Everyone who drives in Maryland is required to hold a Maryland driver’s license. At the age of 15 years and 9 months, you can receive your first learner’s permit. After 9 months of successful driving with your learner’s permit, you can apply for a provisional license, and later a standard license. If you’ve relocated to Maryland from another state and already have a license, you may get a Maryland license and turn in your out-of-state license in a few simple steps.
While other states’ application processes are exceedingly difficult, Maryland’s is rigorous but uncomplicated. Here’s everything you need to know about how to get a driver’s license in Maryland. We’ve made the process as simple as possible for you to save time. Let’s get started with our free DMV practice test to pass your exam with a high score and easily obtain your license.
What are Maryland driver’s license requirements?
A verified driving record from your former state OR a current driver’s license.
Documents that can be used to verify your age and identity include the following:
- Your birth certificate, original or certified copy
- Valid U.S. passport
- Permanent residency card that is valid.
Provide two documents proving your residence in Maryland
- Utility bill
- Bank statement
- Mortgage agreement or rental contract.
Pay a $9 annual fee (your driver’s license will be good for five to eight years).
How to get a driver’s license in Maryland?
Step 1: Learner’s Permit
Maryland driver license age
In the state of Maryland, all first-time drivers must get a learner’s permit, regardless of Maryland driver license age. You can drive with a permit under the supervision of a qualified driver.
To get your permit, you must pass a vision exam to determine your visual acuity and a written knowledge test to determine your awareness of traffic regulations and signs. The knowledge test has 25 questions, and you must answer 22 of them correctly to pass. Use our free MVA permit practice test to prepare for your exam.
Your age will determine how long you must retain your permit before moving on to the next stage and how many practice hours you must complete.
- If you are under the age of 18, you must keep your permit for at least 9 months without committing any traffic offenses and complete 60 hours of practice driving, including at least 10 hours at night.
- If you’re between the ages of 19 and 24 (or 18 if you’ve finished high school), you’ll need to keep your permit for at least three months without any traffic offenses and log 60 hours of practice driving, including at least 10 at night.
- If you’re 25 or older, you merely need to have your permit for 45 days without violating any traffic laws. You must complete 14 hours of practice driving, with at least three of those hours taking place at night.
Gather the necessary documents and visit the MVA office
When you’re ready, go to your nearest full-service MVA office and bring the following information with you:
- Your legal guardian or parents. It’s possible that this isn’t just an elderly acquaintance. To sign your application, one of your parents must accompany you.
- Identification proof is required. A U.S. passport or a birth certificate, along with a social security card, are acceptable forms of identification.
- Proof of residency in Maryland. You’ll need two types of identification to prove your Maryland residency. Utility invoices, canceled cheques with a written address, and bank statements to the address are all possibilities.
- The cost of the license. The cost of a learner’s permit is $50. You have the option of paying with a credit card, cash, cheque, or money order.
- If you are under the age of 16, you will also require the Learner’s Permit School Attendance Certification Form when applying for your learner’s permit. This form is available online here or at the MVA office. You might also be able to receive one from the administration or guidance office at your school. Someone from your school must fill out and sign the form. When you go to get your learner’s permit, you must present it to the MVA official in a sealed envelope.
Take the required tests
You will take a written knowledge exam and a vision test when you go to the MVA to get your Maryland learner’s permit.
- Written exam of knowledge. This will go through the regulations of the road and the requirements for driving as found in the Maryland Driver’s Manual. The test has a total of 25 questions and is given on a computer. To pass, you’ll need to get an 85 percent on the exam.
- Test your vision. You must have 20/40 eyesight in each eye and a continuous field of vision (peripheral vision) of at least 140 degrees to pass the vision screening. People with 20/70 vision and a field of vision of 110 degrees may be eligible for a limited license.
Know what your learner’s permit permits you to do
With your learner’s permit, you may only drive with a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the passenger seat, and you may not use any mobile phone while driving, hands-free or not.
Step 2: Maryland Provisional Driver’s License
Complete a Maryland Driver’s Education Program
Completion of a driver’s education course is required. This might be a high school-sponsored class, a private company’s class, or a class taught by your parents. If your parents are teaching you, they must follow all state regulations and provide a statement of compliance. This course must include at least 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of on-the-job training.
- Before you may start the driving training section of any lesson, you must obtain your learner’s permit
- On its website, the MVA maintains a list of approved driver’s education programs
- The MVA will get an automatic record of you taking and passing the class from the driving school.
At least 60 hours of driving practice are required
You must have a licensed adult over the age of 21 in the car with your learner’s permit, and you must keep a journal of the hours you drive. At least 10 hours must be spent driving at night, and the MVA advises that you practice driving in bad conditions.
- You must still complete a practice log if you are above 25, but you just need to prove 14 hours of experience driving
- A “Rookie Driver: New Driver and Coach Practice Guide” is published by the MVA. This guide includes a template for keeping track of your practice hours. When you return to the MVA office for your provisional license, bring that log with you.
