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Apply for Maryland Learners Permit

Maryland Drivers Permit Application

There are two different learners permit available in Maryland, type 1 and type 2, the the type of the permit you need to apply for depends on whether you have ever been licensed before. If you are a first-time applicants, you will always apply for a type one Maryland driver's permit. Those who currently hold an out of state license or are applying for a different license class can go ahead and apply for a type two driving permit. Keep in mind that you will have to start your road towards a drivers license by applying for a Maryland MVA driver permit no matter how old you are, there is no way to skip this step.

Graduated Drivers License

Inexperience can be lethal on the road. If you take a look at crash statistics, you will see that the first year behind the wheel is the most dangerous one, you are highly likely to be involved in a traffic accident during this period. That's why the Motor Vehicle Administration has developed a multi-step licensing procedure that allows new drivers to gain driving experience in a relatively risk-free driving environment and Maryland drivers permit plays a very important role in the process. The licensing procedure came to be known as graduated drivers license program or a Rookie driver program. The distinguishing trait of Maryland's graduate driver's license program is the fact that it applies to first time permit and license applicants of all ages, while most of the states in the country only subject teenagers to graduated license requirements.

Testing Required

Driving is a serious business, considering the fact that you may injure yourself and others around you. That's why the MVA does its best to determine whether you have the knowledge and health required for safe operation of a vehicle before allowing you behind the wheel. You are required to take a vision exam and a drivers permit test at the time when you submit your application for Maryland learner's permit.

Vision Test

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
  • a 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.

Learners Permit Test

This is the test many first-time permit applicants are afraid of, mostly due to the fact that statistically, almost half of the first-time test takers fail the exam. The permit test in Maryland is based on the state driving rules, road signs and safe driving practices. It consists of multiple choice questions and the information for the test is taken from the official Maryland drivers permit book.

Although you should not disregard the failure rates, there is no need to stress over it. Most of the people who fail the permit test do so because they do not study enough. If you invest some time into reading the drivers handbook, you should do just fine. You can also take a Maryland permit practice test that covers the same rules and should help you identify the rules you may have not memorized while reading the book.

Required Paperwork

Your Maryland MVA learners permit can be used for two thing: to confirm that you have the right to operate a vehicle and to serve as means of identification. In order to reduce the possibility of identity fraud, the MVA requires you to present an extensive list of documents at the time when you submit your application for a permit. Please be prepared to present the following documents:

  • proof of identity
  • proof of age
  • proof of Maryland residency
  • Social Security Number

If you are applying for a learner permit and you are under 18 years of age, you will need to have a parent or legal guardian present at the MVA when you submit your application. The parent must sign the application form, granting the consent to you being licensed. You will not be able to obtain neither a permit nor a Maryland drivers license until you are at least 18 years of age if your parents do not authorize you to be licensed.

Applying for Type 1 Instruction Permit

You will be required to apply for a type 1 learners permit if you never been licensed before. The minimum age for applying for this type of permit is 15 years, 9 months, however you can start preparing for the application well in advance. For instance, you can start reading the permit book and studying the driving rules, so when the time comes, you don't waste time on preparing for the permit exam.

If you are under 18 years of age, you will need to obtain parental consent before visiting the MVA.

When you submit your application for a type one Maryland learners permit, you are required to take a vision exam and a knowledge test. Those who pass the tests successfully are issued with a drivers permit that is valid for one year. You will have to hold your permit for at least six months before you can take a Maryland driving test and receive a provisional drivers license. During these months, you have to observe all Maryland permit restrictions, if you are caught breaking these restrictions, the holding period is extended by another six months. In some cases, your driving privilege may be revoked.

Applying for Type 2 Drivers Permit

You can apply for a type two learner's permit if you currently hold or have previously held a drivers license. You need to be at least 16 years, 6 months old in order to be eligible for a type two drivers permit. If you are under 18 years of age, you must also request parental consent prior to submitting your application.

The application procedure itself is very similar to that for a type one permit. You need to visit a local MVA branch, where you will file your paperwork and take a vision exam and the permit test. Once the tests are passed, you are granted your type two driver's permit.

This permit only needs to be held for 14 days before you can go ahead and apply for a Maryland drivers license. Applicants applying for a commercial drivers license must also meet the age requirements.

Operating Under a Permit

The most important thing that you need to remember while operating under a Maryland learners permit is that it does not grant you full driving privileges and that you are to observe all permit restrictions. For instance, you are not allowed to drive alone and whenever you practice driving, you must have a supervising driver seated in the front seat next to you. The supervising driver must be at least 21 years of age, hold a valid drivers license for the class of vehicle that you are operating and have no less than three years of driving experience.

If you are a first-time license applicant, you are required to complete a Maryland drivers education course prior to scheduling a road test with the MVA. Drivers ed classes can be taken at high schools, public schools or commercial driving school. Home study, correspondence or online drivers education classes are not accepted.

Under the graduated license program, you need to have a clean driving record before you can upgrade your Maryland driver's permit to a provisional license. You may not apply for a license if you were convicted of a moving violation or have been involved in an at-fault traffic accident within six months prior to the application date.