- Auto Insurance policy with limits of at least: 30/60/15 – meaning:
- $30,000 of bodily injury to another person
- $60,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons
- $15,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
Medical Payments Coverage is recommended as it covers the medical bills acquired by policyholders as well as their passengers following an accident, regardless of who is at fault.
Collision Coverage is only required for vehicles that are financed (not completely paid for). Otherwise, collision is simply a recommended.
Required Proof of Insurance in Maryland
Drivers must provide proof of insurance when their previous insurer informs the MVA that their policy has been cancelled, and the MVA notifies you that proof of insurance is necessary. Unfortunately, your new insurance company does not automatically notify the MVA. Another instance where you must provide proof of insurance is when the MVA informs you (via letter) of the buildup of at least three driving points. These cases occur because the law strives to protect the public and it can do so by identifying uninsured motorists and keeping them off the roads.
In the state of Maryland, the only acceptable form of verification that provides proof of insurance is a Maryland Insurance Certification (FR-19) – your ID card and actual policy are not acceptable. When you register or renew a vehicle registration, you are required to sign an insurance certification. This signature acknowledges that the minimum vehicle liability insurance will be upheld through the registration periods and the vehicle will never be driven without insurance. This certification can only be issued by an insurance company licensed to do business in Maryland.
200 Saint Paul Place, Suite 2700
Baltimore, MD 21202
Obtaining a Driver’s License (use, disregard, or change information as needed)
All applicants must apply in person at one of Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration offices. There you will need to provide the required proof of age, identity, and residency. You will then take the vision screening, knowledge and driving tests. Maryland’s graduating licensing system requires any driver to be at least 17 years and 9 months old. The licensee must hold a provisional license for 18 months while being conviction free during that period.
For drivers who have never held a driver’s license, they must progress through the following levels:
- Level 1: Learner’s permit
- Level 2: Provisional license
- Level 3: Full license
To obtain a learner’s permit, you must:
- Be at least 15 years and 9 months of age
- Pass a vision screening and knowledge test
- Pay the $50 dollar fee
Permits are valid for one year and must be held for at least six months (conviction free) to be eligible to test for a provisional license. For your driver’s test, you must be accompanied by a supervising driver. Maryland law defines a supervising driver as one that is at least 21 years of age, has at least 3 years driving experience, and is seated in the passenger seat when you are driving.
To apply for a driver’s license you will be required to provide the following information:
- Your full legal name
- Social security number & actual card
- Physical description
- Employment information
- Resident address
- Government-issued birth certificate
- Valid U.S. passport
All applicants, regardless of age, who have never been licensed by Maryland, or any other jurisdiction, must have satisfactorily completed an approved driver education course of no less than 30 hours of classroom instruction and 6 hour of behind-the-wheel driver training. The Maryland driving school will electronically submit verification of your completion of the course. New drivers must also present their completed skills practice log and completed certification page along with your unexpired Maryland learner’s instructional permit.
Completing Driver Education
To fully complete your driver’s education course, you will need to:
- Perform 30 hours of classroom instruction
- Achieve 6 hours of behind the wheel instruction
- Be at least 15 years old
In order to complete the behind the wheel training, you will need your learner’s permit. Driver education courses can be obtained through schools and licensed driving schools. Always ensure that your instructor and the program have been approved by the state of Maryland.
Knowing the Rules of the Road
Maryland’s driver manual provides the state’s rules of the road online and is available to download:
Note: the actual statue code for every rule of the road is not presented in either guide.
Know Your Rates
Once auto insurance companies assess your level of risk, they will group you with other applicants that have similar characteristics. Thus, your rates can depend upon your risk group. Some of the factors companies take in to account include:
- Gender and age. Statistics indicate that males and young adults have a higher frequency of accidents. As a result, your gender and age can impact your rates. Typically, rates decrease around age 25, but will later increase as you approach the age of 55.
