How to Get a Maryland Driver's Permit

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Maryland is one of many states that uses a graduated driver's program, which requires new drivers to begin driving under supervision, in order to practice safe driving before getting their full driver’s license. In order to receive the initial learner’s permit, you must follow certain steps. Here is a simple guide to getting a Maryland driver’s instruction permit:

Learner’s permit

There are two types of learner’s permits in Maryland. The first is the “Type 1 Permit,” which is for drivers who have never had a license at all. The second is the “Type 2 Permit,” which is a transitional permit that covers drivers while they move from a learner’s permit to a full license. In order to apply for a “Type 1 Permit,” a driver must be 15 years and 9 months old, and have completed a state-approved driver’s education course that includes both 30 hours of classroom time and six hours of behind-the-wheel training.

While driving with a Maryland instruction permit, drivers must be accompanied by an adult who is:

  • At least 21 years old

  • Has held a driver’s license for at least three years

While driving during the instructional period, parents or legal guardians must use the Practice and Skills Log to log the 60 required hours of practice that a teen will need to apply for their standard driver’s license. At least ten of those hours must have taken place at night. The learner’s permit is valid for a total of two years, and must be held for a minimum of nine months before the driver may apply for the next step in the graduated driver’s license program.

How to apply

In order to apply for a Maryland learner’s permit, drivers must submit the following documents to the local MVA office:

  • A completed application

  • Proof of identity, such as a valid passport

  • Proof of Social Security number, such as a Social Security card or a W-2 form

  • Proof that you can legally reside in the U.S., such as a valid passport

  • Two documents that prove Maryland residency, such as a bill or bank account statement

  • The certificate of completion from the required driver’s education course, if the applicant is under 16 years old

Passing the exam

The Maryland learner’s permit exam is made of questions about the state-specific traffic laws, safe driving rules, and road signs. There are 25 questions; all given on a computer at the MVA office, and each driver must correctly answer 85% of the questions in order to pass. The Maryland Driver’s Manual has all the information necessary to pass the exam. In order to get extra practice and build confidence before taking the exam, there are many online practice tests, including timed versions, available.

After passing the written exam, drivers must pass a vision exam, and pay a $50 fee. If the learner’s permit ever needs to be replaced, the fee is $20.


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