The MVA has a variety of ways for military service members, veterans, and their families to celebrate their service and show their pride.
I'm an Active U.S. Foreign Service Members or Their Dependent(s) with a Maryland Driver's License
Maryland driver's licenses remain in effect for active members of the U.S. Foreign Service and their dependents (who reside with the active service member outside of Maryland) while they are absent from Maryland.
HOW LONG AFTER I RETURN TO MARYLAND DO I HAVE TO RENEW MY DRIVER’S LICENSE?
You have 30 days after you return to Maryland or are separated from employment in the military or U.S. Foreign Service to visit an MVA office to renew your driver’s license.
DO I NEED TO KEEP MY MARYLAND DRIVER’S LICENSE WITH ME WHILE SERVING?
While employed with the U.S. Foreign Service, you and your dependents must keep your Maryland driver's license(s) (which have not been suspended, revoked, or canceled) and a verification of active service with you at all times.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR AN ABSENTEE MARYLAND DRIVER’S LICENSE?
Please request an absentee driver’s license application by calling 410-768-7442.
NOTE FOR CDL HOLDERS: ARE THERE MEDICAL REQUIREMENTS?
Military or U.S. Foreign Service members stationed outside of Maryland who hold a CDL, and any dependents residing with them who may also hold a CDL, are required to provide the MVA with a copy of their current valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate as needed. You can upload your certificate quickly and easily with myMVA Online Services here
. Otherwise, their driver’s license/privilege will be downgraded.
I Need to Renew an Expired Driver's License After Returning to Maryland
Upon returning to Maryland, active-duty service members and their dependents please call the MVA Call Center at 410-768-7000 to determine which documents you need in order to renew your driver’s license(s).
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
Because of federal document requirements, please call the MVA Call Center at 410-768-7000 to determine if documents are needed in order to renew your license.
WHAT IF MY DRIVER’S LICENSE HAS BEEN EXPIRED FOR OVER A YEAR?
If your Maryland driver's license has been expired for one (1) year or more, you must make an appointment at your local MVA branch with your expired Maryland driver's license and one (1) of the following:
Military order which indicates you are in active military service outside of Maryland; or,
- Your discharge or separation from active military service documents.
If you are unable to present the required acceptable military documentation, or if the 30-day return grace period has expired, the vision, knowledge and driving skills tests will be required to renew your driver’s license. You will be required to make an appointment
to complete your transaction at a full service MVA branch.
WHAT TEST WILL I BE REQUIRED TO RETAKE?
You must pass a vision screening. The driver’s license may be renewed without additional tests if the driver’s license is still valid or has been expired for less than one (1) year.
I'm a Military Service Member with an Out-of-State Driver’s License/ID Card and want a Maryland Driver's License/ID Card
Like Maryland, some states grant an extension of the driver’s license validity period to active-duty U.S. military personnel and/or their dependents.
The extension is for active duty U.S. military personnel and their dependents while they are stationed outside of their home licensing state.
HOW DO I OBTAIN A MARYLAND DRIVER’S LICENSE OR ID CARD WHEN MOVING TO MARYLAND?
View the requirements below. You can click here
to start the process online and get step-by-step instructions with myMVA Online Services.
- The driver’s license cannot be suspended or revoked. If the out-of-state driver’s license has been expired for one (1) year or more and the state grants a military extension, you will be required to provide:
- Acceptable proof of your current active-duty status or military dependent status (i.e. military photo ID card), OR
- Recent discharge records (each state grants a certain amount of days after discharge, and depending on your state’s extension, the testing requirements can be waived); and
- Proof of age, identity and residency, use our online document guide to determine what you will need to bring with you.
- Pass a vision screening
- Pay the required fees.
If licensed for less than 18 months, you will be issued a Maryland provisional driver’s license. (Out-of-state learner's permits cannot be exchanged for a Maryland learner's permit or driver’s license.)
Note on Armed Forces Licenses
U.S. Armed Forces Military operators permits or licenses are not recognized as proof of having a current driver’s license, so you cannot exchange an armed forces license for a Maryland license. Armed force’s licenses must be accompanied by a U.S. state or a foreign country driver’s license.
If applicants are unable to provide acceptable proof of ever holding a license from another state or country, they must be processed as a new driver and must complete all of the Maryland Graduated Licensing System
The Maryland MVA assists veterans in their transition from their military occupation (driving commercial vehicles) to a civilian career. Click here
for more information.
HOW DO I OBTAIN A MARYLAND DRIVER’S LICENSE OR ID CARD WHEN MY OUT-OF-STATE DRIVER’S LICENSE IS EXPIRED?
There is no automatic extension for active-duty military.
- You should contact the state in which your last driver’s license was issued to find out if a military extension is granted before visiting the MVA.
- Tests may be waived for active-duty military and their dependents if the issuing state grants military extensions.
- Maryland will then review the procedures of the state in which the driver’s license was issued before determining whether the transfer can be done without testing.
NOTE FOR CDL HOLDERS: WHAT DO I NEED TO OBTAIN A COMMERCIAL MARYLAND DRIVER’S LICENSE?
- A valid Medical Certification and waiver/exemption (if required) if applying for a commercial driver's license (CDL).
- A hazardous material (HAZMAT) knowledge test is required to obtain your HAZMAT endorsement if applying for a commercial driver's license. A new hazardous materials endorsement background record check must also be completed in Maryland to transfer or keep your HAZMAT endorsement.
I'm an Active-Duty Military Service Member Serving Outside of Maryland and Need an Out-of-Area/Military Waiver
The MVA can assist in delaying your emissions inspection or accepting a vehicle emissions inspection test result from another state.
To determine if the state you will be in is one of those states, check here
If you are not in one of these states, complete the relevant sections of a VEIP Certified Statement
and send to the MVA with a copy of your military orders. To be eligible for a military waiver, at least one owner listed on the registration is an active-duty member with military orders for deployment outside the United States or an assigned duty station in a jurisdiction that is not subject to vehicle emissions controls and inspection program.
You can request an emissions inspection waiver online with myMVA. Click
to get started.
For more information on the vehicle emissions inspection program, click