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Contact: Motor Vehicle Administration
Office of Media Relations
John Lazarou, 410-768-7473


Move Highlights State’s Promise to Be Comprehensive and Embrace Diversity

GLEN BURNIE, MD (August 29, 2023) – Following on Governor Wes Moore’s focus on equity and access, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration is expanding accessibility services to get a state learner’s permit, the first step to getting a Maryland driver’s license. The Motor Vehicle Administration recently announced that starting in September, a rollout of nine additional translations of the learner’s permit knowledge test and the Maryland Driver’s Manual will begin -- bringing the total for each to 17 different languages.

The current learner’s permit test and Maryland Driver’s Manual, which are currently available in seven languages, were translated to Plain Language through a partnership with the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. The new Plain Language version will be used to update the current seven languages and will be translated into nine additional languages and American Sign Language. The current and new languages are as follows: 

Current Languages offered:

  • English (Plain Language)
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Nepali
  • Korean
  • Traditional Chinese
  • Vietnamese

New Languages offered:

  • Yoruba (West Africa)
  • Tagalog
  • Amharic (Afro-Asiatic language)
  • Arabic
  • Russian
  • Urdu
  • Hindi
  • Farsi
  • Portuguese
  • American Sign Language

The Motor Vehicle Administration uses U.S. Census data to determine language availability. 

“Improving accessibility for the driver’s knowledge test and study materials is critical to serve Maryland’s linguistically diverse population. We are pleased to provide the learner’s permit test in these nine additional languages and American Sign Language,” said Motor Vehicle Administrator Chrissy Nizer. “The Driver’s Manual is a critical tool to educate new drivers and improve road safety for all travelers.”

Hearing-impaired Marylanders also will be able to take their permit exam on an automated testing system, with each of the questions signed for the applicant. The web-based application offers those who are hearing impaired a reliable alternative to having to read the questions by offering the opportunity to receive the information in the language they prefer.

“We are committed to the safety of all our new drivers and we want all our applicants to understand the materials clearly and have a positive testing experience,” said Administrator Nizer.

To apply for a learner’s permit, an applicant must pass the permit driver’s knowledge test on The Law Test System, a web-based testing system located in Motor Vehicle Administration branch office locations. The online test is given with 25 random questions that include roadway signage and rules of the road, the dangers and penalties related to the impaired operation, and specific topics about sharing the road with bicyclists and hands-free driving laws. To pass the exam, the applicant must finish the test within the allotted time of 20 minutes and achieve a test score of 88% percent or better.