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Apply for Maryland Drivers License

Apply for Maryland Drivers License

If you are applying for your first drivers license, the application procedure is regulated by the Maryland graduated license system. The application process consist of three main steps - learners permit, provisional license and full unrestricted drivers license. The application procedure requires you to take a number of tests that allow you to prove that you can be a safe and responsible driver. The minimum age when you can apply for an unrestricted Maryland drivers license is 17 years, 9 months, however you can enter the graduated license program much sooner.

Graduated License

Due to the fact that Maryland's graduated drivers license program applies to first time drivers license applicants of all ages, drivers license requirements are not age dependent. If you are applying for your first drivers license, you will need to abide to all program rules. The program was designed to reduce the number of traffic accident among those who just got licensed and it's doing a good job at it. According to statistics, you every driver is highly likely to be involved in a traffic accident during the first year of driving. In most situations, lack of driving experience is to blame. Many drivers overestimate their driving ability and when a dangerous situation arises, they simply do not know how to deal with it.

The graduated license program takes care of this issue by breaking the licensing procedure into a number of distinct steps. Each step allows the applicant to gain certain skills and graduation to the next level is not possible until you prove that you've learned everything there is to be learned at this step. This approach allows Maryland drivers license applicants to practice driving in a relatively risk-free driving environment before they are granted with full unrestricted drivers privileges.

You can enter the program when you are at least 15 years, 9 months old. At this age, you can visit a local Motor Vehicle Administration office, where you will apply for a Maryland learner's permit. The application process requires you to take a vision exam and a drivers knowledge test. If you meet testing requirements, you are granted a type 1 Maryland driver's permit.

The permit allows you to practice driving, however it is not a full license yet and you have to observe all Maryland learners permit restrictions while driving. Thus, you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a supervising driver seated in the front seat next to you whenever you practice. The supervising driver must be no younger than 21 years of age, hold a valid Maryland drivers license and have not less than three years of driving experience.

You need to hold your Maryland driver's permit for at least six months before you can go ahead and schedule a road test. During this period, you must complete a state-approved Maryland driver education course and take not less than 60 hours of driving with a supervising driver. These hours must be logged in the Practice and Skills Log, which must be presented at the MVA when you submit your application for Maryland driver license.

When all of the above requirements are met, you are good to go ahead and schedule the driving test. If you pass your drivers license test, you are advanced to the next step of the process - a provisional drivers license.

Although it is called a drivers license, you should note how it is called a PROVISIONAL license. This means that there are certain provisions or restrictions for you to observe while operating under this license. Some of the common provisional license restrictions in Maryland include no driving at nighttime and no cell phones while driving.

A provisional license must be held for at least 18 months if you are applying for your first driver's license. Once the period is up, you are good to go ahead and apply for a full unrestricted Maryland driving license. No additional testing is required at this point.

Testing Requirements

Driving is a serious matter and you have to possess certain knowledge and skills in order to be able to operate a vehicle in a safe manner. The MVA will administer vision screening, knowledge testing and a road test as part of your application procedure.

Vision Requirements

Seeing well is a must for all drivers. Your vehicle can cover great distances in the matter of seconds, so you have to be able to see well ahead. You take a vision exam at the time when you submit your application for Maryland drivers permit and need to meet the following minimum requirements:

  • visual acuity of 20/40 in each eye,
  • continuous field of vision of at least 140 degrees

If you usually wear glasses or contact lenses, you must wear them during the test. An appropriate restriction will be placed onto your drivers license and you will have to wear glasses or contact lenses while driving. Those who do not meet these minimum vision requirements may be denied the privilege to drive.

Knowledge Test

The knowledge test is based on Maryland driving rules, road signs and general safe driving practices. Although it is not hard to pass, almost half of drivers license applicants fail the test the first time they take it and the reason that is to blame is lack of preparation. People simply don't study for their Maryland drivers permit test. Don't make the same mistake and learn the rules before you attempt to pass the knowledge exam at the MVA.

Drivers License Test

This is the final test that you must take before you are presented with your first drivers license. Since the Maryland road skills exam is called a driving test, many drivers license applicants are under impression that only the ability to control the vehicle on the road is assessed. This is not true and the driving examiner will also check how closely you follow the driving rules. You may wish to review the Maryland drivers license manual before you schedule the MVA driving test.

Paperwork Required

The following paperwork is required for applying for a driver's license in Maryland:

  • proof of identity
  • proof of age
  • proof of Maryland residency
  • Social Security Number
  • drivers education certificate
  • Practice and Skills Log (for 60 hours of driving)

Applicants under 18 years of age must also receive parental consent when applying for a drivers license. Applications that are not signed by a parent or legal guardian will not be accepted.