to the MVA by June to complete the process.

“Without those documents, MDOT MVA will start flagging the affected driver’s licenses and identification cards in June as ‘recalled,'” according to the agency in a Thursday release.

“The recall of the driver’s license will make the physical card invalid,” according to the MVA. “Customers would still be licensed drivers, but if pulled over by law enforcement, they would have their driver’s licenses confiscated.”

According to the agency, affected drivers have received three notices by email since December that warn of the June 2019 deadline. They will receive three additional notices in the coming weeks by email and U.S. mail.

Maryland driver’s license holders can go to the agency’s REAL ID Look Up Tool, in which they would enter their driver’s license or ID card number and be advised of their REAL ID status.

The documents to be presented can include: a birth certificate or passport, proof of Social Security and two documents proving a Maryland address.

There is no cost, since drivers in possession of the REAL ID licenses have already paid for it.

Appointments aren’t required, but those who make them are guaranteed to be seen within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, according to the MVA.

Maryland began issuing REAL ID licenses in 2009, under a process the U.S. Department of Homeland Security deemed compliant. However, in October 2017, DHS informed Maryland all customers with the REAL ID star must have documents on file with MVA.

Once they bring in their required documents, compliance will be noted in the agency’s computers, making the state REAL ID compliant to use a state-issued driver’s license to board an airplane or enter federal government facilities.

Editor’s note: The original REAL ID Look Up Tool link provided by MVA was not a secure link. This story has been updated to include a secure link. 

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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