News Release, Motor Vehicle Administration
Glen Burnie, Md. (February 27, 2020) – It’s not every day a trip to get a new driver’s license results in photos and fanfare, but that was the case for 24 lucky customers who came to a Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) branch to get REAL ID ready.
On Wednesday, February 26, MDOT MVA celebrated its three millionth REAL ID transaction. To date, more than 64 percent of Maryland drivers and identification cardholders have become compliant with federal REAL ID requirements ahead of the October 1, 2020, deadline. Maryland’s compliance rate is nearly double the 34 percent national average reported last month by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
“Reaching this milestone is truly a testament to Maryland residents and their responsiveness, so we wanted to celebrate them in a special way,” MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer said. “When faced with the federal mandate, our team came together to find new and creative ways to deliver premier customer service, from extending hours at several locations to provide more than 28,000 appointments a week. I am thankful for all involved in this effort.”
In honor of the three million transactions milestone, each of the 24 full-service MDOT MVA branch offices on Wednesday surprised the third customer coming in for a REAL ID appointment. After completing their transactions, these patrons were presented with a “REAL ID READY” commemorative license plate, a photo frame and celebratory items including balloons and party favors.
“Our employees really understand the value of going the extra mile, which has helped us maintain a 98 percent customer satisfaction rating,” said Administrator Nizer. “We know we still have more REAL ID customers to serve, so we look forward to continuing to provide a positive, professional experience as we work toward 4 million compliant Maryland residents.”
The federal REAL ID Act was passed by Congress after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In August 2019, MDOT MVA was the first in the nation to have its REAL ID process recertified by DHS, affirming Maryland’s compliance with the federal requirements. By October 1, all Marylanders must have documents on file and a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card in order to board commercial aircraft or gain access to federal facilities.
Marylanders are encouraged to visit MVA.Maryland.gov and use the REAL ID Look-Up Tool to learn their REAL ID status and make an appointment online, which comes with a guarantee of being seen in 15 minutes or less of the appointment time. Over the past year, MDOT MVA has extended hours at many branch offices to make additional appointments available to customers.
For more information on REAL ID resources and other MDOT MVA services available online, visit our website mva.maryland.gov.