Full Phone Access

In brief

December 02, 1991

Full telephone access in the state of Maryland between both hearing and hearing-impaired residents has begun.

Known as the Maryland Relay Services, the system is a 24 hour, seven-day-a-week communications link between Marylanders who can hear, and the estimated 350,000 residents who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or speech-impaired.

The toll-free number to call is 1-800-735-2258. An operator will connect the call, and relay the conversation between parties..

When a hearing person, using a standard voice telephone, speaks, the operator types the message on a keyboard known as a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD). At the hearing-impaired person's typed reply, the operator will speak the message.

All calls are strictly confidential.

There is no limit to the calls users may make on the system. Long distance calls will be billed at a special rate to compensate for the additional time needed to make the call.

Maryland callers may contact all 50 states, and place international calls to English and Spanish speakers.


The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has released some $68 million for mortgage financing.

Eligible Maryland residents, including those in Anne Arundel County, are encouraged to take advantage of thisfunding. It can be used to finance newly constructed or existing single-family homes, including town houses, detached or semi-detached homes, and condominiums.

Under the program, the maximum purchase price is $85,000 for a newly constructed home and $80,000 for an existing home. This amount differs in certain areas.

Terms of the loan, which is payable over 30 years, are 7.25 percent interest for households with annual incomes no higher than $28,200, and 8.25 percent for eligible households with incomes above $28,200, up to the program limits.

Income limits are $32,000 for an individual and $40,000 for a family of two or more.

Information: (410) 514-7514.


The Maryland Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Administration is starting two new procedures.

First, the MVA is returning hole-punched, invalidated out-of-state drivers' licenses to applicants when they apply for and receive first-time Maryland driver's licenses. This procedure applies to all renewal applicants as well asto new residents.

Issuing states will continue to be notified of drivers who turn in their licenses for a Maryland license.

Starting in January, the MVA will phase in drivers' licenses that are renewable every five years.

This change is based on legislation passed earlier this year, authorizing several MVA fee changes. The five-year renewal license fee is $20.

Other fees include non-commercial learner-instructional permits of $30 and an under-21 renewal fee of $5.

Drivers moving into Maryland during the next several years get a Maryland license that expires in 1996. The fee for this license will be$6 during the phase-in period.

Commercial drivers license renewalconversions increase to $40 starting Jan. 1, 1992. All bus and truckdrivers are required by federal law to have a converted license by April 1. Those who still need the new license should act now to take advantage of the lower rates until January 1 and avoid the deadline rush.

Information: 768-7387 or 768-7232.

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