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  • Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Maryland

    Applying for a Teen Driver’s License in Maryland

    If you’re a teenager, you will need to satisfy the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) graduated licensing system (GLS) in order to get your first new driver’s license.

    Called the “rookie driver program,” the GLS is designed to give you the skills needed for safe and responsible driving. It enforces special rules and restrictions to keep yourself and others safe while you are practicing your driving.

    New to Maryland?

    If you have moved to Maryland and you are a new teen driver, you must participate in the state’s graduated licensing system (GLS).

    The GLS has several stages. When you move to MD, your age and whether or not you are already licensed will determine where you begin in the GLS.

    Learner’s Permit

    Learner’s permits from outside of Maryland do not transfer. For a MD permit, you must be at least 15 years and 9 months old.

    You’ll have to apply for a new learner’s permit in person at your local MVA branch.

    You’ll need to take and pass:

    • A DMV written test.
    • A vision exam.
    DMV.org TIP: Ace Your Written Test!

    Prepare with an online practice test before you head to the Maryland MVA.

    You’ll need to:

    • Prove your age and identity, with a document such as:
      • Your valid passport.
      • An original or certified copy of your birth certificate.
    • Prove your Maryland residence.
      • Can be a certified statement from your parent or guardian.
    • Show your Social Security card, a W-2 less than 18 months old, or a pay stub less than 3 months old.
    • Submit a signed, sealed Verification of Identity and/or School Attendance (Form DL-300), if you are younger than 16 years old
      • Can also serve as your proof of identity.
    • Have your parent or legal guardian sign a permission form, if you are younger than 18 years old.
    • Pay the $50 fee (covers all stages of the GLS).

    Read below for more information about MD learner’s permits, including restrictions and next steps.

    Provisional Driver’s License

    If you are at least 16 1/2 years old and have had an out-of-state driver’s license for fewer than 18 months, you must get a provisional driver’s license in Maryland.

    You must have successfully completed an approved driver’s education course.

    NOTE: The MVA does NOT accept out-of state Driver’s Ed courses EXCEPT some Delaware Driver’s Ed courses approved by the DE Board of Education (your certificate will state that the course is approved by the MVA).

    DMV.org TIP: Need a Driver's Ed class?

    Find more information about driver’s education in Maryland, including approved courses, on our Maryland Driver's Ed page.

    You can apply for a provisional driver’s license by visiting an MVA branch office and:

    • Surrender your out-of-state driver’s license.
    • Prove your Maryland residence.
      • Can be a certified statement from your parent or guardian.
    • Show your Social Security card, a W-2 less than 18 months old, or a pay stub less than 3 months old.
    • Have your parent or legal guardian sign a permission form, if you are younger than 18 years old.
    • Pass the driving skills test.
    • Pay the fee of $6 per year.

    Provisional License Period

    In Maryland, you must usually hold your provisional driver’s license for 18 months with no convictions.

    However, if you had a driver’s license from another state or country, your provisional period will be shorter:

    • Licensed for less than 6 months: 18 months.
    • Licensed for 6 to 12 months: 12 months.
    • Licensed for 12 to 18 months: 6 months.

    You cannot have any convictions while you have your provisional driver’s license. If you are convicted of a moving violation, your provisional period will start over for another 18 months.

    Maryland Graduated Licensing System

    Maryland’s rookie driver graduated licensing system (GLS) applies to all drivers, no matter how old, but enforces special restrictions and eligibility requirements for teen drivers.

    The rookie driver program has 3 stages:

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

    To move from one stage to the next, you must meet certain eligibility requirements, explained in the sections below.

    Age Requirements

    • Learner’s permit: 15 years and 9 months old.
    • Provisional license: 16 1/2 years old.
    • Full driver’s license: Once you satisfy all of the GDL requirements.

    Maryland Learner’s Permit

    The learner’s permit is the first step in the GLS process. To apply, you must be at least 15 years and 9 months old.

    To apply, visit your local Maryland MVA office and:

    • Prove your age and identity, with documents such as:
      • Your valid passport.
      • An original or certified copy of your birth certificate.
    • Provide proof of your Maryland residence.
      • Can be a certified statement from your parent or guardian.
    • Submit your Social Security card, a W-2 less than 18 months old, or a pay stub less than 3 months old.
    • Provide a signed, sealed Verification of Identity and/or School Attendance (Form DL-300), if you are younger than 16 years old.
      • Can also serve as your proof of identity.
    • Have your parent or legal guardian sign a permission form, if you are younger than 18 years old.
    • Pass the DMW written test/knowledge exam.
    • Pass the vision exam.
    • Pay the $50 fee (covers all stages of the GLS).

    Learner’s Permit Driving Restrictions

    While you have a learner’s permit in MD, you can only drive when accompanied by a supervising driver who:

    • Is at least 21 years old.
    • Has been licensed to drive for at least 3 years.
    • Is sitting next to you.

    If you are younger than 18 years old, you cannot use ANY mobile device while driving, except to call 911. If you violate this restriction, your permit can be suspended.

    Behind-the-Wheel Driving Practice

    As the first stage of the GLS, your learner’s permit is the phase in which you acquire and practice your driving skills.

    You’ll have your permit for at least 9 months before you can apply for a provisional license. During that time, if you’re under 25 years old, you must:

    • Complete an approved Maryland driver’s education course, with:
      • At least 30 hours in the classroom.
      • At least 6 hours behind-the-wheel training.
    • Log at least 60 hours of supervised driver training.
      • At least 10 hours must occur at night (specifically, from 30 minutes before sunset to 30 minutes after sunrise).

    Maryland Provisional License

    The second stage of the Rookie Driver GLS is obtaining your provisional driver’s license. With this license, you get more freedom than a Maryland learner’s permit, but not as much as a full driver’s license.

    To be eligible for a provisional driver’s license, you must:

    • Have held a learner’s permit for at least 9 months.
    • Be at least 16 1/2 years old.
    • Have successfully completed Driver’s Ed. Your completion will be electronically submitted to the MVA.
    • Complete 60 hours of supervised practice driving, logged in the Skills Log and Practice Guide (Form RD-006).

    Apply for a Provisional Driver’s License

    To apply for your provisional driver’s license, visit a MVA branch office in person and:

    NOTE: Your provisional license is paid for when you get your Maryland learner’s permit. However, if you are entering the GLS at the provisional licensing stage, the fee is $9 per year.

    Provisional License Driving Restrictions

    If you’re younger than 18 years old, you will need to follow certain driving restrictions. You can drive:

    • From 5 a.m. to 12 a.m. without supervision.
    • From 12 a.m. to 5 a.m. if you are:
      • Supervised by a driver who is at least 21 years old and has at least 3 years of driving experience.
      • Driving to or from work, a school activity, a volunteer program, or a sports event or practice in which you are participating.

    You will also have passenger restrictions. For the first 151 days that you have your provisional driver’s license, you cannot transport passengers under 18 years old unless:

    • You are with a supervising driver.
      OR
    • The passengers are your immediate family members.

    Full Unrestricted Maryland Driver’s License

    Your provisional license will automatically become a full driver’s license when you have held your provisional driver’s license for 18 months, without conviction.

    NOTE: If you’re younger than 21 years old, you must have had no alcohol-related convictions.

    When you are eligible, you will receive an update card in the mail that shows you are now a fully licensed driver. Carry the card with your provisional driver’s license.

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

    Follow our new license checklist and share your progress with your friends.

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