I am writing in response to an editorial from The Aegis that was printed on April 22 titled, "Too young to get served at the MVA?"

While we appreciate the interest in promoting Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) Anywhere, Any time, MVA Online campaign, the editorial mischaracterizes the recent policies enacted to shorten wait times at the MVA branch offices.

Over the past several years, the MVA has been working to transform the perception of the MVA; we want customers to think first of online services, and of visiting an MVA branch only if necessary. 

The reality is that with our service changes nobody of any age will be denied service, we are striving to make service more convenient for all of our customers, regardless of age.  MVA is asking customers that are eligible to renew a driver's license or identification card (ID) without having to visit an MVA branch to do so from the convenience of their home or work, which will help to reduce wait times for everyone.  If a customer wants to be served at an MVA branch to renew a license or ID who was eligible to renew without coming in the branch office, employees will direct the customer to our kiosk machines located in every branch to complete the renewal. Licenses and ID cards renewed online or at a kiosk will then be mailed to the address on file.

The law requires customers who are over 40 to undergo a vision screening at every DL renewal. However, even if you are over 40, if you get an annual vision exam you may be eligible to renew online, through the mail, or at an MVA kiosk. Almost 600 of Maryland's vision providers are now actively sending MVA vision screening information on their customers which will allow customers whose information we have on file to renew without having to visit an MVA branch office.

The issue of mailing licenses to customers turning 21 was raised in the editorial. It is important to recognize that these service changes do not affect the ability of customers to establish their age. Vertical licenses provided to customers who were under 21 at the time of issuance are valid for 60 days beyond the customer's 21st birthday. In fact, printed on the face of the vertical license is the line "under 21 until…" which indicates the date at which the license holder will become 21 with no math involved.

We at the MVA are continuing to add services to our online options including the ability to order a duplicate DL/ID, a corrected DL/ID, and most recently the ability to make an appointment for your initial DL/ID. 

These changes help to make Maryland a national leader in providing innovative methods of delivering high quality services to our customers.  The Anywhere, Any time, MVA Online campaign will allow faster, more convenient service to customers at home and in the MVA Offices.

Milton Chaffee, Administrator

Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration