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Md. license change comes amid federal crackdown

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Posted at 12:08 PM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-09 12:08:30-04

Maryland is updating its driver’s licenses for the first time in 13 years, saying the new IDs will protect against identity theft and counterfeiting.

Maryland Vehicle Administration officials say the old technology is vulnerable to fraud.

The change comes as federal officials say they’ll start enforcing a law requiring states to comply with federal standards for driver’s licenses, in an effort to heighten airport security, the New York Times reported last December.

See the new license tonight on ABC2 News at 5.

The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 following the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.

Maryland is one of 24 states in compliance with the law, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Travelers with IDs from states not in compliance may run into some trouble at the airport starting in two years.

Effective Jan. 22, 2018, if you have a driver’s license or ID card issued by a state that doesn’t meet REAL ID requirements, unless the state has been granted an extension, you’ll need to present an alternative form of ID that the Transportation Security Administration accepts.

And beginning Oct. 1, 2020, every air traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, or another acceptable form of ID, for domestic air travel, the Department of Homeland Security says.

Buel Young, a spokesman with the MVA, said Maryland’s license was last updated in 2003, when the agency changed its card stock and also when the MVA implemented a “one-stop shop” for issuing licenses.

Before that, the licenses were updated in 1993, for security reasons, Young said. 

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