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Nearly 13,000 could be looking at new state driver’s license

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Published on: Thursday, January 16, 2014

By Holden Wilen

Thousands of people will be flocking to their nearest Motor Vehicle Administration office in the next few months as the agency begins to hold appointments for applicants hoping to get a new driver’s license which can be issued to illegal immigrants.

The MVA installed a new process which requires applicants for the license to go online and set up an appointment with an MVA office of their choice. At the appointment applicants are required to present an individual taxpayer identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service, a certified letter from the Maryland Comptroller’s office, identity documents such as a valid and current foreign passport, and two proofs of Maryland residence such as copies of a residential lease, utility bill or bank statement.

Applicants are also required to take the appropriate tests, such as the knowledge test and skills test if the applicant will be a first-time licensee.

So far more than 13,000 people have scheduled appointments, according to MVA spokesman Buell Young. MVA began handling appointments on Jan. 2. That day, MVA completed 792 appointments statewide and on the next day the agency handled 776 appointments. Young said the agency is able to handle 800 appointments per day statewide.

“The process is similar to when you or I would get a license, but it is slightly different because of the types of documents these people are required to present,” Young said.

In order to help deal with the influx of appointments, Young said MVA hired 65 employees and dispersed them to offices throughout the state. The workforce is very diverse, he said, and the agency has the ability to assist applicants of any language.

Customers worried about long waits at busy offices such as the Gaithersburg location becoming even longer need not worry, Young said, because the appointments are handled by separate staff members, so the offices will be able to handle their normal workloads.

The MVA does not charge any additional fees for the license beyond the normal application cost of $72. Young said there are people going around offering to help applicants set up appointments for additional fees, but they are not MVA employees.

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