MVA Adds Hours, Appointments and Staff to Handle REAL ID Volume

March 14, 2019

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has added hours, staff and appointments at its offices to cope with the increased volume of drivers who must present four or more different documents to obtain a Real ID drivers license that complies with federal law.

Drivers must get the compliant licenses by October 2020 in order to board a commercial aircraft or enter a federal facility. The new requirements have ballooned the number of drivers licenses renewals from 10,000 a month to 100,000 per month, according to MVA officials.

In an interview, MVA Administrator Christine Nizer said the agency has also clarified rules for its staff for judging the eligibility of passports, marriage certificates and other documents that have created problems for some people. She said the agency’s REAL ID website has also been updated with more information about the documents required.

The MVA said it has added 2,700 appointments through May 4, with 1,900 added permanently. Customers with appointments are guaranteed to be seen within 15 minutes of their scheduled time.

MVA customers without appointments on Saturday were having wait times of 45 minutes in Beltsville to as long as 110 minutes in Glen Burnie, based on the agency website.

The busiest high-volume branches — Annapolis, Bel Air, Columbia, Glen Burnie, Largo, Parkville, Waldorf and Walnut Hill — are now open till 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in addition to Saturday hours. All MVA branches are open on Thursdays till 6:30 p.m.

Appointments help spread out volume of customers

Nizer said, “If we can get people to make more appointments, we can spread that [extra volume] out.”

Nizer insisted that the higher volumes has not reduced MVA’s commitment to “providing premier customer service” and it has added 100 staff members to handle the high volume.

She said that 79% of customers respond to post visit surveys and 98% of respondents said the MVA was “friendly, helpful and professional.”

“I think what it shows we’ve done a lot of training,” Nizer said.

REAL ID has been in the works since 2005 when Congress passed the original law as a post-9/11 counterterrorism measure. There was strong resistance to national ID cards, so Congress made the states do the job for them.

Some states, such as Pennsylvania, resisted the move, and is now only issuing compliant licenses, while Maryland has been cooperating with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for years.

By Len Lazarick

14 Responses to MVA Adds Hours, Appointments and Staff to Handle REAL ID Volume

  1. Fred Barry on March 14, 2019 at 11:07 am

    Hope you’re happy Republicans!!! All because you don’t want a mex-skins driving in Maryland. GREAT JOB MATT MORGAN.

    • steve on March 15, 2019 at 8:16 pm

      Right! We don’t want a bunch of UNINSURED Mexicans driving on our roads. BUILD THAT WALL!!!

    • Kitty Smith on March 20, 2019 at 12:25 pm

      What a racist idiot you are. Democrats pushed the move for Maryland to virtually be a sanctuary city. Not all illegals are from South America. You’re not very bright!

  2. Anonymous on March 14, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    So what they aren’t telling it, is that the driver’s license portion phase went into effect in 2015. Maryland chose procrastinate until Late 2018 to roll out the new “Real IDs”.

  3. Barbara on March 14, 2019 at 1:17 pm

    If you are not planning on flying or entering a federal building anytime soon, what is the big rush to get this done. I would think waiting till later in the year or early in 2020 would be less of a rush at MVAs.

  4. George on March 14, 2019 at 2:39 pm

    Question? I have to prove who I am and where I live to travel on a plane but I don’t have to prove anything vote. That does not seem to be right.

    • Wallace s on March 15, 2019 at 9:14 pm


      • George on March 19, 2019 at 11:55 am

        Yes I am. I am the hardworking, tax paying, law following, bigot who thinks all rules should apply to all people. I’m funny that way.

    • Cap'n Obvious on March 15, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      You are correct.

  5. Anonymous on March 14, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    While they’re at it, they need to add courtesy, manners and respect for the people who pay their hard earned money to buy the MVA’s new ugly ID/License cards and other products and services.

  6. Dawn on March 16, 2019 at 11:26 am

    My current drivers license has all the indicators on the sample card. Still when I put my number in to see if my licence is compliant it says no. What gives?

    • The Feds on March 19, 2019 at 4:54 pm

      HSPD-12. Look it up.

  7. Snejatina on March 19, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I got turn down over this new real ID law when tried to renew my License. I’m a immigrant But I became a U.S Citizens four years ago’ I can’t blame Trump for this federalize Real ID New drivers license. Becuase this Real ID act got pass on May 11, 2005.

  8. Katie Johnson on March 20, 2019 at 12:27 pm

    Wonder how much this is going to cost. Sad that my license doesn’t expire until 2022. Bet I won’t get a discount.