Maryland learners license

Maryland Provisional License: Rules & Restrictions

by Zutobi · Updated Sep 30, 2021

Are you about to get your Maryland provisional license? Then you’ve come to the right place. We understand that the process may seem complicated, but it doesn’t have to be.

In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about getting a provisional license in Maryland to make it as easy as possible to understand.

What is the Maryland Provisional Driver’s License?

The provisional driver’s license is the second step on the way to receiving a full driver’s license. There are certain instances other than being a new driver where you will need to apply for a provisional license.

  1. New Drivers: Anyone who has obtained and fulfilled all the requirements of the Type-1 Learner’s Permit.
  2. Out-of-State Driver: If you move to Maryland from another state and have been driving for less than 18 months.
  3. Out-of-Country Driver: If you move to Maryland from another country and have been driving for less than 18 months.

You can apply for a provisional license through the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. On this website, you will find all the information you need including the locations of every MVA office throughout the state.

When Does a Provisional License Expire?

The MD provisional license expires automatically and depends on your age.

  1. Drivers Under the Age of 21: License expires 60 days after your 21st birthday.
  2. Drivers Over the Age of 21: License expires 8 years after it is issued on your birthday.

Provisional License Requirements in Maryland

Before you can apply for a provisional license, you have to satisfy the following requirements.

  1. Minimum age is 16 years and 6 months.
  2. Pass a Maryland MVA licensed and approved standardized driver education course. Driver education course certifications from other states do not qualify.
  3. Must have a practice skills log completed and signed by a qualified supervising driver.

What is the Practice Skills Log?

The practice skills log is a document that details 60 hours of supervised driving for any provisional license applicant. The supervised driving required to complete the practice skills log must be conducted with a qualifying licensed driver. This could be a parent, guardian, or professional driving instructor.

Out of the 60 hours, 10 of those hours must be completed at night. New drivers should have practice driving at night, at dawn, and dusk. These 10 hours need to be recorded between the hours of 30 minutes before sunset and 30 minutes after sunrise.

MD Provisional License Rules

Along with a provisional license comes a few rules and restrictions you need to be made aware of.

If you are under the age of 18, there is a driving curfew that is strictly enforced – provisional license holders under the age of 18 are not allowed to drive between the hours of midnight and 5 am. You are also forbidden from using your cell phone while driving, including hands-free devices. Furthermore, you may not drive with non-family members under 18 years old unless driving with a qualified supervising driver, but this restriction ends after 151 days if you have no violations on your record.

If you are under 21, you may not drive with ANY measure of alcohol in your system. Older drivers must comply with impaired driving laws.

Finally, the driver and all passengers MUST wear a safety belt or harness at all times.

Are There Any Exceptions to the Restrictions?

There are 5 exceptions to the restrictions.

  1. The driver is going to, coming from, or conducting official duties of employment.
  2. The driver is going to or coming from an official school activity.
  3. The driver is going to or coming from an organized volunteer program.
  4. The driver is going to or coming from an athletic event or training session.
  5. The driver is with a qualified licensed driver who is 21 years of age or older and has a minimum of 3 years of driving experience.

These rules and restrictions are removed when you receive your full Maryland license.

What Happens If You Get a Moving Violation?

If you are convicted of a moving violation while driving with a MD provisional license, not only will you be subject to the normal fines and consequences, you will face additional sanctions on your license. Additionally, the waiting period before you can get your full driver’s license will reset.

These are the consequences you can expect for each moving violation.

  • 1st Moving Violation Conviction: You will be required to complete a driver improvement class.
  • 2nd Moving Violation Conviction: Your license will be suspended for 30-days.
  • 3rd Moving Violation Conviction: Your license will be suspended for 180-days and could be revoked depending on the severity of the violation. Your license may also be revoked if you receive an additional violation after your 3rd conviction.

How Long Are You Required to Have a Provisional License?

In Maryland, you are required to drive with a provisional license for a minimum of 18 months without any moving violations. If you receive a moving violation, your 18 months will reset.

Your license will be automatically upgraded after the 18 months have been completed.

What Are the Rules if You’re Over the Age of 25?

The rules are different if you are over the age of 25. If you have never had a license before, you still need to obtain a Maryland learner’s permit.

If you have never received a moving violation, you are eligible to take a Skills Driving Test after you have been driving under your permit for 45-days.

During those 45-days you must complete the following requirements.

  1. Complete a Maryland MVA approved driver education program with 30-hours of classroom instruction and 6-hours of behind the wheel instruction.
  2. Complete at least 14-hours of supervised driving with 3 of those hours occurring at night and during sunrise and sunset.
  3. Complete the Practice Skills Log.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about getting your provisional driver’s license in Maryland. We hope this guide has helped you out and that you now feel comfortable with the steps moving forward. If you need any help studying for your upcoming exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with a summarized handbook, MD permit practice tests, and a gamified experience.

Take our full course with tests and theory

550+ exam-like questions

All you need to ace your test

Perfect for first-timers, renewals and senior citizens

Ace your DMV test, guaranteed