While some states can be hopelessly complicated, Maryland’s application process is rigorous but straightforward. It’s broken down into three separate parts: the learner’s permit, the provisional driver’s license, and the full driver’s license.
Every first-time driver is required to start with a learner’s permit in the state of Maryland, regardless of age. With a permit, you can drive under the supervision of a licensed driver.
To receive your permit, you must pass the vision test, which tests your visual acuity, and the written knowledge test, which quizzes you on traffic rules and signs. The knowledge test consists of 25 questions, and you need 22 correct to pass. Study using our free Maryland practice tests here.
The time you must hold your permit before your can progress to the next stage and the number of practice hours you must complete will depend on your age.
If you would like to know more about this part of the licensing process, we recommend that you read our in-depth Maryland learner’s permit guide.
Once you have passed the requirements during your instructional period, you can apply for a provisional driver’s license. In order to qualify, you need to:
The Driving Skills test takes about 20 minutes, and it tests your familiarity with a vehicle, Maryland Laws, and safe driving regulations. You will need to provide your own vehicle and proof of driver’s insurance. You can find a full checklist of the things they will score you on here.
You will be able to drive unsupervised in daylight hours with a provisional license, but you will have some restrictions.
You can read our full provisional license guide here.
Once you’ve held your provisional license violation-free for 18 consecutive months, it will automatically convert into an unrestricted MD driver’s license. You will receive a card in the mail that will state this, and you must keep it with your license at all times. You will get a proper unrestricted license at your next renewal.
If you are convicted of a traffic violation, the 18-month countdown will reset starting on the date of the court hearing or the day any suspensions on your license ends.
If you have over 18 months of experience driving with an out-of-state license, you will not be required to downgrade to a provisional license. However, anyone with less than 18 months of experience has to undergo the following provisional license periods (without traffic violations) to get an unrestricted license.
The steps to getting your driver’s license in Maryland are lengthy. If you follow the program and practice safe driving habits, you will have your license in good time!
Check out our summarized manual and online MVA practice tests to make sure you know everything you need to pass your tests and stay safe on the road.
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