Driver Licensing - Obtaining a Noncommercial Learner's Permit
The first step in receiving a Maryland Driver's License for new drivers and certain inexperienced drivers is to obtain a learner's permit. Maryland provides two types of learner's permits:
- Type I Learner's Permit - Persons who have never held a driver's license, regardless of age, are required to first obtain a Type I Learner's Permit. This learner's permit is issued as part of the MVA's Rookie Driver program, also known as the Graduated Licensing System (GLS).
- If an individual, under the age of 25 years old, hold a (Graduated Licensing System -GLS) learner's permit and has not been convicted of, or granted Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) for a moving violation, is eligible to take a skills driving test after holding this permit for a minimum of 9 months.
- Effective October 1, 2012 an individual at least 25 years old who holds a (Graduated Licensing System - GLS) learner’s permit and has not been convicted of, or granted Probation Before Judgment (PBJ) for a moving violation, is eligible to take a skills driving test after holding this permit for a minimum of 45 days if they:
- Have completed a Maryland MVA approved standardized driver education program consisting of at least 30 hours of classroom instruction and at least 6 hours of behind the wheel instruction training and;
- Have completed an additional minimum of at least 14 hours of supervised behind the wheel driving (3 hours of which must occur during the period beginning 30 minutes before sunset and ending 30 minutes after sunrise) and
- Have an eligible supervising driver complete a Practice Skills log and certification page.
- If the applicant has been convicted of or given a PBJ for a moving violation, they are required to hold the permit for a minimum of 9 months following the most recent date the individual was convicted of, or granted a PBJ for a moving violation, and meet the rest of the GLS requirements listed in the paragraph above before they are eligible to take a skills driving test.
- If an applicant is under 25 years old when they obtain their first GLS learner’s permit and then turns 25 afterwards, the MVA will permit the applicant to take a skills driving test if they have held the permit at least 45 days (the 45 days may include the days the applicant held the permit before they turned 25), they have completed at least 14 hours of supervised driving as described in the paragraph above as well as the required driver’s education program and have an eligible supervising driver complete a Practice Skills Log and certification page .
- If the applicant has been convicted of or given a PBJ for a moving violation, they are required to hold the permit for a minimum of 9 months following the most recent date the individual was convicted of, or granted a PBJ for a moving violation, and meet the rest of the GLS requirements in the note above before they are eligible to take a skills driving test.
- Type II Learner's Permit - A Type II Learner's Permit is:
- Required for persons who currently have a Maryland Driver's License AND want to obtain a noncommercial driver's license of a higher class, or a class M (motorcycle) driver's license.
- Required for persons who are converting an out-of-state or out-of-country license and at the same time want to obtain a license for a different or higher class.
- Optional for persons who currently hold a license issued by another state, another country or the U.S. Armed Forces (when applying for the same or lower class).
- Optional for persons whose last driver's license is EXPIRED. The license may have been issued by Maryland, another state, another country, or the U.S. Armed Forces (when applying for the same or lower class).
What is the procedure for obtaining a learner's permit (either Type I or Type II)?
The process for obtaining either type of learner's permit is essentially the same. First, gather the documents that you will need to present to the MVA:
- Please refer to Sources of Proof for details on the required identity and residency documentation and instructions:
- If you need a class B or C license
- Type I Learner's Permit - you must be at least 15 years, 9 months.
- Type II Learner's Permit - you must be at least 16 years, 6 months.
- If you need a class A license (Type I or Type II Learner's Permit) - you must be at least 18 years, 0 months.
- If you need a class M license (Type I or Type II Learner's Permit) - you must be at least 18 years, 0 months unless you have satisfactorily completed a Motorcycle Safety Course approved by the MVA.
- If you need a class B or C license
- Glasses or contact lenses, if needed, or a completed and signed Vision Screening Form (see Vision Screening Requirements for more information);
- If you are under 16 years of age, you must submit Verification of Identity and/or School Attendance (form DL-300) that has been completed by the applicant's school or county Home School Coordinator if home schooled.
- If you are 70 years of age or older, you must present proof of your satisfactory operation of a motor vehicle in the past OR a written statement from a licensed physician regarding your general physical and mental status. The certification must be reviewed and approved by the Medical Advisory Board (MAB) before your application for a learner's permit can be processed.
- Payment for the learner's permit (cash, check, or MasterCard, American Express, or Visa credit card or MVA credit voucher).
Second, visit any MVA full-service branch office; no appointment is needed. If you are less than 18 years old, a parent, or legal guardian, must accompany you. An MVA Customer Agent in the office will:
- Take your photograph; MVA Photo Guidelines;
- Review the documents you brought with you;
- Give you a vision screening or scan your Vision Screening form; and
- Verify that you meet all eligibility requirements.
- Have you sign the application following the MVA Signature Guidelines.
Upon completion of these steps, you will be given a test of your driving knowledge. If you fail the test, you must return on a different day to try again. If you pass the test, you will be directed to a Customer Agent who will collect the fee owed, and issue your learner's permit.
While you are driving with the learner's permit:
- A supervising driver (parent, guardian or other responsible person) must accompany you. The supervising driver:
- Must have a valid driver's license of the same class as or higher class than your learner's permit class;
- Must be 21 years or older;
- Must have a minimum of 3 years driving experience in the same or higher class; and
- Must be in the front seat, with no other front seat occupants.
- Class M (motorcycle) license applicants ONLY - Your supervising driver must be on the motorcycle with you, on a motorcycle riding beside you, or in a vehicle riding behind you.
- If you are less than 18 years old, you cannot use any wireless communication device (including cell phone) except to make an emergency 911 call.
- The MVA will typically ONLY accept a Marriage Certificate or a Certificate of Marriage that has been certified and issued by that jurisdiction’s proper government authority such as their Department of Vital Records/Statistics or their local or state court system.
- Effective January 1, 2013, the State of Maryland passed a law that authorized the issuance of a marriage license to same-sex couples, to allow their marriage ceremonies to begin on the effective date of January 1, 2013. The license does not validate the marriage, therefore once the marriage ceremony has taken place, a certified copy of the marriage certificate must be obtained to present to the MVA if a name change is requested. Note: The MVA recognizes a Same-Sex Marriage (civil union) that was performed in another jurisdiction that has passed and enacted similar legislation.
There is a fee for each learner's permit issued.
Driver Services Division
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062
For telephone questions:
MVA Customer Service Center:
108 Washington St.
Anne Arundel County
2644 Riva Road
6900 Park Heights Ave.
(410) 396-6848 (Fax)
9610 Pulaski Park Drive
1305 Dares Beach Road Prince Frederick, MD 20678
204 Franklin Street
125 N. Court St.
Dr. Delbert Jackson
201 Booth St.
7775 Marshall Corner Road
2455 Cambridge By Pass Cambridge, MD 21613
(410) 228-4747 x1036
(410) 228-4709 x1035
33 Thomas Johnson Dr
40 S. 2nd St.
102 S. Hickory Avenue
Evonne Alberter, PPW
10910 Route 108
5608 Boundary Ave.
850 Hungerford Dr.
Prince George's County
Dr. Lillian Norris-Holmes
9201 E. Hampton Dr.
Queen Anne's County
202 Chesterfield Avenue; Centreville, MD 21617
St. Mary's County
23160 Moakley Street
(301) 475-2469 (Fax)
7982-A Tawes Campus Dr.
12 Magnolia St.
(410) 822-0330 x175
820 Commonwealth Ave
PO Box 1538
6270 Worcester Highway
(410) 632-5004 (Fax)