Is Maryland Real ID compliant? If so, when do I need to get a new driver's license?


Yes, Maryland is issuing Real IDs. You can go get one right now, and you will need one to travel through TSA (without other forms of identification) or federal buildings, starting October 1, 2020.


U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Maryland Department of Transportation MVA


A viewer reached out to us asking whether Maryland is going to be Real ID compliant, and if so, when do Marylanders have to get the license?

To get our answer, our Verify researchers turned to Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

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They confirmed Maryland is Real ID compliant, meaning they are processing new IDs and you can get one....yesterday.

By October 1, 2020, Marylanders need to upgrade their driver's license to go through TSA, enter a federal building or nuclear power plant. 

If you don't upgrade before then, you'll have to bring your passport to the airport as an extra form of ID.

But take a look, you might already have a Real ID without knowing it: check for a "D-L" and a star on the right-hand corner of your card. That indicates it's a Real ID and you're good to go. 

MVA still recommends, even if you have the "D-L" and star to go to Real ID Lookup page, to make sure you're covered.

If you don't have one, you'll have to physically go to the MVA with four documents: proof of age and identity (i.e. a passport), proof of social security (i.e. social security card or W-2 form), and two proofs of residential address.

Compliant Real ID states and territories
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security

So, we can Verify, Maryland is already Real ID compliant, along with 39 other states and 2 territories.

What about Virginia and D.C.?  According to Homeland Security, both already are Real ID compliant. 

In Virginia you have the option to opt in, or not, before the deadline hits.

"Virginians now have the option to upgrade to a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or identification card, or stick with DMV’s standard credential," Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles writes on their website. "The credential is completely optional. If you won’t need it, you don’t need to get it."