Applying for a Maryland Driver’s License & Getting a State ID

Important notice

If you are a new student and need to visit the MVA (Motor Vehicle Association), please Contact Us first to make sure that your SEVIS record has been properly registered. This step is imperative to ensure a smooth process at the MVA and avoid any unnecessary delays.

SAVE Verification

To begin the process of obtaining a driver’s license or identification card, you will need to submit an electronic SAVE Verification Request Form online. The form can be accessed using this link.

After submitting the form, a representative from the MVA will contact you within one business week to provide the verification results and information on how to continue the process. If you encounter any difficulties with the form or do not receive a response within the specified timeframe, please contact for assistance.

If you do not complete the SAVE verification in advance, it can still be done in person at the MVA, but this approach carries the risk of delays. If any issues are discovered, you will not be able to complete the process on the same day and will need to schedule another appointment. We highly recommend completing the SAVE verification in advance to avoid any potential delays.

Driver’s License

For more detailed information on obtaining your driver’s license, please review the ISSS Driving in Maryland slide deck.

You can also find directions and requirements on the MVA’s website. For the most accurate list of documents you will need for your appointment, please use the MVA’s Online Document Guide.

State ID card

Maryland State ID cards are a valid form of government-issued identification that can be used to verify your identity. It is recommended for students to have this instead of carrying their official passport. You can apply for the Maryland State ID at an MVA office, but please note that the first step is to complete the SAVE Verification form and receive confirmation before visiting the MVA.

The detailed requirements are listed here.  Please be sure to scroll down to the “New Identification Card” section, and click on the link for the “Online Document Guide” to see what is required in detail.  Under “Sources of Proof,” you will use the first list, for “federally compliant,” which means you have a legal status in the US.

Please note, the first step to apply is to complete the SAVE Verification form and receive confirmation before you visit the MVA.

To apply, you will need to provide the following documents:

  1. Proof of Age and Identity – this can be your passport and other immigration documents.
  2. Proof of Lawful Status – this is your passport, F-1 visa stamp, I-94 record, and most recent Form I-20. If you need to print your I-94 arrival record, you can do so here.
  3. Proof of Social Security Number (SSN) or ineligibility for an SSN – students who don’t have a SSN will need to get a Letter of Ineligibility from the Social Security Administration (SSA) office. Details on how to get this letter can be found here.
  4. Proof of Maryland Residency – You will need to show that you currently live in Maryland by providing two of the items listed in the MVA’s document checklist. The most common include:
    • A utility bill, such as phone, cable, or internet, showing your name and Maryland address
    • Checking or Savings account bank statement
    • Lease agreement for your apartment or house
    • Credit card bill or statement
    • Mail sent to you at your address from a government agency
    • Maryland state tax return from the past year (for students who worked in the US in the past)

There are more options specified on the MVA website, but those listed above are the most common. Once you have completed the SAVE Verification and have all the necessary documents, you can take them to the MVA to apply for your State ID card.

MVA Locations

While there are many MVA locations, the nearest is in Glen Burnie, MD.  You can see the complete list of locations here.  Please note that, unfortunately, the MVA is not easily reached using public transportation.  We recommend either asking a friend who can drive you, or using a taxi or a ride service such as Uber.