For at least nine months, use your learner’s permit
The learner’s permit is intended to allow you to drive with a qualified adult in the car and practice your driving skills before applying for a provisional license. You are advised to obtain as much practice as possible over these nine months so that when it comes time to take your driving skills exam, you will be prepared.
You must be over 16 years old and 6 months old.
Because you must drive for at least nine months with a learner’s permit, and the earliest you can receive one is at 15 years and nine months, the provisional license can be obtained at the age of 16 years and six months. This provisional license will be yours until you reach the age of eighteen.
For a learner’s permit to be valid, it must be retained for at least 9 months. Your Maryland provisional license will be postponed if you have any driving violations during this period.
To book your driving test, contact the MVA office closest to you
For your driving test, you must make an appointment. There are no walk-in tests available.
- Enter your location or select the “use my location” option from the “DMV Near Me” to discover MVA offices around the state and their opening hours
- You can arrange an appointment online here, or you can go to the office where you want to take the exam and schedule one in person.
Attend your driving test
The driving skills test assesses your ability to safely operate a vehicle on public roads. You should be ready for the driving test if you have completed the required 60 hours of practice time.
- You should bring a vehicle that is in excellent working order and has at least a half tank of gas to the driving test
- This should be the vehicle in which you spend the most of your practice time for your personal comfort
- The Certification of Insurance and Authorization to Operate Vehicle must be completed and signed by both you and your parent (or another responsible adult whose car you are driving). This paper attests to the fact that the vehicle you’ll be driving for your driving test is in good working order and is insured.
Provisional License Restrictions
With a Maryland provisional license, you will be permitted to drive unsupervised during daylight hours, but there will be certain restrictions.
- You may not drive if you are under the age of 21 and have any amount of alcohol in your system. Impaired driving regulations must be followed by older drivers.
- Drivers Without a qualified supervising driver, under the age of 18 are not permitted to drive with non-family members under the age of 18. As long as you don’t have any violations on your record, this limitation only lasts for the first 151 days.
- Drivers Between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., anybody under the age of 18 must be driven by a certified licensed driver who is at least 21 years old. If you are traveling to work, engaging in an official school activity, an organized volunteer program, or attending a sports event or associated training session, you are exempt. You can drive at any time after you reach the age of eighteen.
- Drivers It is illegal for anybody under the age of 18 to use a wireless communication device while driving. Even the hands-free versions aren’t enough.
You and your passengers must always wear a safety belt or harness, regardless of age or relationship.
Step 3: Full Maryland Driver’s Licence
Get and study the Maryland Driver’s Manual
The official Maryland driver’s manual may be obtained either online on this website or at any MVA office. Even if you’re an experienced driver, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with Maryland’s driving laws.
Gather the documents you’ll need and head to the MVA office closest to you
When you’re ready, go to your local MVA facility and bring the following information with you:
- Your driver’s license from another state. If you don’t have your real driver’s license, you’ll need to produce a certified copy of your driving record from your previous state’s Department of Motor Vehicles
- Identification proof is required. Either a U.S. passport or a birth certificate with a social security card should be brought with you
- Proof of residency in Maryland. A mortgage, lease, house insurance policy, credit card bills, or other comparable documents may be included. You must present two different types of proof
- The cost of the license. The license cost is determined by your age or the number of years you’ve been driving. For the amount of the charge for your specific license, contact your local MVA office. The cost can be paid in cash, by check, or by credit card.
Take the vision test
You must be able to show 20/40 vision in each eye and 140 degrees of peripheral vision. People with 20/70 vision and a peripheral vision of 110 degrees are eligible for restricted licenses.
You can have your vision screening done at the MVA office, or you can have it done by a doctor of your choosing who will fill out the state’s vision form, which you will bring with you.
Surrender your out-of-state driver’s license
You may not have more than one active and valid driver’s license. You will be given a Maryland license after you surrender your out-of-state license.
Can I keep my out-of-state license in Maryland?
You will not be forced to downgrade to a provisional license if you have over 18 months of driving experience with an out-of-state license. To get an unrestricted license, anyone with fewer than 18 months of experience must first complete the following provisional license periods (without traffic offenses).
- You must drive with a provisional license for 18 months if you have an out-of-state license for fewer than 6 months
- You must hold a provisional license for 12 months if you had an out-of-state license for 6 to 12 months
- If you have an out-of-state driver’s license for 12 to 18 months, you must keep your provisional driver’s license for 6 months without a conviction
- If you are convicted of a traffic violation, you must drive for another 18 months without receiving a conviction before receiving your unrestricted license.
The process for obtaining a Maryland driver’s license is lengthy. You’ll get your driver’s license in no time if you stick to the program and adopt safe driving habits.