60,000+ MD driver's licenses at risk of being taken

Documentation required for new REAL ID licenses
Posted at 1:32 AM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 15:21:09-04

May Maryland residents are scrambling to get their papers in order to make sure they don't have issues when handing over their IDs to police or other authorities.

They are waiting to prove who they really are, and Dan Conkling says the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration scanned his documents in a matter of minutes.

"This went fantastic,” said Conkling, “I'm in and out of here in less than 22 minutes today, and for MVA, I think that's fantastic."

But this is Conkling's second trip to get a new license in the last three years.

He's one of a million Maryland motorists who got the new real ID star license when they were first offered starting in 2016, but now the feds have mandated that drivers produce multiple forms of identification, which can be scanned into the system.

"We started those notices in December,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, “We told them they need to come in by June. There's still about 66,000 of those individuals who have not responded to our notice."

And that's just the first wave.

Each month, through March of next year, the MVA will be emailing people who obtained the licenses, which now need documentation like passports, social security cards and other identification to support the driver's identity, or else.

"So if you don't come in, then we well send you a notice and let you know that, unfortunately, we'll have to recall your driver’s license,” said Nizer, “Now, your privilege to drive is still good – your driving record is good, you haven't gotten infractions – but the physical license will no longer be valid. So if you happen to get pulled over by law enforcement, they would take that license from you."

It's a risk few drivers want to take, even if it means a second trip to get their new driver’s license.

"I'm already prepared to spend hours if I have to,” said Samantha Purcell of Glen Burnie, “(I've got) a backup bottle for the kid and everything"

If you go online to set up an appointment, the MVA has pledged to see you within 15 minutes of your arrival to scan your documents.

You can check your Real ID status by clicking here.