Md. driver's licenses are secure

Worried a Maryland license won't meet REAL ID standards? Don't be.

I appreciate the opportunity to clarify misinformation provided to your readers about Maryland's new secure driver's license, learner's permit and identification cards in a recent letter to the editor ("Md. driver's licenses fall short," May 13). Maryland's new secure cards are REAL ID compliant and meet all federal standards. How do we know? We asked officials at the United States Department of Homeland Security who verified Maryland's new cards are in full compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005. This means that Maryland citizens can confidently use their new secure license or ID card to board a plane or be cleared by security when entering federal buildings.

The new secure cards feature a star on the front indicating REAL ID compliance. This design change will enable Transportation Security Administration personnel and other federal officials to quickly identify REAL ID compliance. For individuals unable to provide documentation of lawful presence, the new cards will not have this star. Instead, these cards will have printed on the front: "NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION" and on the back: "Not Acceptable for Federal Purposes." These very visible differences make it easy for anyone looking at the card to quickly distinguish between the two.

Maryland was one of the first states in the country to become REAL ID compliant, and we are proud that these new cards will continue to meet strict federal standards while protecting Maryland residents from identity theft and fraud.

For more information on our new secure, REAL ID compliant cards, visit www.mva.maryland.gov/secureid.

Christine E. Nizer, Glen Burnie

The writer is administrator of the Motor Vehicle Administration.

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