New drivers must go through a three-step process to obtain a Maryland license:
- Learner's permit
- Provisional license
- Full license
Time Required: 2 years
- The first step is a learner's permit. Applicants for learners 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.
- Enroll in a certified driving school. During the learners permit period, drivers must complete at least 60 hours of driving practice with someone at least age 21 who has held a drivers 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.
- After holding a learners 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.
- Bring the certification from the driving course, practice log and learner's permit to the skills test.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Learner's permits are valid one year from the date they are issued.
- The fee for a learner's permit for those with no previous license is $50 and $30 for those with a previous license.
- Be prepared to disclose your social security number.
- A qualified supervising driver must be 21 years old with 3 years driving experience.
- Out-of-state learner's permits cannot be exchanged for Maryland ones.