With the October 1, 2020, deadline to get federally-required REAL ID driver’s licenses or ID cards, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) has added more than 2,700 extra appointments a week. MDOT MVA has permanently added more than 1,900 appointments to its weekly schedule to address the needs of customers statewide. In addition, on March 6, eight branches that handle a high volume of driver’s license transactions added more than 800 appointments during extended hours on Tuesdays and Saturdays through May 4. Customers with appointments are guaranteed to be seen within 15 minutes of their scheduled time.
“MDOT MVA is committed to providing premier customer service to the citizens of Maryland,” said Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “During high-volume periods, an appointment is a great way to ensure that you can complete your transaction quickly. We understand how valuable our customers’ time is and our goal is to make your visit to MDOT MVA as simple as possible.”
Statewide, 1,915 appointments a week have been permanently added during extended hours on Thursdays when branches are open until 6:30 p.m. and during traditional hours Monday through Friday.
At the eight high-volume branches – Annapolis, Bel Air, Columbia, Glen Burnie, Largo, Parkville, Waldorf and Walnut Hill – 806 appointments a week have been added through May 4. These extra appointments are during extended hours on Tuesdays, when the branches will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and extended hours on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
MDOT MVA has a 98 percent customer satisfaction rate for the professionalism, friendliness and helpfulness of employees. The agency is in the process of hiring up to 100 additional staff to ensure these high standards remain in place.
To make a REAL ID visit to MDOT MVA simple, customers are encouraged to visit the REAL ID webpage at www.mva.maryland.gov/realid. In addition to a guide that allows customers to go through a checklist of common documents acceptable for REAL ID, the website contains a toolkit with videos, sample communication and more to help prepare family, friends, employees, constituents, students and many other groups for the October 1, 2020, REAL ID deadline. The website also walks people through making an online appointment. In another customer service effort, MDOT MVA recently began calling customers to remind them of their appointments and ensure they are well prepared for a REAL ID visit.
MDOT MVA is committed to communicating about REAL ID to all Marylanders. As part of this outreach effort, MDOT MVA is partnering with BWI Marshall Airport to advertise REAL ID at information kiosks, flight departure boards, baggage claim areas and more.
The federal REAL ID Act, created post 9/11, creates a security standard for driver’s licenses and identification cards nationwide. The federal REAL ID Act requires Maryland residents to bring in documentation of age and identity, social security, and two documents proving a Maryland residential address to meet federal security standards for state-issued licenses and identification cards. Effective October 1, 2020, Marylanders must have all official documents on file and be REAL ID compliant in order to use a state-issued driver’s license or identification card to board an airplane or visit federal government facilities.