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Maryland Drivers Test

Maryland Driving Test

Taking a drivers test is a must for drivers license applicants in most states and Maryland is no exception. All first time drivers license applicants must take a mandatory Maryland driving test before being allowed to start driving on public roads alone. The driver's test is administered by the Motor Vehicle Administration and you can make your road test appointment by contacting your local branch. Make sure you practice as much as possible before you take your road test in Maryland, since failure rates are quite high and each testing attempt will cost you extra money.

Drivers Test Requirements

Taking a driving test is one of the final steps in the process of applying for a Maryland drivers license, which means that you must go through a number of steps and meet certain requirements before you even get to this point. Due to the fact that Maryland's graduated drivers license program applies to license applicants of all ages, driving test requirements are not age dependent. The only thing that matters is whether or not you have been licensed before. If you currently hold or have previously held an out-of-state or out-of-country license, please refer to the Maryland driving handbook to determine which application procedure is right for you..

First Time Applicants - Never Been Licensed Before

The first thing you should do is obtain a Maryland learners permit. The permit will allow you to practice driving before you schedule the road skills test with the MVA. In order to obtain a permit, you have to visit one of the MVA offices, submit to vision screening and take a Maryland permit test. The permit test covers the state driving rules and you can prepare for it by reading the drivers handbook and taking Maryland practice drivers tests.

Once you have the permit, you can start preparing for the road test. Keep in mind that the permit does not grant you full driving privileges and you have to observe all Maryland driver permit restrictions. For instance, you are not allowed to drive alone and must have a supervising driver at least 21 years if age with a valid drivers license and at least three years of driving experience seated next to you at all times.

The drivers permit needs to be held for at least six months before you schedule your Maryland drivers test. During these months, you cannot be convicted of a moving violation or the holding period is extended for another six months. You must also sign up for and complete an MVD-approved Maryland drivers education course, you cannot take a driving test without the certificate. Note that correspondence and home study courses are not accepted and that means you cannot take a drivers education course online.

On top of the requirements listed below, you must also complete at least 60 hours of driving practice, including at least 10 hours at night. All driving hours must be logged in a Practice and Skills log that must be signed by your supervising driver. If you are under 18 years of age, the log must be signed by a parent or legal guardian. The log form is to be presented at the MVD when you show up for your Maryland drivers test.

Whenever the above requirements are met, you can go ahead and take your driving exam. Once the test is passed, you are granted a provisional drivers license that needs to be held for at least 18 months. During these months, you are to observe all Maryland provisional license restrictions. When the holding period is up, all restrictions are lifted and you end up with a full unrestricted drivers license.

Schedule the Road Test

Due to the fact that drivers testing requires full involvement of a driving examiner for approximately half an hour, you must schedule your Maryland driving test in advance. At the moment, there is only one way to schedule the road skills exam and that is to call the scheduling service at 1-888-212-4709.

Things to Bring / What to Expect

Due to the fact that the state does not provide any vehicles for you to take your Maryland driver's test in, you will be required to arrange for your own vehicle. The vehicle must be in good technical condition, it must be registered and titled. On top of that, you must carry appropriate liability insurance for the vehicle. If any of these requirements are not met, you will not be allowed to take your road test.

You cannot drive to the test alone and must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age. Your companion will need to drive the vehicle all the way to the test starting point. If you are behind the wheel, the accompanying driver must satisfy the requirements for the supervising driver listed above and must be seated in the front seat next to you.

Many of the first time license applicants have this notion that the driving test will only assess their ability to control the vehicle on the road. This is incorrect and the drivers test will allow the driving examiner to make a full evaluation of your driving abilities and that includes testing your knowledge of Maryland driving rules. What this means for you is that you may wish to revisit the drivers license handbook and brush up on traffic laws.

When you show up for your Maryland drivers test, be prepared to furnish the following paperwork:

  • proof of identity
  • proof of residency
  • proof of age
  • drivers ed certificate of completion
  • log form for 60 hours of driving

If you are under 18 years of age, you will need to have a parent or legal guardian to be present at the MVA office at the time when you submit the paperwork. The parent will need to cosign the application form.

During the driving test, the examiner will observe you perform the following things:

  • Using hand signals
  • Starting the engine
  • Starting and stopping the vehicle
  • Parallel Parking
  • Backing the vehicle approximately 50 feet
  • Making left - right turns
  • Starting, stopping, and turning the vehicle on a hill
  • Turning around between curbs (three point turn)
  • Entering and leaving intersections
  • Recognizing and obeying traffic signs, lights and signals, and other rules of the road
  • Using good driving sense

The driving examiner is the only person who will be in the testing vehicle with you. In some cases, a supervisor may also be present to observe examiner's work. You cannot bring pets, friends or relatives with you in for the driving test.

At the end of the examination, the examiner will point out the errors you may have made during the test. If you receive a good score on the test, you are issued with a provisional drivers license. If this is your first drivers license, you will need to hold it for at least 18 months before you can upgrade to a full license.