As Real ID Deadline Approaches, Md. Lawmaker Introduces Emergency Legislation to Protect Drivers

    By Melissa Howell

    A Maryland lawmaker is working to introduce emergency legislation to address what could be a serious problem for drivers who haven’t gotten their Real ID licenses.

    Del. Eric Ebersole (D-Baltimore, Howard) introduced emergency legislation that would require officers to give drivers a legal document that would still allow them to drive to pick up a Real ID. The law could go into effect as soon as next year, but enforcement begins Oct. 1, 2020.

    According to the Baltimore Sun, about 80,000 drivers have been notified of the new federal law requiring all drivers replace their licenses with a Real ID, but 8,000 drivers still have not responded.

    With the federal deadline approaching, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has instructed police officers to confiscate licenses that are not Real ID compliant when a driver is stopped, but driving without a license is illegal.

    Maryland began issuing Real ID licenses in 2009.

    Maryland driver’s license holders can go to the agency’s REAL ID Look Up Tool, in which they would enter their driver’s license or ID card number and be advised of their REAL ID status.

    Ebersole wrote a letter to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration requesting a policy change to ensure drivers aren’t caught driving illegally without a Real ID.

    The MVA is currently reviewing his request.

    As part of Maryland Matters’ content sharing agreement with WTOP, we feature this article from Melissa Howell. Click here for the WTOP News website.

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