Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Maryland

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The state of Maryland offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.

Disabled veteran registration fee waiver

Disabled veterans are eligible to receive a Disabled Veteran license plate free of charge. In order to qualify, you must provide the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration with documentation from the Veterans Administration verifying service-connected 100% disability. You will also need to submit the Application for Maryland Parking Placard/License Plates for Individuals with a Disability. You may apply for this plate in a full service branch office, or an MVA licensed tag and title service. You can also mail the application with your proof of disability to:

Specialized Tag Unit
6601 Ritchie Highway
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

Driver’s license veteran designation

Maryland veterans are eligible for a veteran designation on a driver license or state ID card. This allows you to easily display your veteran status to businesses and other organizations that offer benefits to military members, without having to carry your discharge papers around everywhere you go. In order to get a license with this designation you must have received honorable (or general under honorable conditions, or conditions other than dishonorable) discharge, and provide proof in the form of one of the following:

  • DD 214 or DD 2
  • Honorable Discharge Certificate
  • Letter from the Maryland Veterans Administration
  • Letter from the U.S. Military Center in St. Louis, MO

There is no additional fee for adding veteran designation to your driver license or ID card.

Military honor plates

Maryland offers a huge variety of military license plates. These range from service awards such as the Congressional Medal of Honor to military branch plates such as Army, Coast Guard, or Marines. The selection is so vast that there are even Presidential Badge of Service and Southwest Asia Service Medal plates. Many of these plates are available in both vehicle and motorcycle versions.

Maryland military license plates carry a $25 fee, and can be applied to passenger cars, multi-purpose vehicles, motorcycles, or trucks under 10,000 pounds. You must provide a DD 214, medal certification, or written verification issued by the National Personnel Records Center.

The application for a military plate can be found here.

Military skills test waiver

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made provisions in 2011, authorizing state licensing agencies to accept military service-related truck driving experience in lieu of the road skills test in the process of the servicemember receiving a CDL (Commercial Driver License). To qualify for the military skills test waiver you have to have two years of experience driving commercial military vehicles. In addition, your heavy vehicle operation experience has to have occurred within one year prior to the time you apply, or one year prior to discharge.

Military personnel in Maryland with qualifying experience can download and print the universal waiver here. Your state may also have its own application, so check with your local licensing agency. If you do qualify, you will still have to complete the written part of the CDL test.

Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012

With this act comes the authority for states to grant a CDL to qualified active military personnel, including those in the National Guard, Reserves, Coast Guard, or Coast Guard Auxiliary, regardless of their home state. This allows those stationed in another state, including Maryland, to bring their truck driving skills along wherever they are based.

Driver license renewal while deployed

Maryland allows a driver license extension for military personnel who are deployed or stationed out of state at the time their license expires. While on active duty you and your dependents simply need carry your Maryland driver license along with verification of active duty status. You have up to 30 days to renew your license after discharge or returning to the state.

If you purchase a used vehicle during the time you’re stationed outside of the state, you need to submit a Temporary Inspection Waiver application along with your documents to title the vehicle. The waiver is good for two years, and can be renewed if you don’t return within this time. The vehicle must be inspected upon your return to Maryland.

You can check here to see if you are eligible to renew your vehicle registration online while deployed or stationed out of state.

Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration

Maryland honors out-of-state driver’s licenses and vehicle registration for non-resident military stationed within the state. This courtesy is also extended to dependents of non-resident military personnel stationed in the state with the service member.

Active or veteran military personnel can find out more at the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration website here.

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