A Comprehensive Guide to Getting Your Maryland Driver's License
Maryland Department of Transportation
Maryland offers a structured path for new drivers to obtain their learner's permits and eventually graduate to a full driver's license. This guide provides an overview of the requirements, tests, and restrictions you need to be aware of when applying for a learner's permit in Maryland.
Maryland's Graduated Licensing System
Maryland employs a Graduated Licensing System to ensure that new drivers are adequately prepared before they hit the road. A learner's permit is the first step in this process, allowing you to practice driving under supervision.
Requirements for a Learner's Permit
To apply for a learner's permit in Maryland, you must be at least 15 years and 9 months old. If you are under 16, you'll also need additional proof of parental relationship or dependency. Verification of identity and/or school attendance is required, and this must be presented to the MVA in a sealed, unopened envelope provided by your school or county home school coordinator if you are homeschooled.
Applicants must undergo a vision screening and pass a knowledge test. You can prepare for the knowledge test by studying the Maryland Driver's Manual and practicing with the Maryland Online Driver Test Tutorial.
Schedule an Appointment
You must make an appointment at one of the MVA's full-service offices to complete your Learner’s Permit application. After completing your appointment, your permit will be mailed to you.
Restrictions on Learner's Permit
Holders of a learner's permit are not allowed to use a cell phone while driving, even with Bluetooth/hands-free devices, except for emergency 911 calls. You must also be accompanied by a qualified supervising driver who is 21 years or older and has held a license for a minimum of 3 years.
Supervised Practice Driving Hours
A qualified supervising driver must complete a practice skills log for the learner's permit holder. The log is issued by the MVA along with every learner's permit. New drivers are required to present the completed certification page from the Rookie Driver Practice Guide when they arrive for their driving skills test appointment.
Out-of-State Driver's Education Certificates
Out-of-state driver’s education certificates are generally not accepted by the MVA. Currently, only certificates issued by the Delaware Board of Education that state that the certificate has been approved by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration are accepted.
Parents Please Note
If a new driver under 18 is cited for a moving violation, the MVA will notify the co-signer. Drivers under 18 may also have their licenses suspended if the parent, guardian, or co-signer withdraws their consent.
Maryland requires all registered vehicle owners to carry liability insurance, uninsured motorist, and personal injury protection (PIP) coverage.