Maryland’s Teen Driver’s License and Insurance Requirements

Learn about the requirements for teens to obtain a driver’s license in Maryland and what insurance is required.

Maryland requires teen drivers to obtain an instruction permit before being issued a driver’s license. However, even after licensing, teen drivers are subject to a multitude of restrictions and requirements.

Instruction Permit

At the age of 15 years and nine months, a person can submit an application (along with the application fee and proof of identification) to the local Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) office to obtain an instruction permit. The application must be signed by a parent or guardian. The license or permit issued will be revoked if the parent dies or withdraws consent. Applicants under 16 years old must also provide proof of the applicant’s school attendance record showing no more than ten unexcused absences in the prior semester.

After the applicant passes the vision exam and written test covering local traffic signs and traffic laws, the MVA can issue an instruction permit. This permit authorizes the driver to operate the specified class of vehicle, but only under proper supervision. Maryland requires the supervisor to be an adult, at least 21 years old, who has held a driver’s license for at least three years and is seated next to the driver at all times.

Provisional License

Teens who are 16 and a half years old are eligible to apply for a provisional license. The application must include a driving log signed by a parent showing 60 hours of completed supervised driving time (ten of which must have been done at night) and proof of completion of an approved driver’s education course that includes 30 hours of class time and six hours of driving time. Teens are only permitted to apply for a provisional license after holding an instruction permit for nine months without any moving violations. The teen must then complete and pass the road test administered by the MVA.

The provisional license allows the motorist to drive without an adult anywhere from 5 a.m. to midnight. The teen can drive after curfew with an authorized supervisor or to and from employment, a school activity, an athletic activity, or a volunteer program.

For the first 151 days holding a provisional license, drivers are prohibited from transporting any non-family member passengers under 18 years old (unless accompanied by authorized supervisor).

For all holders of provisional licenses and instruction permits, all passengers are required to wear seatbelts and the driver is prohibited from using a cellphone while driving. Use of a cellphone while driving can result in a license suspension or restriction of up to 90 days.

Violation of these restrictions or any moving violation during the provisional license period can result in varying penalties.

  • First offense: The teen is required to complete a driver improvement program.
  • Second offense: The judge can suspend the driver’s license for up to 30 days and impose an education and employment restriction for up to 90 days (driver may only drive to and from school and work).
  • Third offense: The judge can suspend the driver’s license for up to 180 days, impose an education and employment restriction for up to 180 days, and require completion of a driver improvement program.
  • Fourth offense: Judge can revoke the driver’s license for not less than 180 days (the driver must retake all driving tests to reinstate license).

Full License

After holding a provisional license for at least 18 months without any moving violations, an 18-year-old driver can request a full license. With a license, the driver is no longer subject to the provisional license restrictions and can have the provisional license marking removed from his or her driver’s license.

Moped Permit

Any person at least 16 years old who does not hold a driver’s license (and is not prohibited) can apply for a moped permit. After passing the vision and written examination, a moped permit authorizes the user to operate a moped or motorized bicycle.

Insurance

Maryland requires all vehicles driven to be properly insured. Maryland requires a minimum liability insurance policy of at least $30,000 bodily injury per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident, and $15,000 property damage per accident.

Civil. Any time the MVA is notified that an insurance policy has been terminated or that a person was operating a vehicle without insurance, it will issue a letter requesting proof of insurance. If no proof of insurance is provided, the vehicle’s registration and the driver’s license will be suspended until valid proof of insurance is provided. The MVA can also assess a $150 fee for the first 30 days without proof of insurance, as well as a $7 per day fee for each day thereafter until insurance is obtained.

Criminal. Driving without proof of insurance is also a crime punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. A second offense is punishable by up to two years in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.

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