Drivers Ed in Maryland
Completion of a Maryland Drivers Ed course is suggested and often required prior to obtaining your learner's permit, and ultimately receiving your Driver's License. Although not approved for the state of Maryland, I Drive Safely is a good course to prepare yourself for your state's licensing exam.
Like most other states, Maryland has instituted a graduated licensing program to help young drivers build better skills and gain more experience. Except in this state it is referred to as the Rookie Driver Program.
The program, divided into three gradual steps, is required for all applicants who have never had a license in any state or country, no matter how old they are. It's also a requirement for drivers who have had a license in another state or country, but for less than 18 months.
Each of the following stages in the Rookie Driver Program necessitate that you initially appear in person at a full-service MVA office each time you begin a new phase.
Before you jump head-first into getting a learner's permit, it is a good idea to hunker down with the Maryland Driver's Handbook for a few days. You will have a multiple-choice test to pass on your first visit and all the material on it is culled from these pages.
- You must be at least 15 years and 9 months.
- Supply a birth certificate to the examiner.
- Sufficiently read off a few very small letters to the examiner to pass the eye exam.
- Show your ability to identify common road signs and pavement markings.
- Ace a written test (80% or higher).
- Complete a school attendance certification form with the help of a school official. Home-schooled applicants can talk to a registered coordinator in their jurisdiction.
This will get you the permit and send you on the road to a license, but now the real work begins. The permit must be held for at least nine months prior to making an attempt to move to the next step.
There are two types of learner's permits:
Type One Permit
This permit is intended for those applicants who have never held any type of driver license before.
- Age requirement: 15 years and 9 months.
- Valid: One year.
- Must be held for a minimum of nine months.
- If under 18 years of age, a parent of guardian must co-sign the application.
Type Two Permit
This permit is issued to applicants who have already had a license and are applying for a different class or type of license.
- Age requirement: 16 years and 1 months.
- Valid: Six months.
- Must be held for a minimum of 14 days.
- If under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must co-sign the application.
Prior to leaving the MVA office the examiner will give you a Skills Log & Practice Guide.
During the time you have your permit, you will be pretty busy. You will need to enroll in an authorized driver education course. Many of these courses are offered as part of the elective curriculum at your high school.
If not, there are plenty of quality driving schools and private instructors that teach the state's core requirements. Basically, this entails sitting in a classroom for 30 hours and spending at least six hours behind the wheel of an actual vehicle.
Along with the driver education course you will need to log 60 hours of driving under the supervision of a parent or guardian. Ten of these hours need to be under the cover of darkness. Refer to your Skills Log & Practice Guide for a recommended breakdown of how to use these hours. The recorded hours need to be noted in the log and signed off on by your parent in order to receive your provisional license.
- You can only operate a vehicle with a person 21 years of age or over who has owned a license for a minimum of three years, and that person must sit in the passenger seat.
- No gabbing on the cell phone.
The provisional license lets you have many of the same perks as a regular license (meaning you can drive alone), but there are a bevy of restrictions imposed on it. If you maintain a good driving record and bide your time, you will eventually get to toss the provisional title.
If you have met all of the requirements of the learner's permit, you are now ready to take the driving skills test. Call the MVA at (888) 212-4709 to schedule an appointment.
This is the best time, if you are a parent, to get more involved in the whole process by sitting your teen down with the state's Parent Teen Agreement.
Provisional License Requirements
- You must be at least age 16 years and 6 months, and have held a learner's permit for a minimum of nine months.
- Provide a certificate showing that you completed a driver education course. (Effective January 1, 2009: You won't have to show a paper certificate proving you completed the course. Your course instructor will electronically send the information to the MVA.)
- Present your practice log, signed by a parent or guardian.
- Pass the driving test.
Provisional License Restrictions
- You can only drive without supervision between 5 a.m. and midnight.
- Restricted hours are between midnight and 5 a.m. unless it is for employment, school functions, or other acceptable reasons.
- You cannot have any of your buddies under the age of 18 in the car with you for the first five months. This does not include siblings.
- Any infractions during this period will result in you having to attend a Driver Improvement Program (DIP). Also, you will have to start the provisional driving period from the beginning.
- No gabbing on the cell phone.
You have finally earned it―the unobstructed license. Use it responsibly and always remember that driving is a privilege, not a right. You will be mailed an addendum from the MVA automatically. This will state that you do indeed have a full license. You will need to carry it with the provisional license. When it comes time for you to renew the license, you will then be issued the new one.
- You must now be age 18 years old.
- You have held the provisional license for a minimum of 18 months without any violations.
- Type One Learner's Permit: $50
- Type Two Learner's Permit: $30
- Driver License: $45
Local Drivers Education
- Driver License Renewal: $30
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