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January 12, 2012

Rumors, Licenses and The Election

Amanda Haddaway

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration often draws the ire of people due to its lack of customer service and seemingly endless wait times both on the phone and in-person.


Chances are good that this will continue into 2012, especially since a rumor has widely circulated that the MVA will not be issuing reminders about when to renew your driver’s license. The rumor was even posted by several state elected officials on their Facebook pages.


According to the MVA’s website, the rumor is false: “The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is required by law to send driver’s license renewal notices 60 days before one’s license expires. Reports that the MVA will stop mailing driver’s license renewal notices after January 1, 2012, are false.”


Maryland law does, however, require an individual to retest after a license has been expired for one year or more, but the tests are the same as for new drivers and geared toward evaluating an applicant’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle on the roads.


Marylanders are responsible for renewing their licenses every five years, but the mailed notification is usually a sufficient reminder. However, it might be wise to check that expiration date printed on your license anyway because the U.S. Postal Service has changed the way that Frederick- area mail is processed and many locals are reporting that processing time has slowed dramatically.


In fact, some bulk rate mail has been delayed so much that the coupons and sales being advertised have already expired by the time the mail is received. Magazines have also been delayed causing subscribers to receive their December issues late last month or early this month. The U.S. Postal Service is in a dire financial situation, so we can safely assume that this is our new reality when it comes to receiving mail.


One additional note on licenses!


The January newsletter of the Frederick County Republican Central Committee highlighted, once again, that Maryland doesn’t require voter identification. Indeed, most voters are merely asked to state and spell their names and recite their addresses without any printed verification.


Efforts to show a license or some other form of identification are usually rejected by the voting judges on Election Day. Does this mean that Maryland has a higher incidence of voter fraud than states that require printed identification? It’s hard to tell. However, we are asked to show identification in other transactions, so it wouldn’t seem out of the ordinary to prove one’s identity for something as important as helping to determine the future of our cities, state and country.


The primary election will be here before we know it, so now is the time to discern which candidates should make the cut to move forward to the general election. The crop of Republican presidential candidates is still pretty underwhelming. There really isn’t a clear frontrunner and depending on the day, the lead candidate could be one of several contenders.


Perhaps the primary election will help provide clarity to voters who simply can’t decide who they should support to decide who should occupy the Oval Office for the next four years.


Upcoming important dates!


Our Maryland General Assembly started their session yesterday and will continue through April 9. Before session started, nearly 100 bills had been pre-filed between the House of Delegates and Senate. Topics include medical marijuana, tolls, video lottery and flash mobs. It will certainly be yet another exciting session!


Also note that the presidential primary election will be held April 3.


Contact Amanda via email at


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