What is a Provisional License in Maryland
First, let’s address exactly what is a Maryland provisional license.
To get a proper driver’s license in Maryland, all drivers must first take part in the GLS. The graduated licensing system.
There is a 3-phase system in Maryland for new drivers to get a permanent driver’s license. A provisional license MD is the second step in the Rookie Driver GLS process.
- Phase 1 is the learner’s permit.
- Phase 2 is the Maryland provisional license.
- Phase 3 is a permanent license.
You’ll need to maintain a conviction-free driving record during that time.
Next, you complete a Maryland MVA licensed and approved standardized driver education course. After that new drivers are eligible for a Maryland provisional license.
What are the Requirements for a Provisional License MD?
To get a provisional drivers license in Maryland you must meet these requirements:
- Be at least 16 years and 6 months old.
- Applicants must pass a Maryland MVA licensed and approved standardized driver education course.
- Starting January 1, 2009, all course information is submitted directly to the MVA. The driver education providers submit the applicant’s course completion information electronically. Eliminating the issuance of paper driver education certificates.
- Out-of-State Driver’s Education certificates are usually not accepted by the MVA.
- Currently, the MVA has only approved specific certificates. Ones issued by the Delaware Board of Education. They must physically state that the certificate is approved by the Maryland MVA. No other out-of-state certificates are currently accepted.
- A qualified supervising driver must submit a completed and signed Practice Skills Log.
- This may be a parent, guardian, or mentor. The log must document at least 60 hours of supervised driving for applicants. The log must document at least 60 hours of supervised driving for applicants.
- A qualified supervising driver is a licensed driver, 21 years of age or older. With at least 3 years of driving experience.
- At least 10 of the practice hours must occur during the period beginning 30 minutes before sunset and ending 30 minutes after sunrise. Click here or more information on this law.
- Provisional license holders under 18 have hour restrictions. They are only authorized to drive without supervision between the hours of 5 am to midnight. From midnight to 5 am they must be with a supervising driver. One who is 21 or older, and has held a license for at least 3 years.
What if I get a ticket, or a traffic charge while in the provisional license program?
There are repercussions for convictions or “Probation Before Judgment” (PBJ) for moving violations. You need to complete a driver improvement program. It may also lead to the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Convictions also restart the 18-month waiting period.
You will receive sanctions from the courts. The Administrative sanctions listed below are also imposed:
- First Conviction = driver improvement classes
- Second Conviction = 30-day suspension of license
- Third Conviction (or later convictions) = 180-day suspension or revocation of license
Provisional license MD holders under 18 must use proper restraints. As well as all the passengers in the vehicle they are driving.
Maryland Provisional License Restrictions
Maryland provisional license restrictions include:
- You can not have alcohol in any measurable amount in your system when driving.
- If you are under the age of 18, you can not drive with any passengers under 18. With the exception of immediate family members.
- As a Maryland provisional license holder you can not use any wireless device while driving. This does include the use of hands-free devices.
- Your seat belt MUST be in use at all times.
MD Provisional license restrictions include a curfew for holders under the age of 18.
Holders cannot drive between 12 midnight and 5 a.m. unless:
- The driver is accompanied or supervised by a licensed driver. One who is 21 years of age or older, with at least 3 years of driving experience.
- If the driver is driving to, from, or during employment.
- The driver is driving to or from an official school activity.
- If the driver is driving to or from an organized volunteer program.
- The driver is driving to or from participation in an athletic event or related training session.
Upon becoming 18, the holder is no longer bound by these Maryland provisional license restrictions. They may drive at any hour.
BUT, I am 25, does that change anything?
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.
What if I get a DUI with a Provisional License MD?
There are sanctions if you get a Maryland Provisional License DUI. The same as we mentioned in our posts about administrative sanctions and court. If you are looking for a further explanation, read “DUI, if you are UNDER 21,” or “What happens in a Maryland DUI/DWI.”
Having a DUI does not affect your ability to request a restricted license if you are eligible. For eligibility, you must submit to a test of breath between 0.08-0.15. Ineligibility is above 0.15 or a refusal to submit to a breath test.
Bottomline on Provisional License MD
Have you been charged with any driving offense that carries a maximum penalty of jail time?
Please do not ignore the charge. It will not just disappear.
You could easily spend some time in the detention center if it is a repeat offense. It could also impact your ability to drive in Maryland.