maryland driver information
In spite of its Free State moniker, traffic violations in Maryland can cost you plenty in fines and car insurance rate increases. By brushing up on Maryland laws and driving info, you'll be able to keep your driving record clean and your car insurance rate down where you want it. And it won't cost a cent.
Maryland driver information
Licensed drivers: 3,905,000
Drivers licenses for new arrivals
Upon establishing residency in Maryland, you have 60 days to exchange your out-of-state license.
The Maryland point system
If you're convicted of a moving violation in Maryland, points may be added to your driving record. The number of points depends on the severity of the violation. Here are the consequences for passing certain thresholds:
- 3 points in a 2-year span = warning letter
- 5 points in a 2-year span = driver improvement classes
- 8 points in a 2-year span = suspended license
- 12 points in 2-year span = revoked license
Speeding in school zones
In 2009, Maryland legalized the use of Automated Speed Enforcement (ASE) sensors in school zones. If you're exceeding the speed limits in these areas, the sensors automatically generate images of your car and send them to authorities.
Distracted driving in Maryland
Drivers are not allowed to talk on cell phones unless they're using a hands-free device. Texting behind the wheel is illegal for all motorists.
Drinking and driving in Maryland
A first-time DUI conviction (for having a BAC of .08 or higher) can be penalized by a fine of up to $1,000, a suspended drivers license for 6 months, and up to one year in jail. Subsequent violations are penalized more severely.
Many commuters favor public transportation over driving. In 2009, the D.C. area ranked 3rd in public transit use nationwide. The Baltimore/Towson region was not far behind at 8th.
The student-driver process in Maryland
Young drivers in Maryland need to go through the graduated licensing program before getting their full, unrestricted drivers licenses.
Learners permit qualifications
- Be at least 15 years, 9 months old
- Pass a vision test
- Pass a road-knowledge test
Learners permit restrictions
A Maryland learners permit allows you to drive under the following conditions:
- You're accompanied by a parent, guardian, or driving teacher who's at least 21 and has had a drivers license for at least 3 years
- You refrain from using any wireless devices, including cell phones
Provisional license qualifications
Once you've held a learners permit for at least 9 months, you can apply for your provisional drivers license. You'll need to:
- Be at least 16 years, 6 months old
- Complete a drivers ed course that's approved by the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration
- Complete 60 hours of driver training (10 at night) with a licensed adult who is 21 or older (an adult must submit a signed skills log that documents these hours)
- Pass a driving skills test
Driving safely with your provisional license
If drivers are ticketed for traffic violations while they have a provisional license, they can be subject to these penalties:
- 1st conviction: attend driver-improvement classes
- 2nd conviction: 30-day suspension of provisional license
- 3rd conviction: 180-day suspension or revocation of provisional license
Read our 10 tips for young drivers for advice on driving safely while you gain experience.
Getting your unrestricted drivers license
You can convert your provisional license into an unrestricted one when you turn 18.
Car insurance in Maryland
Find out about minimum coverages and Esurance perks available to Maryland drivers.
Maryland driver improvement programs (DIP)
Find a DIP near you and sharpen your defensive driving skills.
Maryland Department of Transportation
Get up-to-date info on what's happening with roads and traffic in your area.