Every State has its own unique laws when it comes to teen drivers, and Maryland is no different. The three-step graduated licensing system is used to initiate teen drivers onto Maryland roads. With each of these steps, there are unique laws to make sure that the teen driver can focus and stay safe while learning to drive. As a parent or guardian of a teen driver, it is important to familiarize yourself with these driving laws.

Before a teen driver can obtain a Learner’s Permit, they must first pass a written test given by the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA). The written test is based on information in the Maryland Driver’s Manual. Your teen can also take a practice test through the Maryland Online Driver Test Tutorial offered on the MVA website. Once passed, you and your teen driver will begin the graduated License three-step process. Below are the rules, regulations, and laws that you and your teen driver must follow.

Step 1: Learner’s Permit Laws

  • The minimum age for a Learner’s Permit is 15 years and nine months.
  • If your child is under 16 years old, a DL-300 (Learner’s Permit School Attendance Certification) is required at the time of the application.
  • Your teen must pass the Maryland vision screening.
  • Make sure your child carries their Learner’s Permit at all times while driving.
  • The teen driver must be supervised while driving by a licensed driver that is 21 years or older who is seated in the front passenger’s seat at all times.
  • Cell phone use or texting is not permitted except for dialing 911 for emergencies.
  • Your child must complete the practice log issued by the MVA upon passing the written test.
  • The MVA requires that a nine-month period must pass before graduating to the next step.

Once your teen driver has gained driving experience and has at least 60 practice hours, with 10 of those at night, has attended a driver’s education class, and has passed the street portion of the Maryland drivers test, they are ready for step two: the Provisional License.

Step 2: Provisional License Laws

  • The minimum age is 16 years and six months.
  • Your teen must carry their Provisional license at all times while driving.
  • No cell phone use or texting is permitted except for calling 911 for an emergency.
  • Driving unsupervised is not allowed between the hours of midnight and 5 am.
  • For the first 151 days of receiving your Provisional License, your child may not carry passengers other than immediate family members.

Now that your teen driver has graduated to a full driver’s license, they must remember that in the state of Maryland, a full driver’s license is a privilege awarded to drivers who have progressed through the first two steps of the graduated system. Your child is now ready to become a fully-fledged Maryland driver. There are still a few laws that only affect teen drivers.

Step 3: Driver’s License Teen Laws

  • The minimum age is 18 years old.
  • No cell phone use or texting is allowed except for calling 911 for emergencies.
  • There is zero tolerance for alcohol and cannabis use.

Now that your teen is on the road, it’s important to remind them of the rules of the road. For more information on teen driving laws, visit: https://mva.maryland.gov/drivers/Pages/driver-education.aspx. You can also visit https://zerodeathsmd.gov/road-safety/young-driver-safety/ to help your teen stay safe on the road.

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