It would make it easier for drivers to renew their licenses.
Glen Burnie, Md (KM) Several new laws took affect in Maryland on Thursday, July 1st, including some involving driver’s licenses and state identification cards.
Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer says Marylanders have 12-months before the expiration date to renew their driver’s licenses instead of six-months. “We’ve had customers in the situation where a student whose maybe away for school, a military member out of the country, all kinds of circumstances where people may need to renew a little more than six months in advance,” she says.
Another provision in the law extends the requirement that a driver come into the MVA branch office to take a new photo to once every 16 years; and the measure permits the issuance of a temporary ID card with an expiration date of up to 90 days.
Nizer says there are some changes regarding the vision test motorists need to take as part of renewing their licenses. “Vision certification used to be only be good for a year,” she says. “So if you went to your eye doctor to get that test done, you could use it for 12 months. Now it’s good for two years. So it gives you a little more time to use that vision test.”
All drivers age 40 and older need to get a vision test before being issued a driver’s license.
If you have your vision examined before renewing your driver’s license, the eye doctor would fill out a form from the MVA with information on their patents’ vision. Nizer says the doctor can now send the test results to the MVA electronically so Motor Vehicle Administration staff can have the information on hand to process those renewals.
The new law also repeals the requirement that a school system must provide a certified copy of a student’s attendance record to the MVA in order for a student to receive a leaner’s permit. This change allows the MVA to work with school systems to streamline the process.
Other laws passed by the General Assembly which have taken affect deal with for-hire vehicles, County Boards of Education Student Transportation and personal delivery service.
Nizer says these changes came about because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But they also resulted from MVA staff who wanted to make the process more customer friendly. “We’ve obviously been through a very challenging period of time. But trying to find the good in that. Trying to find ways to make life a little bit easier for our customers and that is what this is all about,” she says.
Last year, the Governor issued a state of emergency to deal with the coronavirus pandemic. During that time, MVA branch offices were closed, and residents whose driver’s licenses and registration needed to be renewed could continue using their expired licenses during the state of emergency.
But the state of emergency has been lifted, and Nizer reminds motorists whose driver’s licenses have expired that they need to get them renewed. “For those of you with a driver’s license or an ID card that expired during the pandemic, the deadline for that is August 15th,” she says. “We have reached out to all the customers who are in that category. But we certainly want to remind you go ahead and make that appointment. We remain all appointments at MVA.”
By Kevin McManus