WASHINGTON — QUESTION:

Can you skip renewing a valid license if the M-V-A hasn’t notified you about REAL ID?

ANSWER:

Just because you haven't heard about your REAL ID status yet, doesn't mean you're in the clear. Follow up with MVA and check your license to see if it’s REAL ID compliant.

SOURCES:

Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration.

PROCESS:

By now, you probably know that you’ll need a REAL ID license by October of next year.

A Maryland viewer says her driver's license expires in December 2023, after the deadline, but she hasn’t received any notices asking her to bring in her paperwork to the Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration.

She wants us to verify: Can you skip renewing a valid license if the MVA hasn’t notified you about REAL ID?

So, the Verify team reached out to the Maryland Department of Transportation.

If you have a white license with a blue crab on it, that’s not the REAL ID license.

Example of Maryland's blue crab license
MDOT MVA

RELATED: Could your Maryland driver's license be recalled?

Now you can hang onto it until it expires, but keep in mind starting in October 2020, you’ll need to provide additional documents, like a passport, to get into federal buildings or get on a plane if you don’t have a REAL ID license. 

If you have a license with the black star in the upper right corner, that’s a Maryland’s REAL ID. But you may still need to have required documents filed with the MVA.

Maryland Real ID driver's license
MDOT MVA

MVA said some motorist with white blue crab drivers’ licenses have necessary REAL ID documents already on file. They can find that using the look up tool  feature on the MVA’s website, entering your license number to see the status.

In those cases, drivers can renew their license online before it expires.

An MVA spokesperson told Verify researchers the agency will reach out by e-mail or snail mail to ALL Maryland drivers about their REAL ID status with an enrollment date during their regular renewal cycle.

So, we can verify false, just because you haven't heard about your REAL ID status yet, that doesn't mean you're in the clear. Follow up with MVA and check your license to see if it’s REAL ID compliant.

Click here to find out what your Maryland Real ID status is. 

RELATED: As Real ID deadline approaches, Maryland delegate demands solutions to protect drivers whose licenses are seized

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