facebookMaryland Provisional License Explained: Rules & Restrictions
Maryland Provisional License Explained

Maryland Provisional License Explained

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 15, 2021

For this article, we are going to focus on the Maryland provisional license and assume you already have a learner’s permit. Otherwise, we recommend you to read this guide.

So, let us break down everything you need to know about the MD provisional license. 

What Is a Maryland Provisional Driver’s License?

The provisional driver’s license is the second step on the way to receiving a full driver’s license. You will receive your license after you have completed all the qualifying requirements detailed below.  

These rules and restrictions last for some time before you are entrusted with all the rights and responsibilities of a full Maryland license

When Does Your 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.

Who Needs to Get a Maryland Provisional Driver’s License?

There are certain instances other than being a new driver that you will need to apply for a provisional license. The following 3 types of drivers will need to obtain one before moving to the next step in the licensing process.

  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. 

Where Can You Apply for a Provisional License?

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. 

What are the Requirements for Getting a MD Provisional License?

Before you apply for a provisional license, you have to satisfy the following 4 requirements.

  1. Minimum age is 16 years and 6 months.
  2. Pass a Maryland MVA licensed and approved standardized driver education course.
  3. Driver education course certifications from other states do not qualify.
  4. 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.

What Are the Requirements to Be a Qualified Driving Supervisor?

To be a qualified supervising driver there are 3 main requirements.

  1. The person must have a valid Maryland driver’s license.
  2. The person must be over the age of 21. 
  3. They must have been driving for a minimum of three years. 

What Rules Must You Follow If You Have a Provisional License?

If you are driving in the state of Maryland with a provisional driver’s license, there are a few additional 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. 

Additionally, it is an excellent idea for all drivers to never use their cell phone while driving, however, if you are under the age of 18, it is strictly forbidden. 

Are There Any Exceptions to the Curfew?

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. 

The conditions of this curfew do not apply to any driver over the age of 18. Drivers over the age of 18 are allowed to drive at any hour.

Also, if you are a driver under the age of 18, you are not permitted to have any passengers in your car under the age of 18 (unless they are a family member). 

What Happens If You Get a Moving Violation?

Every driver, no matter if they are on a provisional license or a regular license, must obey all the rules of the road. The main difference is there are additional consequences for moving violations if you are driving with a provisional license. 

If you are convicted of a moving violation while driving with a 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 additional 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 Before You Can Get a Regular License?

According to MAIF Insurance, 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.

Why Do You Need a Maryland Provisional Driver’s License?

You may be thinking to yourself right now that the process to obtain a provisional license is overly complicated and unnecessary. Why don’t I just get a regular driver’s license when I turn 16 like back in the good old days? 

The state of Maryland wants all drivers to be experienced, safe, and in full compliance with the law in an effort to minimize traffic fatalities on Maryland roadways. So this process is to protect you as well as other drivers.

Traffic Fatalities in the State of Maryland

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the State of Maryland had 501 traffic fatalities in 2018 and that number only increased in 2019. Accidents are inevitable; however, a well-maintained Graduated Licensing Program will keep those deaths to a minimum. 

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

In Maryland, 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 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.

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