“Our military members have dedicated so much to the state and nation, and we’re honored to be able to show our appreciation with the many services and programs we offer,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “We’re always searching for new ways to expand MDOT MVA services and eliminate any unnecessary obstacles our military members and veterans may face when conducting agency business.”
MDOT MVA is also reminding military members of new services and laws implemented this year that directly benefit veterans and active duty members. In October, MDOT MVA partnered with the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) to open a Veteran Service Office in the Bel Air branch. This marks the third office from this partnership that began in October of last year with the opening of a Veteran Service Office in the Glen Burnie branch. The second office opened in the Salisbury branch in March. The offices have a fulltime veteran’s benefits specialist available to assist veterans and families applying for U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits.
Two new Maryland laws also impact veterans and military families. House Bill 646 took effect July 1 and allocates $10 from the sale of certain license plates to the Maryland Veterans Trust Fund, a non-emergency, temporary financial assistance program administered by the Maryland Veteran’s Administration. Eligible plates include those recognizing individually earned combat-related armed services medals, honorably discharged veterans and recipients of U.S. Department of Defense Gold Star status, which is awarded to a surviving spouse, parent or next of kin of a United States armed forces member who lost his or her life in combat.
House Bill 133 went into effect October 1 and exempts active military personnel from VEIP requirements for vehicles owned by at least one active-duty member of the military who is deployed outside of the United States or in a state not subject to a vehicle emissions inspection. MDOT MVA leadership proposed the bill after meeting the mother of a soldier who was stationed out of state and was unable to complete the emissions inspection on his vehicle, which was registered in Maryland.
MDOT MVA also has several ways for veterans to show their pride. Driver’s license and identification card holders can add a “Veteran” designation to their card, which indicates they are eligible for state veteran benefits. MDOT MVA also issues permanent vehicle registration cards and license plate stickers to Maryland veterans who qualify as 100% disabled.
With the launch of the Customer Connect IT system modernization project in July, veterans who qualify as permanently disabled receive free registration with any plate type, including the more than 100 types of specialty license plates honoring veterans and their families. For more information, visit mva.maryland.gov/drivers/apply/military.htm.
To honor Maryland’s veterans, on November 12 the agency will issue commemorative notepads to show its appreciation to active and retired service members. Commemorative notepads will be available while supplies last.
MDOT MVA self-service VEIP kiosks, online services, and 24-hour kiosks will be available throughout the Veterans Day closure. Customers are encouraged to check the MDOT MVA eStore – during the closure and during normal operating hours – to take advantage of many services available from the comfort and safety of home.
When offices and VEIP stations reopen November 12, COVID-19 safety measures, including plexiglass dividers, social distancing markers and limited seating, will remain in place at MDOT MVA branches and VEIP station lobbies. Customers and employees are required to wear a face covering, maintain 6 feet of distance and participate in a brief health screening and temperature scan to enter the building.
Marylanders are reminded that driver’s and business licenses, identification cards, permits and registrations that expired after March 12, 2020, or are eligible for renewal during the COVID-19 state of emergency, are extended until further notice.
For more information about MDOT MVA’s response to COVID-19 and additional resources, visit our website MVA.Maryland.gov.