Maryland Begins Issuing New Super-Secure Driver's Licenses June 20th

June 17, 2016

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA)  will start issuing  the new secure driver’s license and identification (ID) card on Monday, June 20, 2016, for all learner’s permits and new ID cards, and for licenses/ID cards renewed via web, kiosk and U.S. mail.  These are all products currently printed and mailed to customers from a high-security MVA facility. 


The new cards feature multiple layers of security to help prevent identity theft and fraud and will arrive in the mail within 7 to 10 business days.  If a customer’s current license or ID is valid and not up for renewal, there is nothing they need to do until it’s time to renew.


“The Maryland driver’s license and ID card is crucial for residents, businesses and law enforcement, and we must do everything in our power to ensure these documents cannot be counterfeited by criminals,” said Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.  “Marylanders can be confident that we are providing them with the most secure license and ID in the nation, with cutting-edge security features that will safeguard their personal information.”


Security features include:


  • Polycarbonate card body -- more durable and tamper-resistant;

  • Laser engraving -- maximum protection against forgery;

  • Changeable laser image -- allows two or more images to occupy the same area;

  • Tactile text -- raised print making it difficult to tamper; and

  • Inventory control number -- a unique number and barcode to verify that the card was issued to the cardholder.


The new cards meet all state and federal standards and, just like the current cards issued by the MVA, are REAL ID compliant.  Additionally, Veterans can now have the VETERAN designation appear on the front of their license or ID card.  This is long overdue recognition for the dedicated men and women who bravely serve, and have served, the nation.


“We have engaged in an extensive public outreach campaign to ensure customers, law enforcement, veterans and businesses are aware of the new secure cards and secure printing and mailing process,” said MVA Administrator Christine E. Nizer.  “Printing and mailing cards from a central location enhances security by limiting access to card materials, equipment and personal information.”


Starting July 11, 2016, everyone applying for a new driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID card will receive the new, more secure card through the U.S. mail in 7 to 10 business days.  Customers applying for the new driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID card after July 11 will still visit an MVA office and go through the following steps:


•       Bring any required documents;
•       Take any required tests;
•       Have photo taken; and
•       Pay at this office.


At the end of the application process, customers will keep their existing card (if they have one) and receive an interim document (receipt), which is valid for 30 days.  The updated information is automatically available to law enforcement and customers can continue to drive with these two documents in their possession.  Customers will then receive their new card in the mail within 7-10 business days.  Customers also are encouraged to Skip the Trip and renew their driver’s license or ID card via web, kiosk and mail.  If any of these easy methods are selected, there is no change to the current process.


Because customers will receive their new secure card in the mail, officials strongly encourage Marylanders to ensure their correct address is on file at the MVA, which is consistent with Maryland law.  The U.S. Postal Service does not forward MVA mail.  Customers who need to update their address, should visit and type “address change” in the search box. 


The MVA also offers the option to receive cards the next day through the U.S. Postal Service.


The new cards proudly feature iconic Maryland symbols, including the Chesapeake blue crab, Oriole bird and the State House.  Maryland’s driver’s license was last updated in 2003, and the old technology is vulnerable to counterfeiting and fraud. 


To learn more about the new driver’s licenses and ID cards, visit the MVA website at



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