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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Maryland

    Applying for a New Driver’s License in Maryland

    In Maryland, the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) requires you to complete their graduated licensing system (GLS) in order to obtain your new driver’s license.

    This is a requirement for new drivers regardless of your age.

    Read below for more information about the GLS, how to transfer an out-of-state driver’s license, and how to apply for your first driver’s license.

    New to Maryland?

    You have 60 days to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license to a new Maryland driver’s license when you move to the state.

    The type of Maryland driver’s license you can apply for will be determined by how long you’ve been licensed for:

    • 18 months or longer: Regular driver’s license.
    • Less than 18 months: Provisional driver’s license.

    Regular Driver’s License

    To get a new Maryland driver’s license, you must go in person to your local MVA office and:

    • Present your current driver’s license OR a certified driving record from your previous state.
    • Pay the fee of $9 per year (your driver’s license will be valid from 5 to 8 years).
    • Pass a vision screening.
    • Prove your age and identity, with documents such as:
      • Original or certified copy of your birth certificate.
      • Valid U.S. passport.
      • Valid permanent resident card.
    • Prove your Social Security number, with documents such as:
      • Your Social Security card.
      • A W-2 or 1099 dated within the last 18 months.
      • A paystub dated within the last 3 months.
    • Provide 2 documents to prove you are a Maryland resident, such as a:
      • Utility bill.
      • Bank statement.
      • Mortgage agreement or rental contract.
        • NOTE: These items must show your name and address, and each document must be from a different company.

    The MVA website has a complete list of acceptable documents as well as an interactive online document guide to help you apply for your new driver's license.

    Maryland Provisional Driver’s License

    If you’ve been licensed for fewer than 18 months, you must get a provisional driver’s license.

    Apply for a provisional driver’s license by visiting a Maryland MVA branch office in person and:

    • Present your current out-of-state driver’s license OR certified driving record.
    • Pay the $30 fee.
    • Pass the vision screening.
    • Pass the driving test.
    • You must schedule the driving skills test in advance using the MVA’s central scheduling system.
    • Provide proof of identity and age; e.g.:
      • Valid birth certificate.
      • Current U.S. passport.
      • Permanent resident card.
    • Provide your Social Security number, with proof such as:
      • Your Social Security card.
      • A W-2 (must be from within the last 18 months).
      • A paystub dated within the last 3 months.
    • Submit 2 documents proving your Maryland residency that show your name and address, such as:
      • A utility bill.
      • Your bank statement.
      • Your rental contract or mortgage agreement.
        • Each document needs to have been issued by a different company.

    See the Motor Vehicle Administration’s website for a full list of acceptable documents.

    Provisional Driver’s License Period

    You must hold your provisional driver’s license for a specified period of time before you can obtain your full driver’s license:

    • 18 months, if you’ve had a driver’s license for less than 6 months.
    • 12 months, if you’ve had a driver’s license for at least 6 to 12 months.
    • 6 months, if you’ve had a driver’s license for at least 12 to 18 months.

    If you are convicted of a moving violation during this time, your provisional period starts over for 18 months.

    See “Apply for a MD Driver’s License” below for information about how to transition to a full driver’s license.

    Types of Maryland Driver’s Licenses

    The Maryland MVA offers several types of non-commercial driver’s licenses:

    • Class A: Allows you to drive a non-commercial vehicle of any weight (except motorcycles).
    • Class B: Allows you to drive any non-commercial vehicle or combination of vehicles (except motorcycles and tractor-trailer combinations).
    • Class C: Commonly known as a regular driver’s license.Allows you to drive a vehicle or combination of vehicles with a total weight of less than 26,001 lbs.
    • Class M: Allows you to operate a motorcycle. See our page, Motorcycle License in Maryland for more information.

    Your driver’s license will be valid for 5 to 8 years.

    For details about commercial driver’s licenses, see our page on Applying for a New CDL in Maryland.

    New Driver’s License Eligibility

    If you’re a new driver, you must participate in the Maryland MVA’s rookie driver program, which has several stages:

    • Learner’s permit.
    • Provisional license.
    • Full driver’s license.

    Maryland Learner’s Permit

    You can apply for a learner’s permit in person at your local MVA branch. You’ll need:

    • Payment for the $50 fee (includes provisional and full driver’s license conversion).
    • To pass the vision screening.
    • To pass the written permit test.
    • Proof of your age and identity, such as your:
      • Birth certificate (original or certified copy).
      • U.S. passport.
      • Permanent resident card.
    • Proof of your Social Security number, such as:
      • Your Social Security card.
      • A W-2 dated within the last 18 months.
      • A paystub dated within the last 3 months.
    • 2 documents to prove you are a Maryland resident, such as a:
      • Utility bill.
      • Bank statement.
      • Mortgage agreement or rental contract.
        • NOTE: These items must show your name and address, and each document must be from a different company.

    The Maryland MVA website has a complete list of acceptable documents for new driver's license applicants.

    Learner’s Permit Restrictions

    With your learner’s permit, you can drive ONLY while supervised by a licensed driver who:

    • Is at least 21 years old.
    • Has had their driver’s license for at least 3 years.
    • Is sitting next to you.

    Driver’s Ed and Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

    If you’re 25 years old or older, you can move on to your provisional driver’s license once you:

    If you’re under 25 years old, see our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Maryland page for learner’s permit requirements.

    Maryland Provisional Driver’s License

    If you’re under 25 years old, you will have different requirements to fulfill before moving on to your provisional driver’s license. See our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Maryland page.

    If you’re 25 years old or older, you will be eligible for a provisional driver’s license once you:

    • Have held your learner’s permit for 45 days.
    • Have completed Driver’s Ed.
    • Have completed at least 14 hours of driving practice, including 3 hours at night.
    • Pass the driving test.

    If you receive any traffic convictions while you have your provisional driver’s license you will receive the following penalties:

    • Mandatory completion of a driver improvement class: 1st conviction.
    • Driver’s license suspension for 30 days: 2nd conviction.
    • Driver’s license suspension for 180 days: 3rd conviction (and subsequent convictions).

    Apply for a New Provisional Driver’s License

    You must apply for a provisional license in person at an Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration branch office.

    First, you have to schedule your driving skills test in advance using the MVA’s Central Scheduling System.

    When you go to the Maryland MVA office, you’ll need:

    Once you’ve held your provisional driver’s license for 18 months, it will be automatically converted to a full driver’s license. During this time you must not receive any moving violation convictions.

    New Maryland Driver’s License

    Your provisional license will automatically become a full driver’s license once you’ve held it for 18 months.

    NOTE: If you are under 21 years old, you must have no alcohol convictions to be eligible for a full driver’s license. If you receive any moving violation convictions while you have your provisional driver’s license, your waiting period of 18 months will be re-started.

    The Maryland MVA will mail you an update card that shows you are a fully licensed driver. Carry the card with your provisional driver’s license.

    When your provisional driver’s license expires, you will need to renew your driver’s license and receive a regular Maryland driver’s license.

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