GLEN BURNIE, MD (February 5, 2024) -- The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) recently completed the rollout of nine additional translations of the learner’s permit knowledge test -- bringing the total to 17 different languages.
Among the nine new languages offered for the non-commercial test include: American Sign Language (ASL), Amharic (Afro-Asiatic language), Portuguese Russian and Tagalog (Northern Philippines). The MVA used U.S. Census data to determine the top spoken languages in Maryland. The ASL version will use video translation on its digital exam.
“Governor Wes Moore’s administration is dedicated to equitably supporting all communities in our state,” said Chrissy Nizer, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administrator. “This project is a clear example of the MVA’s continual focus on identifying ways customer service can be improved to be more inclusive, accessible and equitable for residents across our state.”
The current learner’s permit test was initially translated to Plain Language, clear, straightforward communication using only as many words as are necessary in an easy-to-read format, which was instrumental in the rollout of the new additional languages. According to recent MVA data, the transition to Plain Language format has contributed to a 15 percent increase in the pass rate among those who have taken the learner’s permit test.
The learner’s permit test is now offered in:
- English (Plain Language)
- Traditional Chinese
- Yoruba (West Africa)
- Amharic (Afro-Asiatic language)
- American Sign Language
“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. I would like to thank MVA staff, the Sapp Family -who were instrumental in the conversion of our driving manual and test to Plain Language, and to everyone who worked together to translate these important materials to help ensure our customers have the tools and resources they need to successfully secure learner’s permits,” added 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 MVA branch office locations. The online test consists of 25 random questions that include roadway signage and rules of the road, the dangers and penalties related to the impaired operation, 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% or better.
For more information on the languages offered and how to prepare for the exam, click here.