New Maryland Secure Driver's License and ID Card Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Maryland producing new driver’s licenses, learner’s permits and identification (ID) cards?


​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.​

What are some of the features of the new card?


​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.​

Does this change the way I receive my license?


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.​

How can I update my address with the MVA?


To update your address with the MVA, visit: and type “address change” in the search box.​

Will I receive my new driver’s license or ID card over the counter at an MVA office?


No. You will not receive your new card during your visit. All cards will be printed and mailed from a central MVA facility.​

Why is this process more secure?


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.​

How long does it take to receive my new license or ID card through the mail?


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.​

What if I’m in a rush and need my license or ID card quickly?


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. ​

Has the MVA issued products through the mail before?


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.​

Do other states have a similar process?


Yes. More than 30 other states mail their driver’s licenses and ID cards.​

Does this change the way I apply for my driver’s license, learner’s permit, or identification card?


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.​

Can I still renew my driver’s license or ID card via web, kiosk and mail?


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.​

What is an interim document (receipt)?


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.​

What if I forget my receipt while I’m driving, get pulled over by law enforcement, and all I have is my expired license because I have not yet receive my new one through the mail?


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.​

My current driver’s license is valid for a few more months/years. Do I need to do anything now?


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.

I heard that some state licenses and ID cards do not meet federal requirements and citizens carrying these products cannot board a plane or enter a federal building. Does Maryland’s new license and ID cards meet federal requirements?


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.

If I have not yet received my new license/ID card, will the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) accept my expired license and temporary receipt if I have to board a plane?


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.​

I renewed my driver’s license right before the new secure version was introduced. Can I get the new license before my existing one expires?


Yes. You can obtain a new license for the standard $20 fee.​

Will I have to pay more for my license or ID card?


No. There is no fee increase for the new cards.​

I renewed my license online and received my new driver’s license. Why does my picture background look gray and some of the other picture backgrounds look white?


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.​