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How To Get a New License in Maryland

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New drivers must go through a three-step process to obtain a Maryland license:
  • Learner's permit
  • Provisional license
  • Full license
The learning processes that goes on during this time is particularly important for teenagers. Parents should enroll students in driving school and must pitch in on the task of teaching by providing supervised driving time outside class. The Maryland Parent-Teen Driving Agreement is a valuable resource.

Difficulty: Hard
Time Required: 2 years

Here's How:

  1. The first step is a learner's permit. Applicants for learner’s permits must be at least 15 years and 9 months old and must pass a vision test and knowledge test. Bring learner's permit application (signed by parent or guardian) proof of age, identity, and Maryland residence to a full-service MVA location.
  2. Enroll in a certified driving school. During the learner’s permit period, drivers must complete at least 60 hours of driving practice with someone at least age 21 who has held a driver’s license for at least three years. Ten of those practice hours must occur while dark outside. The supervising driver must sign a practice log certifying the practice driving requirements were fulfilled.
  3. After holding a learner’s permit for 6 months, applicants who have completed the appropriate training are eligible for a provisional license. Call 1-888-212-4709 to schedule your drivers skills test for your provisional license.
  4. Bring the certification from the driving course, practice log and learner's permit to the skills test.
  5. Once the learner's permit is converted into a provisional license, the driver must then hold that license for a minimum of 18 months. If he or she is cited for a moving violation, the 18-month period is restarted. Drivers under age 18 with a provisional license are only authorized to drive without adult supervision from 5 a.m. to midnight. People under age 18 are prohibited from using a wireless communication device (i.e cell phone) while operating a motor vehicle, except to contact 911. Violations may result in a suspension of driving privileges.
  6. The earliest a person can obtain a full license is age 17 and nine months. For the first 5 months after the provisional license is issued, the new drivers under age 18 are not allowed to transport minors with the exception of family members, unless accompanied by an adult.
  7. Once you meet all the requirements for a full license, the MVA automatically converts the provisional license to a full license. An attachment card showing the conversion will be mailed to you and must be kept with your license.

Tips:

  1. Learner's permits are valid one year from the date they are issued.
  2. The fee for a learner's permit for those with no previous license is $50 and $30 for those with a previous license.
  3. Be prepared to disclose your social security number.
  4. A qualified supervising driver must be 21 years old with 3 years driving experience.
  5. Out-of-state learner's permits cannot be exchanged for Maryland ones.
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