New to Maryland Driver Licensing Information

Welcome to Maryland!

New residents to Maryland have sixty days in which to obtain a Maryland driver’s license. Commercial drivers must transfer their commercial driver's license (CDL), within 30 days. Please click here for more information on the Maryland commercial driver’s license.

For non-commercial licenses, please refer to sources of proof for required identity and residency documentation and instructions.

  • An out-of-state license must be a valid license or a license expired for less than one year. The license cannot be suspended.
  • If you are exchanging an out-of-state license that has been expired for one (1) year or more, you are required to take the knowledge and skills tests in addition to the vision test.
  • You must pass a vision test.
  • New Maryland residents must obtain a Maryland driver’s license within 60 days.
  • If licensed for less than 18 months, you will be issued a Maryland provisional license.
  • You will be asked to surrender your out-of-state driver's license before you can obtain a Maryland one.

The Maryland Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is now printing/mailing one of the most secure driver’s licenses, learner’s permits and identification (ID) cards in the nation. All cards are now delivered through the mail within 4-7 business days. The new cards incorporate cutting-edge security features to help protect against identity theft and fraud. The new cards also meet all state and federal standards and are REAL ID compliant. As always, we encourage customers to Skip the Trip and renew their driver’s license or ID card via web, kiosk and mail. The MVA’s online services can be found here. Much more information on our new secure cards, including how to expedite delivery of the new products, can be found here.

Titling and Registration information is also available for new Maryland residents.

Military Test Waivers

Tests may be waived for active duty military and their dependents if the issuing state grants military extensions.  Before visiting the MVA, please contact the state in which your license was issued to find out if a military extension is granted. There is no automatic extension for active duty military.  Each state has procedures and Maryland will review the procedures of the state in which the license was issued before determining whether the transfer can be done without testing.

Federally Non-Compliant Driver’s Licenses and Identification Cards

Immigrants, with foreign documentation that does not have valid accompanying United States Citizenship and Immigration Services documentation should visit the Online Document Guide to start the process. To obtain a driver’s license, learner’s permit, moped permit or identification card, please take the following steps:

  • Apply for an individual taxpayer identification number through the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. Please click here for more information.
  • File Maryland Income Taxes for the preceding 2 years and obtain a certification letter that is needed to make an appointment and present to the MVA. Obtain a certification letter by applying online or by making an appointment to visit one of the Comptroller’s branch offices. Please click here for more information;
  • Apply for and obtain identity documents such as a valid, current foreign passport;
  • Obtain two residency documents such as copies of a residential lease, utility bill, or bank statement; and
  • Study the Maryland Driver’s Manual and take the Online Driver Test Tutorial to prepare for the knowledge test.
  • Schedule an appointment online to apply for a federally non-compliant driver’s license or identification card.
  • You will be asked to surrender your out-of-state identification card before you can obtain a Maryland one.