What is the Driving Age in Maryland?

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Like many other states, Maryland has a Graduated Licensing System, so you can’t get your full license until you turn 18. However, you can get a restricted license when you’re 16 1/2.
Ready for driving but not sure when you can start learning? Getting your driver’s license is really exciting, but since different states have different age restrictions in place, figuring out when you’ll finally be able to drive by yourself can be confusing. That’s why Jerry, the #1-rated car insurance app and licensed broker, is here to break down the different stages of getting your license in Maryland and finding cheap car insurance in Maryland as a new driver.
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What is the driving age in Maryland?

In Maryland, the minimum driving age is 16 1/2 years old for a restricted license and 18 years old for a graduated driver’s license.

What is the Rookie Driver Graduated Licensing System in Maryland?

In 1999, Maryland instated the Rookie Driver Graduated Licensing System, or the GLS, in an attempt to reduce the risk of teen driver accidents. Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has named motor vehicle accidents as one of the leading causes of death for young drivers, this program is an important way to help inexperienced drivers learn in a safe environment.
Maryland’s GLS requires new drivers to go through three different stages of licensing:
  • The learner’s permit: Supervised driving only.
  • The provisional or restricted license: Limited unsupervised driving.
  • The graduated license: Full driving freedom under Maryland law.

How to get your learner’s permit in Maryland

Before you can get your restricted license, you’ll need to get your learner’s permit. There are a few requirements to get your learner’s permit in Maryland:
  • You must be at least 15 years and nine months old.
  • If you’re under 16, you’ll need to enroll in a driver’s education program and complete the Learner’s Permit School Attendance Certification form, or form DL-300.
  • If you’re under 18, your parent or legal guardian will need to co-sign your permit application.
  • Pass a vision test.
  • Provide the proper documentation for proof of identity, age, social security, and address.
Your permit will be valid for two years from the date issued.
Once you have your learner’s permit, you’ll be allowed to drive with a supervising driver who is at least 21 years old and has had a license for a minimum of three years. This qualified driver will need to sit in the passenger’s seat next to the new driver without anyone else in the front seat.
You’ll also need a qualified driver to complete a practice log, which will be provided to you when you obtain your learner’s permit. This log will help your supervising driver to catalog your driving experience as you learn how to navigate in different conditions. That way, you can show your experience when you apply for your restricted license.
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How to get your restricted driver’s license in Maryland

After you’ve successfully completed your practice log, you can apply for your restricted driver’s license. Remember, you have to have your learner’s permit before you can apply for a restricted license. If you don’t have a valid learner’s permit, you won’t be able to apply for a restricted license.

What are the requirements for a provisional license?

There are a few things you’ll need to obtain a restricted driver’s license in Maryland:
  • You must be at least 16 1/2 years old.
  • You must complete a driver’s education course, which should include 30 hours of classroom time and six hours of instruction behind the wheel. Once you complete an approved driver’s education course, your instructor should submit a course completion form to the MVA directly, so you’ll need to contact your instructor if you have any issues.
  • You must pass a skills test behind the wheel, which you’ll need to schedule in advance. You can schedule this test online or call your local MVA office to get more information about available testing times.

Provisional license restrictions

If you’re under 18 years old, your restricted license will have a few restrictions in place:
  • You can drive without supervision, but only from 5:00 AM to midnight. If you need to drive outside of these hours, you’ll need to be accompanied by a qualified supervising driver, just like you needed with your learner’s permit.
  • You can’t have any passengers who are under the age of 18 for the first 151 days of having your provisional license unless you’re accompanied by a qualified supervising drive or those passengers are direct family members (such as a spouse, child, or sibling). Step-family counts as direct family, too!
  • Everyone in the car must be properly restrained with seatbelts, car seats, and/or booster seats.
  • You cannot use any sort of wireless communication device, even hands-free. This means no talking on the phone while you’re driving! The only exceptions to this rule are using your GPS or calling 911.

How to get a graduated license in Maryland

Once you turn 18, you’ll finally be eligible for your graduated driver’s license. You actually won’t have to do anything to switch your provisional license to a graduated license. Once you’ve met all of the requirements, the MVA will automatically convert your license to full, graduated license status.
After your 18th birthday, you should receive an attachment card in the mail from the MVA. You must carry this card with your provisional license until it expires. Then, when you renew your driver’s license, you’ll be issued a full license and you won’t need the attachment card anymore!

Saving on car insurance in Maryland

Getting your driver’s license is super exciting, but finding cheap car insurance quotes in Maryland? Not so much. That’s why we created the comparison super app Jerry, where you can find the best rates available on the coverage you need in a matter of minutes.
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