Maryland

Highway safety laws differ from state to state. The summary information here can be used to compare laws in specific categories. We monitor legislative changes and update this information as needed.

RESTRICTIONS ON CELLPHONE USE AND TEXTING
Hand-held ban all drivers
Young drivers all cellphone ban drivers younger than 18
Texting ban all drivers
Enforcement primary
MAXIMUM POSTED SPEED LIMITS
Rural interstates (mph) 65
Urban interstates (mph) 65
Other limited access roads (mph) 65
Other roads (mph) 55
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
To get a learners license you must:
Have a minimum age of 15, 9 months
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Before getting a license or restricted license you must:
Have a mandatory holding period of 9 months1
Have a minimum supervised driving time of 60 hours, 10 of which must be at night
Have a minimum age of 16, 6 months
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Restrictions during intermediate or restricted license stage:
Nighttime restrictions midnight-5 a.m.2
Passenger restrictions

(family members excepted unless otherwise noted)
first 5 months—no passengers younger than 18 secondary enforcement
YOUNG DRIVER LICENSING SYSTEMS
Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted:
Nighttime restrictions 18
Passenger restrictions 16, 11 months
REGULAR LICENSING RENEWAL CYCLE
Length of regular renewal cycle 8 years
OLDER DRIVER SPECIAL LICENSING PROVISIONS
Accelerated renewal none
Other provisions vision test required at age 40 and older at every renewal3
CHILD RESTRAINTS
Must be in child restraint 7 years and younger and less than 57 inches
Adult safety belt permissible 8 through 15 years; children who are at least 57 inches
Maximum fine 1st offense $50
Seating preference law states no preference for rear seat
Children not covered all children covered
SAFETY BELT USE
Initial effective date 07/01/86
Standard enforcement? yes; effective 10/01/97 (secondary for rear seat occupants; effective 10/01/13)
Who is covered? In what seats? 16+ years in all seats
Maximum fine 1st offense $50
Can nonuse decrease monetary awards for injuries in lawsuits? no
MOTORCYCLE HELMET USE
Motorcyclists covered all riders
BICYCLE HELMET USE
Covered by state law 15 and younger
PICKUP TRUCKS: RESTRICTIONS ON RIDING IN CARGO AREAS
Restrictions on riding in cargo areas yes
Gaps in coverage people 16 and older; people 15 and younger if the vehicle is traveling 25 mph or less; employees being transported to work sites or people engaged in farming operations; exceptions do not eliminate requirement to use child restraint or belts; inapplicable to pickup trucks with covered cargo areas
LOW-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are low-speed vehicles permitted? roads with a posted speed limit of 30 mph or less
What is the top speed permissible for low-speed vehicles? 25 mph
MEDIUM-SPEED VEHICLES
On which roads are medium-speed vehicles permitted? roads on which the vehicle's speed capability exceeds the posted speed limit by at least 5 mph
What is the top speed permissible for medium-speed vehicles? 55 mph
AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT: RED LIGHT CAMERAS
Statewide or only specified locations? statewide
Violations red light
Citations issued to whom? registered owner
Who is liable? owner
What image is taken? 2 or more images of rear of vehicle and tag in any medium
Traditional enforcement penalty $500 maximum fine/2 points
Auto enforcement penalties/record $100 maximum civil penalty; no points or record; not a moving violation; may not be used by insurers
AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT: SPEED CAMERAS
Statewide or only specified locations? Montgomery County school zones and residential districts, Prince George's County school zones, statewide in school zones by local ordinance and work zones
Violations speed
Citations issued to whom? registered owner
Who is liable? owner
What image is taken? 2 or more images of rear of vehicle and tag in any medium
Traditional enforcement penalty maximum fine $500 in residential district, $1,000 in school zone; points depend on speed
Auto enforcement penalties/record $40 maximum fine; no points
AUTOMATED ENFORCEMENT: RAIL CROSSINGS
Statewide or only specified locations? Montgomery and Prince George's County
Violations rail crossing
Citations issued to whom? registered owner
Who is liable? owner
What image is taken? vehicle, driver and tag
Traditional enforcement penalty $500 maximum fine/1 point
Auto enforcement penalties/record $100 maximum fine; no points

1In Maryland, all license applicants younger than 25 must hold a learner's permit for nine months before taking the road test and all applicants 25 and older must hold the permit for 45 days.

2In Maryland, the nighttime driving restriction only applies to intermediate license holders younger than 18.

3Some states' licensing laws specifically prohibit licensing administrators from treating people differently solely by virtue of advanced age. Maryland law specifies that age alone is not grounds for reexamination of drivers; applicants for an initial license age 70 and older must provide proof of previous satisfactory operation of a vehicle or physician's certificate of fitness.