The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has been given limited authority to act as a statutory agent for non-resident drivers with regards to summons, subpoena or other process in certain motor vehicle accident or collision* cases.
Service of process is the procedure employed to give legal notice to a person (such as a defendant) of a court or administrative body’s exercise of its jurisdiction over a person to enable that person to respond to the proceeding before the court, body or other tribunal. The notice is furnished by delivering a set of court documents (process) to the person to be serviced. Maryland law allows the MVA as an additional option to serve defendants under certain circumstances.
The MVA is able to accept service of process as statutory agent on behalf of a non-resident driver as long as the qualifying criteria are met.
Do I have to serve the MVA as statutory agent if an out of state driver is involved?
You do not have to serve the MVA as statutory agent for Maryland laws provides for a number of different ways to serve defendants who are located out-of-state, such as through a local private process service. The new law simply provides an additional option that customers may use for service of process under certain circumstances.
Where can I request a service of process?
Customers can request a service of process from:
Investigative and Security Services
6601 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
1-410-768-7000 Customer Service Representative
1-301-729-4563 TTY hearing impaired
What are the qualifying criteria in order for the MVA to accept a service of process?
All three of the following criteria must be met before the MVA accepts the service of process.
- The case must involve a motor vehicle accident or collision* that occurred in MD.
- The individual on whose behalf the MVA is being asked to accept service of process must be a non-resident of MD driver.
- The motor vehicle accident or collision* must have occurred on or after October 1, 2008.
What forms are required to request a service of process?
The customer must complete Form #IS-117, Service of Process Upon MVA as Agent for Non-Resident Driver. The customer uses this document as a cover sheet for their court documents. The law also requires that an affidavit of the last known address of the non-resident driver is provided, dated, and signed.
Are there any fees for the service of process?
The fee for a service of process at the MVA is $61.00.
What happens after I serve the MVA?
The MVA will send the service of process to the out-of-state driver at the last known address, as certified by the party requesting the service. The MVA will also file an affidavit with the court where the case is filed certifying that the service of process has been sent.
What happens to the green postal receipt?
If the United State Postal Service (USPS) is able to deliver the service of process package, the MVA will forward the green postal receipt to the party, or the party’s attorney, who requested the statutory service on the MVA. If the USPS is unable to deliver the service of process package, the MVA will forward the undelivered process to the party or the party’s counsel upon receipt.
What happens if neither the green postal receipt nor the unserved process is returned to the MVA?
All certified mail has a bar code and tracking number that makes it unlikely for this type of mail to get lost in the postal system. If necessary, the MVA will initiate an investigation with the USPS and provide a detailed report.
Note: *term ‘accident or collision’ used here per MD Code, Courts and Judicial Proceedings, § 6-313