Maryland uses the GLS (Graduated Licensing System), a program
which requires new drivers to gain driving experience with a supervising driver.
It encourages the development of safe driving skills by imposing certain limitations
during each step of the licensing process.
This decreases your chances of being involved in an automobile accident
as a new driver.
You can download MVA's
Graduated Licensing System brochure
which summarizes each stage of the Graduated Licensing System,
including the requirements and regulations for each stage.
Here is an overview of the licensing process step-by-step:
Step 1: Sign Up for an MVA-Certified Driver's Education course
You can take Driver's Ed at the age of 15. In Maryland, the law requires all
new drivers to complete this course
in order to obtain a driver's license.
This rule applies to all Maryland residents, regardless of age.
You do not need to take Driver's Ed before getting your learner's permit.
However, many students find that taking the class first helps them to pass the MVA
learner's permit test later when they apply for a permit.
For complete information about the course, see
Driver's Education Information.
To sign up for a class, click here to
Step 2: Obtain a Learner's Permit
You can apply for a learner's permit at the age of 15 and 9 months.
In order to obtain your learner's permit, you will need to pass
a written exam which will be administered at the MVA.
You can get the study guide for this test in our
Testing Resources section.
For more information on learner's permits, you can visit the
MVA Learner's Permit
information section of the MVA web site.
Step 3: Fulfill All Practice Requirements
Maryland law requires that you practice driving with your learner's permit for a
specific period of time before you can apply
for a provisional driver's license.
During the practice period, you are required to:
- Complete the classroom and in-car portions of the Driver's Education course, if not already completed.
- Keep your learner's permit for the minimum required practice period with no traffic violations.
The required practice period is:
If you receive a speeding ticket or other violation while driving with your
learner's permit, then the practice period
will start over, and you will need to wait 9 months
from that point.
- Age 15 - 17: 9 months
- Age 18: 3 months if graduated high school; otherwise 9 months
- Age 19 - 24: 3 months
- Age 25 & up: 45 days
- Complete the required home driving practice, and fill in those hours
in the MVA Skills Log book. The required number of
home practice hours is:
- Age 15 - 24: 60 hours (at least 10 of which must be at night)
- Age 25 & up: 14 hours (at least 3 of which must be at night)
Step 4: Take the Driving Test for your Provisional Driver's License
You can apply for a provisional driver's license after you have
fulfilled the practice requirements above.
In order to obtain your provisional license, you will need to pass
a driving skills test at the MVA. The test will be conducted
in the car that you bring to MVA. An MVA examiner will sit in the passenger seat
and ask you to perform various driving maneuvers.
The driving skills test consists of two parts.
The first part of the test is conducted on a test course at the MVA,
where the examiner will instruct you to perform a
two-point turnabout maneuver. For the second part of the test,
you'll be driving on the road in regular traffic for
10 to 15 minutes.
The examiner will ask you to perform several maneuvers in traffic,
such as turns and lane changes.
You can get the study guide for the driving skills test in our
Testing Resources section.
Need extra practice for the driving skills test?
extra driving practice
to help you brush up on these maneuvers.
Our instructors are very familiar with the MVA test.
We will show you the best techniques to help you pass!
For more information about taking the driving test and obtaining your
provisional license, visit the
MVA Driving Test
MVA Provisional License
pages of the MVA web site.
Step 5: Fulfill Provisional Driving Requirements
Maryland law requires that you keep your provisional license for
18 months (a year and a half) before converting to a full
When driving with your provisional license, the following restrictions apply:
- During the first 5 months, provisional license holders
are not allowed to have friends under the age of 18 in the car,
unless accompanied by a qualified supervising driver.
If no supervising driver is present, then the only passengers under 18
who are permitted in the car are family members (for the first
- Provisional license holders under the age of 18 are not permitted to
drive after midnight unless accompanied by a qualified supervising driver.
There are some exceptions to this rule for certain work-related
or school-related activities.
- In order to convert to a full driver's license,
you must keep your provisional license for 18 months with no traffic violations.
If you receive a speeding ticket or other violation while you have your
provisional license, then the 18-month waiting period
will reset, and you will need to wait an additional 18 months.
Step 6: Obtain your Full Driver's License
Your provisional license will be converted to a full driver's license after you have kept
your license for 18 months
with no traffic violations.
For locations, class schedules, and fees, see Driver's Education Information.
If you have questions or need more information, please