Regarding an editorial that appeared in The Aegis, while we at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration appreciate the interest in promoting the MVA's "Anywhere, Anytime" online campaign, the editorial mischaracterizes the recent policies enacted to shorten wait times at our branch offices ("Too young to get served at the MVA?" April 22).
Over the past several years, the MVA has been working to transform the perception of the agency; 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 no one of any age will be denied service, and we are striving to make service more convenient for all our customers regardless of age.
MVA is asking customers who are eligible to renew a driver's license or identification card 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 complete the renewal at our kiosk machines located in every branch. 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 license 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 the MVA vision screening information about their customers, which will allow customers 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.
We are continuing to add services to our online options, including the ability to order a duplicate or corrected driver's license and the ability to make an appointment for an initial license or ID.
These changes help to make Maryland a national leader in providing innovative methods of delivering high quality services to our customers. Our "Anywhere, Anytime" online campaign will allow faster, more convenient service to customers at home and in MVA offices.
Milton Chaffee, Glen Burnie
The writer is administrator of the Maryland MVA.
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