Maryland DMV Handbook and Regulations FAQ

If you’re planning on applying for a new Maryland driver’s license or a Maryland learner’s permit, then please note that you will be expected by the state to know and understand all of the information contained in the official state handbook. However, you may also find it helpful to go over the following FAQs. Be sure to study for your written test with a good DMV practice test before you show up to take the real thing. You will drastically increase your chances of passing.
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Does Maryland require teen drivers to complete driver’s education before they can get their learner’s permit?
Yes. In the state of Maryland, teen drivers are required to satisfy what is known as the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s graduated licensing system (GLS for short). The GLS is specially designed to provide young Maryland drivers with all of the information and resources they need in order to be responsible drivers into the future. GLS has a number of stages. At what point in the program you begin will depend on how old you are and whether or not you are otherwise deemed ready to begin the application process.
What do I need to bring when applying for my Maryland learner’s permit?
When you go to apply for your Maryland state learner’s permit, you’ll need to make sure you are at least 15 years of age and bring the proper documentation with you. You’ll need to prove your age and identity with either a passport or a certified copy of your birth certificate. You’ll also need to prove that you’re a resident of the state of Maryland, show your social security card, verify your school attendance, and have your parent or legal guardian sign a permission form. You will also be required to pay the $50 application fee required by the state of Maryland.
What are Maryland’s age limits on the different permits and licenses?
In Maryland, you must be 15 years and 9 months old in order to qualify for a learner’s permit. You have to be 16 ½ years old to qualify for a provisional license. Once you’ve satisfied all of the requirements set forth by the GDL program, then you are eligible for full, unrestricted driver’s license regardless of your age.
What are the restrictions I should be aware of when driving under my Maryland learner’s permit?
In Maryland, you need to be accompanied at all times by a licensed Maryland driver that is a minimum of 21 years of age. This driver must also remain sitting in the front passenger seat at all times, as well as have been licensed for a minimum of 3 years. You also are not allowed to use any sort of mobile device for any reason while driving if you are under 18 years of age. (The only exception is to call 911.) If you are caught violating these requirements, your learner’s permit could be suspended.
For how long is a Maryland driver’s license valid?
If you are 21 years of age or older, your driver’s license will remain valid for 8 years total. However, it’s important to note that if certain special circumstances apply, your license could be valid for a different period of time – ranging from 5 years to 8 years. Regardless of your circumstances, you’ll receive a notice from the DMV before your license actually expires to ensure that you remember to renew. Depending on the circumstances involved, you will be able to choose between renewing online, by mail, at a Maryland DMV/MVA self-service kiosk, or in person. (Your notice will specify which options are actually open to you at that time.) You can renew your license 6 months before your expiration date or up to one year after your license expires.
I want to renew my license at a self-service kiosk. What do I need to do?
If you’d like to take advantage of Maryland’s self-service kiosks and have been deemed eligible by the DMV to take advantage of the privilege, you need to:
  • Be at least 21 years of age. However, if you’re 40 years old or older, you will need to have a state-recognized eye care provider send in your most recent eye exam report to the MVA office first.
  • Already have a social security number on file with the Maryland MVA/DMV.
  • Already have a valid Maryland driver’s license. (This license can’t be expired.)
  • Be an official resident of the state of Maryland.
  • Already have a digital signature on file with the Maryland state DMV/MVA.
  • Have completed your last renewal in person.
Do I need to get a physical in order to apply for my Maryland driver’s license?
No. You are not required by the state of Maryland to pass a physical in order to get your license. All you need to do is pass your written test, your behind-the-wheel test, and a vision test.
What benefits can I gain by monitoring my driving record?
As is the case with most U.S. states, it’s considered important to monitor your driving record in the state of Maryland. You can order a copy of your driving record from the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, as well as view a comprehensive history of your long-term road record. Use this record to track any motor vehicle violations you accumulate, verify that the information contained therein is correct, and monitor the report for any possible signs of identity theft.
I want to register as an organ donor. Can I do that through the Maryland DMV/MVA?
Yes. Anyone aged 16 or older has the right to register as an official Maryland organ donor. However, if you are younger than 18, you will need to obtain your parent’s or guardian’s permission first. You will have the opportunity to specify your wish to become an organ donor when you apply for your Maryland state license. There are no fees or upcharges you need to worry about in order to do so. You can also sign up to be a donor online at the Maryland Donor Registry or by mail through Donate Life Maryland.