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Maryland Graduate Driver Licensing System - Old vs New Laws

November 30, 2010 · No Comments

Maryland made some revisions to its Driver Licensing System in October 2009. Some of these changes in the law are subtle so we have outlined them below to clarify any questions you might have regarding how the new and old driver licensing system laws compare.

Provisions Old Law New Law
Learner's Permit Age (minimum) 15 years, 9 months
* Must past vision, knowledge tests
* Must have parental consent, or be 18 years old
No change, but required length of learner's permit increased from 6 months to 9 months
* Must past vision, knowledge tests
* Must have parental consent, or be 18 years old
Provisional License Age (minimum) 16 years, 3 months * Must be conviction free for a full 6 months
* Must have completed Driver's Education Course
* Must have parental consent or by 18 years old
* Must pass road test
(Effective 10/01/09) 16 years, 6 months * Must be conviction free and PBJ free for a full 9 months
* Must have completed Driver's Education Course
* Must have parental consent or by 18 years old
* Must pass road test
Full License Age (minimum) 17 years, 9 months * Must have accumulated 18 months of conviction free driving
(Effective 10/01/09) 18 years * Must be conviction free and PBJ free for a full 18 months
Co-Signer withdraw of Consent (Parent or Guardian) If a co-signer withdraws consent while the licensee is a minor, the MVA must suspend the license. (Effective 10/01/09) If a co-signer withdraws consent while the licensee is a minor, the MVA must cancel the license.
Driver Improvement Program The MVA is authorized to provide a Driver Improvement Program to rehabilitate driver behaviour. (Effective 10/01/09) Allows the MVA to develop a Driver Improvement Program specifically modeled for young drivers
High Risk Driving (only for drivers under the age of 18) No specific penalty. (Effective 10/01/09) If found to have committed Reckless Driving, Negligent Driving, Aggressive Driving, or Racing, can also be charged with High Risk Driving with a penalty of 6 month suspension for first offense, 12 month suspension for second or subsequent suspension.
Sanctioning Provisions Only for Under Age 18 * 1st Offense: Attend Driver Improvement Program (DIP)
* 2nd Offense: Suspend the license for 30 days
* 3rd Offense: Suspend or Revoke the license for 180 days
* 4th and Subsequent Offense: Suspend or Revoke the license for 180 days
* 1st Offense (No Change): Attend Driver Improvement Program (DIP)
* 2nd Offense (Effective 10/01/09): Suspend the license for 30 days and restrict driving to education and employment purposes only for 90 days after the suspension
* 3rd Offense (Effective 10/01/09): Suspend or Revoke the license for 180 days and require the Driver Improvement Program for Young Drivers; Restrict driving to education and employment purposes only for 180 days after the suspension.
* 4th and Subsequent Offense (Effective 10/01/09): Suspend or Revoke the license for not less than 180 days and require licensee to retake the law and skills test as part of the reinstatement process.
Points Accumulation No separate penalty. (Effective 10/01/09) If 5 or more points are accumulated in a 12 month period, 6 month suspension for first offense, 12 month suspension for second or subsequent offense.
Delinquent Act of Child (under age 18) No specific penalty. (Effective 10/01/09) If found to have committed Fleeing or Eluding police or Leaving the Scene of an Accident, penalty of 6 month suspension for first offense, 12 month suspension for second or subsequent offense.
Zero Alcohol Tolerance Zero Tolerance (0.02) for under age 21. No Change
Safety Belt Restrictions Provisional Drivers under the age of 18 must have all passengers in the vehicle using seat belts. No Change
Passenger Restrictions (Effective 10/01/05) Provisional drivers under the age of 18 are not permitted to carry passengers under the age of 18, except for family members, for the first 5 months of licensure. Violations may result in suspension of driving privileges. No Change
Cell Phone/Wireless Device Restriction (Effective 10/01/05) Provisional drivers under the age of 18 may not operate a motor vehicle while using any wireless communication device (e.g. cell phone or text messaging device) except for emergencies. Violations may result in suspension of driving privileges. No Change
Texting Law None. (Effective 10/01/09) New Law: Prohibits a person from using a text messaging device to write or send a text message while operating a motor vehicle in motion or in the travel portion of the roadway. Exceptions for use of global positioning system, or text messaging to contact 9-1-1 system.
Nightime Restrictions Provisional drivers under the age of 18 may not drive between 12 Midnight and 5 a.m. unless for school, sports, job or volunteer work. No Change

Please feel free to ask us any questions or comments pertaining to the Maryland Driving Provisions. We also welcome any anecdotes you would like to share about your driving experience in Maryland.

Tags: Maryland Driver Licensing

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