What Counts As Proof of Residency In Maryland?

There are a number of documents, including some personal mail, that may qualify as proof of residency in Maryland.Here’s what to know.
Written by Matthew Lynaugh
Residency in Maryland can be proven with credit card bills, utility bills, bank statements, and official government mail.
If you are looking to get a Maryland driver’s license, you will need to prove to the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) that you are a permanent Maryland resident. While photo identification is necessary to prove who you are, you’ll also need documentation to verify your address. 
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What documents can be used as proof of residency in Maryland?

In order to obtain a Maryland driver’s license or REAL ID as a new resident, you will need to provide documentation that fulfills each of the following groups:
  • Group 1: Proof of name and identity (e.g. US birth certificate or US passport)
  • Group 2: Proof of Social Security (e.g. Social Security card, W-2, or paystub)
  • Group 3: Proof of Maryland residency (e.g. utility bills or bank statement)
As a new Maryland resident, you must apply within 60 days for a standard license, and within 30 days for a commercial driver’s license. Your out-of-state license must be currently valid or expired for less than one year—suspended licenses will not be considered.
If you are trying to exchange a license that has expired longer than one year ago, you will be required to pass a knowledge and skill test as well as a vision exam. If you do not have your license in your possession, a certified driving record from the licensing agency must be presented in its place.​
To obtain your driver’s license or make it card Real ID complaint, the following documents can be be used to satisfy Group 3:
  • Vehicle registration card
  • Bank statement
  • Insurance card
  • Utility bill
  • Lease or mortgage statement
  • Cable or phone bill
  • Mail from a federal, state, or local government agency
  • Credit card bill
  • Property tax bill
  • Voter registration card
  • Selective Service card
Any of the above documents can be used to prove residency in the state of Maryland when applying for a driver’s license. For a REAL ID card, you will need one document for Group 1 and Group 2, and two documents for Group 3. 
Each of the documents must of course include your name and address, but also need to reflect a current or recent date.

What documents do not qualify as proof of Maryland residency?

Maryland allows a generous amount of eligible documentation to prove residency, but that doesn’t mean any document with your Maryland address can be used. To prevent bringing the wrong document and having to make a second trip to the MVA, avoid the following documents:
  • Business card
  • Bond receipts
  • Library card
  • Check cashing card
  • Personal mail 
  • Club or fraternal organization membership card
  • College or university ID card
  • Unofficial ID card
  • Papers from an unlicensed financial institution
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) card
  • Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) card
  • Handwritten ID or employment card
  • Hunting license
  • Fishing license
  • Instruction permit or receipt 
  • International driving permit
  • Traffic citation or arrest ticket
  • Store club membership card
  • Wallet ID

What qualifies as proof of identity in Maryland?

Maryland law states that you must prove your age and identity in order to move forward with obtaining your license or REAL ID. There are different documents eligible for different demographics, so check out which documentation you can bring below:
  • Age 18-65: US birth certificate, US passport (valid or expired less than five years), Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Permanent Resident Card, Certificate of Naturalization, Certificate of Citizenship, employment authorization documents, foreign passport with current valid USCIS documentation, US or MD birth certificate for adopted individuals, US Adoption records with full name and date of birth 
  • Age 65 and older: All of the documentation listed above, a military discharge document, Social Security Administration Benefits Summary and name and birth date
  • Immigrants without USCIS documentation: Valid foreign passport, or an unexpired consular ID, foreign birth certificate, national ID card or national voter card, state license, state ID card, Foreign driver’s license, US military ID card, military dependent ID card, 1-766 employment authorization card, certified school record (not more than 12 months old)
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Proving your identity and residency when applying for a Maryland driver’s license or upgrading to a REAL ID can call for a lot of paperwork. For many years the same used to be necessary when shopping for a new auto insurance policy—until now!
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