New Maryland Secure Driver's License and ID Card Frequently Asked Questions
Maryland last updated these products in 2003 and the old technology is vulnerable to counterfeiting and fraud. The new cards use the latest technology to safeguard your personal information and are some of the most secure cards in the country.
The new design incorporates cutting-edge security and other features, including: polycarbonate card, laser engraving, unique barcode, tactile text, rainbow printing and changeable laser image. Additionally, Veterans now have the opportunity to have the VETERAN designation appear on the front of a driver’s license or ID card so the holder’s status is immediately recognized.
Yes. To further safeguard your personal information, all licenses and ID cards are printed and mailed from a high-security MVA facility. Customers receive their new cards via U.S. mail. A similar process is used to deliver U.S. Passport, credit cards and other important documents. Remember, Maryland law requires that you make sure your correct address is on file at the MVA.
To update your address with the MVA, visit: www.mva.maryland.gov and type “address change” in the search box.
No. You will not receive your new card during your visit. All cards will be printed and mailed from a central MVA facility.
By mailing from a one location, we are able to limit access to card materials, equipment and personal information. This process also improves auditing and accountability.
Your new license or ID card will arrive within 4-7 business days. If the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) cannot deliver your card to the address you provided, it will not be forwarded and the card will be returned to the MVA. Please make sure you maintain an updated address with the MVA and wait at least two weeks after your transaction before contacting the MVA if you haven’t received your new card.
It’s important to plan ahead to ensure you give yourself enough time to receive your new product through the mail. However, the MVA offers the option to receive your driver’s license or ID card the next day through the USPS, which charges $18 for expedited delivery. Please note that you must be present and provide a signature when your expedited product is delivered by the USPS.
Yes. The MVA has been sending products to customers through the mail for the past decade. Today, 40 percent of all Maryland driver’s licenses and ID cards are mailed from a secure MVA facility.
Yes. More than 30 other states mail their driver’s licenses and ID cards.
When applying for a new driver’s license, learner’s permit, or ID card, you continue to visit your local MVA office. You bring required documents, take any tests required, have your photo taken and pay required fees at this office. At the end of your application process, you will keep your existing card (if you have one) and receive an interim document (receipt), which is valid for 30 days. You will receive your new card in the mail within 4-7 business days.
Yes. As always, we encourage you to “Skip the Trip” to the MVA and renew your driver’s license or ID card via web, kiosk and mail. If you choose any of these easy methods, there is no change to the current process. Please remember to keep your old card and receipt until your new secure card arrives in the mail within 4-7 business days.
An interim document is a temporary receipt issued to you to confirm your transaction. The interim document, along with your old driver’s license (if renewing), allows you to drive until your new license is received in the mail. The interim document is valid for 30 days.
We recommend that you keep your receipt and expired license with you until your new license arrives in the mail. However, once you go through the process of obtaining a new driver’s license, it is immediately available to law enforcement electronically – even before you receive it through the mail. Law enforcement has been made aware of this process.
No. You are not required to make any changes until you are due for a renewal.
Note: You can renew your driver’s license or ID card six months in advance of your expiration date.
Yes. The new cards conform to federal REAL ID security standards and can be used to board planes and enter federal facilities.
Note: Depending on the documents presented at the time you visit the MVA, some driver’s licenses and ID cards may be marked: “Not for Federal Identification” and cannot be used to board a plane or enter a federal facility.
Yes. TSA officials are aware of this new process and have assured MVA officials that they will accept a recently expired license and temporary receipt to board a plane.
Yes. You can obtain a new license for the standard $20 fee.
No. There is no fee increase for the new cards.
If you are renewing your driver’s license or ID card via mail, web or kiosk, the MVA will use your existing photo on file for your new card. Because the old photo was taken against a blue background, it will appear gray on the new license. If you must visit one of our branch offices to apply for the new license or ID card, the MVA will take your picture against a white background. Remember, you can only renew via mail, web or kiosk every other renewal period.