Military and Veterans

​​

Table of Contents

  1. Adding the Veteran Status to Your Driver’s License or Identification Card
  2. Active U.S. Foreign Service Members and Their Dependents Currently Holding a Maryland Driver's License
  3. Renewing an Expired Driver’s License if you have Returned to Maryland
  4. Military Personnel Possessing an Out-of-State Driver’s License Who Wish to Obtain a Maryland Driver's License or Photo Identification Card
  5. Obtaining a CDL Test Waiver for Veterans
 

1) Adding The Veterans Status To Your Driver's License Or ID Card

The MDOT MVA now offers a veteran designation on a driver’s license or identification (ID) card for qualifying veterans.  The designation indicates that you are eligible for state veteran benefits.   

 Sample of what a Maryland Veteran license looks like, it has the word - Veteran - in the lower left corner

AM I ELIGIBLE TO ADD THE VETERAN DESIGNATION?

You are eligible if your veteran status is anything other than dishonorable. 
 

HOW MUCH DOES ADDING/REMOVING THE DESIGNATION COST?

There is no cost to you if:
  • Add the veteran designation at any time without making any other changes
  • Already have the veteran designation on the back of your driver’s license or ID but want the new secure driver’s license or ID with the word Veteran on the front
If you are renewing your driver’s license or ID or you wish to make any corrections (ex: name, address, etc.), standard fees apply.
 

WHERE CAN I ADD OR REMOVE THE VETERAN DESIGNATION?

You may add or remove the veteran designation by visiting any MDOT MVA branch.
 

WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO BRING WITH ME?

Please provide an original or certified copy of one (1) of the following:
  • Veteran’s Medical CardDD214 Military Discharge Certificate
    • For post October 1979 DD214 documents, Maryland Veterans can call 410-230-4444, extension 6450
  • Honorable Discharge Certificate
  • Letter from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri
  • Letter from the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Service Program
  • Letter from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
  • United States Uniformed Services Retiree Identification Card (DD Form 2)
  • MDOT MVA has also increased the list of acceptable documents to include the Veteran Health Identification Card
  • MDOT MVA has expanded sources of proof for veteran status for those retiring from military service prior to 1950. Previously, military veterans were turned away if they did not provide a DD214, separation of service form. However, through consultation and collaboration with the  Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs, MDOT MVA now accepts other forms of proof that can be used in place of the DD214 form. The following forms are now accepted:
    • WD AGO 53
    • WD AGO 55
    • WD AGO 53-55
    • NAVPERS 553
    • NAVMC 78PD
    • NAVCG 553
 

WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE ONE OF THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS?

Please contact the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain documentation verifying your status as a veteran. You may call 1-800-446-4926 or click here to visit their website. 
 

2) Active U.S. Foreign Service Members and Their Dependents Currently Holding 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 MDOT 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 MDOT MVA with a copy of their current valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate as needed. Otherwise, their driver’s license/privilege will be downgraded. 
 

3) Renewing An Expired Driver's License If You Have Returned To Maryland

Upon returning to Maryland, active duty service members and their dependents please call the MDOT MDOT MVA Call Center 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 MDOT 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 visit your local MDOT MDOT MVA branch with your expired Maryland driver's license and one (1) of the following:
  • Military order which indicate 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 complete your transaction at a full service MDOT MDOT 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.
 

4) Military Personnel Possessing an Out-of-State Driver’s License Who Wish to Obtain a Maryland Driver's License or Photo Identification 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. 
 

HOW DO I OBTAIN A MARYLAND DRIVER’S LICENSE OR ID CARD WHEN MOVING TO MARYLAND?

Please refer to sources of proof  for required identity and residency documentation and instructions,
  • You must pass a vision screening, if you are applying for a Maryland driver's license.
  • The driver’s license cannot be suspended or revoked.
  • 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.

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 MDOT 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:
HOW DO I 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.

5) Obtaining A CDL Skills Test Waiver For Veterans

To assist veterans and active duty personnel who are transitioning to a civilian career, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) adopted regulations that expedite the licensing process for a commercial driver’s license (CDL). 
 

AM I ELIGIBLE FOR A NEW CDL TEST WAIVER?

If you have been discharged within the previous 12 months or are currently on active duty and wish to obtain a CDL for classes A or B, you may qualify for the waiver.  
Applicants must:   
  • have a good driving record,
  • have a valid Maryland class C (non-provisional) noncommercial driver’s license or higher,
  • have 2 years of driving experience operating a military motor vehicle as part of your job function. The vehicle must represent the commercial motor vehicle that the individual expects to operate, 
  • the Commanding Officer certifies the service member’s years of operating the military vehicle as well as the type of vehicle operated,
  • must pass the required CDL vision and knowledge tests, 
  • must provide the MDOT MVA with a valid U.S. Department of Transportation Physical Card or an exemption/waiver if required.
  • The driver must also declare a self-certification category​ relating to their type of commerce.  
​​​​​