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Residents need to have proper documents on file to access certain facilities

(Jan. 17, 2020) This is the year the federal REAL ID act goes into effect and the Worcester County Commissioners want to be sure residents of this county are aware of that.

Last Tuesday, commissioners gave a reminder that the act becomes law on Oct. 1. The commissioners themselves were reminded of that last month in a letter from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration.

Residents must have a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card by Oct. 1 to board an aircraft or access federal facilities. These cards will have the REAL ID star in the upper right-hand corner. 

Anyone who does not have that status after the deadline will not be allowed through security checkpoints, according to Whitney Nichels, media relations manager for the state motor vehicle administration. The REAL ID cannot be used for international travel, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

The act was passed in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to increase security standards. The department said to have REAL ID status, residents must have a government-issued birth certificate or U.S. passport, proof of social security, and two documents proving a Maryland home address on file. 

Proof of address includes a Maryland vehicle registration card or title, utility communications regarding an account, a property tax bill or receipt, local bank documentation or a residential rental contract. 

The closest motor vehicle administration for Worcester residents is the Salisbury location on Tilghman Road. 

County Commissioner Bud Church recommended making an appointment ahead of time. 

“Mr. [Commissioner Jim] Bunting told me to make an appointment and I did,” Church said. “There were probably 50 people ahead of me, and they called me within one minute, so if you’re going to the DMV [motor vehicle administration], make an appointment.” 

Nichels said customers with an appointment are guaranteed to be seen within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, with 29,000 appointments available every week at all Maryland branches. 

“As of today, 60 percent of Maryland residents are REAL ID compliant and MDOT MVA has a 98 percent satisfaction rating from customers,” Nichels said. 

Motor vehicle administration will be contacting all customers to tell them what actions they need to take to be compliant, if they are not already. Maryland has been REAL ID compliant since 2011. 

To look up REAL ID, visit mva.maryland.gov/realid/realidlookup.htm. Visit license.mva.maryland.gov/CheckList/default.aspx for a list of documents needed for REAL ID compliance.

Elizabeth covers Worcester County issues for Ocean City Today. In 2018, she graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa with a bachelor of arts. After graduation, Elizabeth spent a year with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Wilmington, Delaware.

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