Maryland Driver's Licenses

"Maryland Welcomes You" at the Maryland-Pennsylvania Border
Jim, the Photographer/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Everyone, except perhaps the teenager applying for a new license, dreads a trip to the Motor Vehicles Administration. Come prepared and reduce the hassle.

Here's what you need to know to get or renew your driver's license in Maryland.

New Residents

You have 60 days after moving to Maryland to get a new driver's license and to register your vehicle. To get a license, bring proof of name, identity and residence plus your out-of-state license to a full-service MVA location.

  • You must pass a vision test or bring along a Vision Certification Form (DL-043a) completed by your ophthalmologist or optometrist.
  • Your old, out-of-state license cannot be expired for more than a year or suspended.
  • The fee for a new Maryland license is $45, and a photo ID for age 16 and up is $15 and $5 for under 16.
  • Those under age 18 who wish to convert an out-of-state license must also have a driver education certificate. If licensed for less than 18 months, you will be issued a provisional license.

Applicants with a foreign license who wish to obtain a learner's permit, driver's license or identification card and do not have a valid Employment Authorization Card (I-688A, I-688B, or I-766) or a valid passport with a United States visa and Refugee's Arrival/Departure Record (I-94) or a Permanent Resident Card (I-551), must schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-950-1682.

Renewing Your License

Under Maryland law, you may renew your license either by mail or in person at an MVA branch. Renewal fees are

  • $30 for driver's license
  • $50 for commercial driver's license (CDL)

Renew Your License by Mail

You may be able to renew your driver's license by mail if you received a new "renew by mail" package. Complete the "mail in renewal" application and send it in with the proper fee 15 days before your current license expires. Your license will be sent to you in the mail.

You cannot renew by mail if

  • your address is incorrect on the renewal notice.
  • your address has changed.
  • a request to correct or update your address has been submitted by you to the MVA since you received your renewal package.

Note: If you are over 40, you must have your doctor complete and sign the "vision certification" portion of your renewal form. You must use the form that comes with your renewal package or your renewal will not be processed.

Renew Your License in Person

Bring your expiring license and the appropriate fee to an MVA branch. You have up to a year after your license's expiration date to renew without having to take additional tests. However, it is against the law to drive with an expired license. If you are over 40, you will either have to take the vision test at the MVA or bring in a vision form filled out by your doctor.

New Drivers

If you have never had a license, you must first obtain a learners permit, which after six months of training can be converted to a provisional license. After holding the provisional license for 18 months, drivers may apply for a full license. Applicants for a learners permit must be at least 15 years and 9 months old. 

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