Navigating the open roads of Maryland, from the bustling city of Baltimore to the peaceful town of Ocean City, is a rite of passage for Maryland teens. Embarking on this journey requires an understanding of the state's licensing process and adherence to safe driving practices. As of September 2021, Maryland had over 4 million licensed drivers. Teen drivers represent a vital portion of this number.
In this guide, we will be covering the steps to getting your Learners Permit and subsequently your driver's license in the state of Maryland. We try to be exhaustive in this article, so if you aren't interested in a ton of reading, we suggest heading over to DriversEd.com. DriversEd is the #1 online driver's education provider in MD. They are state certified and by clicking this link or the banner below, you'll be eligible for an exclusive discount there. DriversEd.com has excellent customer service that is miles better than anything the government has to offer. If you get stuck during the process of getting your driver's license, you can be sure that DriversEd is there to be your helping hand.
In Maryland, the journey toward becoming a fully licensed driver begins at the age of 15 when you can apply for a learner's permit. At 16, after meeting other requirements, you can apply for a driver's license.
Drivers Ed in Maryland
One crucial requirement for Maryland teens under 18 is completing a state-approved driver's education course. This comprehensive course includes 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training, preparing you for the challenges of the road ahead. In Maryland, a select few online providers have been approved to offer classroom drivers education online. Our favorite of the bunch is DriversEd.com. If you're looking to get your drivers license in MD, then DriversEd.com is a great place to start.
The team over at DriversEd have been educating teens successfully for decades. They're one of the only reliable online course providers in Maryland that is offically state approved. DriversEd.com boasts decades of experience and has helped over 13 million drivers learn the ropes. With 3D animated driving scenarios and case studies, it offers an immersive learning experience. Try DriversEd.com, one of the most trusted names in the space.
***Aceable is currently not certified for Drivers Education in Maryland*** While this is my favorite company in the space, they're still not available in MD. Aceable offers an interactive, mobile-friendly course that allows you to learn at your own pace, on your own time. The course includes engaging, multimedia content to make learning fun and easy. Get an Aceable discount today!
***IDriveSafely is currently not certified for Drivers Education in Maryland*** My first job in the Drivers Education space, I Drive Safely is time-tested and has been around since 1998. The company is basically as old as the internet itself. I Drive Safely prides itself on delivering top-quality, easy-to-understand courses. Their engaging, interactive content is designed to help you retain information and pass your exams on the first try.
Maryland Learner's Permit
Upon successful completion of your driver's education, you're eligible to apply for a learner's permit. This involves passing a vision test and a written exam based on traffic laws and safe driving practices. Once you have your permit, you can start practicing driving under the supervision of a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old.
Practice Driving: Honing Your Skills
With your learner's permit in hand, it's time to take to the roads from the suburban stretches of Columbia to the coastal routes of Annapolis. During this phase, always remember to wear your seatbelt, adhere to traffic laws, and be cognizant of your surroundings.
MD Driving Test
After at least 6 months of driving practice, you can take the driving test. This crucial evaluation measures your ability to handle a range of driving situations, ensuring you're prepared to navigate Maryland's diverse roadways.
From Provisional to Unrestricted License: A Steady Progression
Upon passing the driving test, you will be issued a provisional license. This provisional license comes with certain restrictions, such as a curfew and passenger limitation. However, after maintaining a clean driving record for 12 months, you can upgrade to an unrestricted driver's license.
Keeping Maryland's Roads Safe
As of 2021, teen drivers accounted for a significant percentage of Maryland's traffic accidents. It's important to observe safety practices such as always wearing your seatbelt, not driving under the influence, avoiding texting while driving, and maintaining a defensive driving style. These practices significantly reduce the risk of accidents.
Graduated Driver's License (GDL) Program
Maryland's GDL program aims to curb teen driving incidents by gradually increasing driving privileges. The GDL program comprises three stages: the Learner's Permit, Provisional License, and Unrestricted License. By adhering to the rules of the GDL program, you contribute to a safer driving environment for everyone on Maryland's roads.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) prior to September 2021, Graduated Driver's Licensing (GDL) programs like the one in Maryland have been successful in reducing teen accidents. The CDC noted that when properly implemented, GDL programs can reduce teen crashes by up to 40%.
Additionally, research from the IIHS found that the greatest reductions in fatal crashes and insurance claim rates for teens occurred in states with the strongest licensing laws, which include having a learner's permit phase, an intermediate phase with a limit on night driving and passenger restrictions, and a minimum age of 17 for obtaining an unrestricted license.
Whether you're venturing the scenic routes of Frederick, the historic streets of Rockville, or cruising through Silver Spring, safe and responsible driving is your ticket to freedom on Maryland's roads.