Anxious about getting your first-ever driver’s license?
Don’t know where or how to start?
You’re not alone.
This is why, today, we’re going to give you a complete guide on how to get a driver’s license in Maryland — we’re going to walk you through all the steps, requirements, and details.
With this, you’ll know exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
So are you ready?
Let’s dive right in!
Maryland Driver’s License Requirements
Maryland has a Rookie Driver Program that will gradually ease new drivers on the road.
Unlike most states, however, everyone getting their license for the first time, no matter the age, has to go through the full program.
Now, the program in Maryland consists of:
- A learner’s permit
- A provisional license
- A full driver’s license
Let’s go through each stage in detail.
How to Get a Learner’s Permit in Maryland
You can start working on your learner’s permit once you turn 15 years and 9 months old.
Here are the steps to getting your learner’s permit in Maryland:
- Make an appointment with the MDOT MVA to apply for a learner’s permit.
- On your scheduled date, bring and submit these documents:
- Verification of Identity or School Attendance Form (if under 16 years old)
- Proof of parental relationship or dependency (if under 18 years old)
- Proof of age and identity
- 2 proofs of Maryland residency
- Social Security Number
- Complete a learner’s permit application on-site. Your parent/legal guardian should co-sign the form with you (if under 18 years old).
- Pay the $50 application fee.
- Pass a vision test.
- Pass the knowledge exam. Coverage of this exam can be found in the Maryland Driver’s Manual.
- Get your learner’s permit receipt (you can drive with this already).
- Wait for your official learner’s permit to be mailed to you.
You can now practice driving!
However, you are only allowed to drive when supervised by someone at least 21 years old and who has held a valid license for at least 3 years. You’re also not allowed to use any type of electronic mobile device, even hands-free ones.
How to Get a Provisional License in Maryland
The next step is a provisional license.
Here’s how you can get it:
- Be at least 16 years and 6 months old.
- Hold your learner’s permit for at least 9 months (if under 18 years old), 3 months (if 18+ but less than 25), or 45 days (if 25+ years old).
- Complete a 36-hour Maryland-approved driver’s education course.
- Complete a practice driving skills log:
- For below 18 years old — 60 hours of supervised driving, including 10 hours driving at night
- For 25+ years old: 14 hours of supervised driving, including 3 hours driving at night
- Maintain a conviction-free driving record
- On the day of your road test, submit:
- Driver’s education certificate of completion
- Filled up practice skills log chart
- Learner’s permit
- An insured and registered vehicle (bring documents for proof)
- Pass the road test.
- Get your provisional license receipt.
- Your official provisional license will be mailed to you.
You’re almost there!
Now, a provisional license allows you to drive unsupervised. But take note that, if you are below 18 years old, you will have to obey these restrictions:
- You can’t drive between 12 AM to 5 AM unless supervised or driving to and from school, work, volunteer programs, or athlete training/events.
- You’re not allowed to drive passengers below 18 years old unless they are part of your immediate family. This is for the first 5 months of holding your provisional license.
- You are not allowed to use a mobile device while behind the wheel (even hands-free) unless you are reporting a crime or emergency.
- Everyone in the vehicle must be wearing a seat belt or car seat.
- You’re not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system (if you are under 21 years old)
How to Get a Full Driver’s License in Maryland
Now, let’s see how you can change your provisional license into a full driver’s license:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Hold your provisional license for at least 18 months.
- Do not have any convictions or driving violations for 18 months.
That’s it — as easy as that!
Once the 18 months are through, the MDOT MVA will send you an attachment card that the conversion has been made. You must drive with this attachment card AND your provisional license.
Once it’s time to renew, you can get rid of the attachment card and provisional license and get a new full driver’s license.
You are now a fully licensed driver in Maryland.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about the driver’s license process in Maryland? Check out these FAQs for additional information.
How long do you have to wait to get your license in MD?
If you’re below 18 years old, you need to wait until you’re 18 to get a full license. So it can take a few years, especially if you start at 15 years and 9 months old.
If you’re above 18 years old, you need to hold your learner’s permit for either 3 months (if under 25) or 45 days (if above 25). Then, you’ll need to hold a provisional license for 18 months. So it will take around a year and a half.
How many questions are on the permit test in Maryland?
There are 25 questions on the Maryland knowledge exam. You need to answer 20 questions correctly to get your learner’s permit.
How many times can you fail the driving test in Maryland?
You’re allowed to have 3 attempts to pass your driving test. Plus, you have to take them within 90 days. If any of these lapses and you still haven’t passed the test, you need to repeat your permit application.
How much does it cost to get a Maryland license?
Here is a breakdown of the fees to get a Maryland driver’s license:
- $50 for the learner’s permit application
- $9 per year for your driver’s license
- $275-$350 for the driver’s ed course
Overall, you should expect to pay around $500 to get a driver’s license in Maryland.
Can a non-US citizen get a driver’s license in Maryland?
You can get a driver’s license in Maryland even if you’re not a US citizen. However, you need to be a valid resident in Maryland.
If you’re a non-US citizen or you don’t have a Social Security Number, you must give proof of legal presence in the United States and your foreign passport.
And that was your complete guide on how to get a driver’s license in Maryland.
Maryland’s Rookie Driver Program might seem intimidating at first. But when you go through it, you’ll realize that it’s a very straightforward process.
And with this guide, it becomes even easier. Now, you know exactly what you need to do.
So what are you waiting for?
Go ahead and apply for a learner’s permit.
It all starts there.