By Elizabeth Janney
The Motor Vehicle Administration opened a new temporary customer service center in Columbia. Officials say the annex will enable Maryland MVA officials to accommodate 258 additional appointments each day for those looking to get their Real ID.
After the 9/11 terror attacks, the federal government passed the Real ID Act to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Congress passed the law in 2005, and it requires four types of documentation to obtain an identification card that will enable people to board aircraft and access federal facilities. Enforcement of the requirement will take effect Oct. 1, 2020.
“I encourage citizens to look up your Real ID status, and if necessary, collect your documents and make an appointment to come see us in Columbia or a branch nearest to you – we’ll see you within 15 minutes, guaranteed,” MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer said upon the opening of the new Columbia location.
Called the Columbia Annex, the new 3,200-square-foot center is a few doors down from the permanent MVA branch in Columbia on Dobbin Road.
It contains 11 stations where customers who make appointments in advance can meet with representatives to present the documentation required to bring their identification cards into compliance.
Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford (R), who lives in Howard County, attended a ribbon cutting for the annex last week. It created 20 new jobs, he said.
The annex will deliver “more choices, convenience and jobs to Howard County,” Rutherford said in a statement. “I’m pleased to be here to welcome the newest addition of the MDOT MVA to my neighborhood.”
Not sure about your Real ID status?
If not compliant, make an appointment.
Opening the new location is one of several steps state officials say they are taking to assist Marylanders who need to provide documentation to get their Real ID. In late May, a similar temporary office space opened in Parkville to handle Real ID appointments. And statewide, the MVA branches have extended their hours on Thursday nights and Saturday through July 2.
Between the annex and the MVA branch, Columbia can handle 2,133 Real ID appointments weekly, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.
The temporary location is at 6490 Dobbin Rd. in Columbia.
Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday; and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday for driver’s license services only, including providing Real ID documents for identification cards and driver’s licenses.
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