- Driving record. Insurance companies will want to be made aware of any accidents or traffic violations you have had over the past three years. When your driving record is less than perfect you can be considered a high-risk driver and be forced to pay a higher premium. However, insurance companies cannot hold any activity against you that occurred beyond the previous three years. Safer drivers typically enjoy the lowest auto insurance rates in Maryland, so keep that in mind as you make your daily commutes.
- Marital status. Statistics show that married individuals tend to have far fewer accidents than those who are single. Therefore, married couples may be offered a lower insurance rate than single people.
- Geographical area. The number of claims filed by policy holders in your area can impact the rates charged by insurance companies. Zip codes and counties are typically used to divide geographic areas.
- Make and model of the vehicle. Statistics demonstrate that certain vehicles, when they are involved in an accident, cause greater levels of bodily injury and are more difficult and costly to repair. Insurance companies will charge a higher premium to insure a car that displays these characteristics.
- Credit history. Some insurance companies review a person’s credit history as a way of determining their premium. For example, late payments and the number of credit cards you have may result in a higher premium.
Lower Your Rates
By obtaining discounts, you can ensure that you receive the best car insurance rates in Maryland. It is import to be aware of the markdowns you can earn as not all companies offer the same discounts – which can impact the auto insurance you purchase. One of the common discounts a driver can earn is by having a good driving record. By avoiding accidents as well as other violations, you can be rewarded by your insurer with low cost car insurance in Maine. When you possess safety devices that limit bodily injury or property damage – such as anti-lock brakes and automatic safety belts – you can anticipate being offered discounts. It is wise to have anti-theft devices, as a car alarm and other theft-deterrent devices can lower your rates. Insurance companies like to reward good students for their performance in the classroom. This occurs because data has indicated that students who have a higher grade point average generally avoid being involved in accidents.
For younger and older drivers, insurers encourage driver education courses as it offers them more confidence in the ability of drivers who are typically involved in automobile accidents. Furthermore, memberships to certain organizations can include auto insurance benefits. Similarly, employers such as the military and state offices can make discounts available to their employees. If you maintain continuous coverage with a company for a number of years, your loyalty can be rewarded. Lastly, some companies may offer you a discount if you purchase both auto and homeowners’ policies from them. Compare auto insurance rates in Maine with several insurers to determine which is the best for you.
Picking an Insurance Agent/Broker
Before purchasing any insurance coverage, you should familiarize yourself with what is available to you. Someone that can help you throughout this process is an insurance agent, as they have many resources available to them that can provide you with helpful information on insurance. Strive to contact multiple agents before settling on one. While many people prefer to deal with someone who is near their home, customer service has always been another important consideration. Knowing how long an agent has been working in your area can also be valuable information. Furthermore, knowing how quickly an agent processes claims and the amount of complaints they have received can help you narrow down your search. From friends and relatives to the Internet, seek out as many recommendations as possible so you can be certain that you find the right agent or broker for you.
After an Accident
Accidents can occur. If you have been involved in any accident, you should dial 911 and give the operator all of the information you have about the incident. Further, mention whether or not anyone needs medical assistance. If possible, you should remove your vehicle from the road. Be sure to take notes, writing down the time and location of where the incident occurred as well as a summary of what happened. It is important to exchange insurance information with everyone involved, even if the other driver(s) has no car insurance in Maryland. For your own personal benefit, it would be wise to take down the make and model and plate numbers of the other vehicle(s), or you could simply take pictures if you have a camera device with you.
Looking around for witnesses can be beneficial as you can speak with them, take down their information, and get a third parties opinion on the incident. Nevertheless, be sure to fully cooperate with the police. Give them all of the information they ask for, as well write down all the information they give to you – i.e. their name, your accident number. If you have to file a claim, ask your insurance company which documents you will need to support your claim, and keep records of all the paperwork relevant to your claim – this can include an accident report and any expenses you may have.
Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
For drivers that have been involved in accidents and have speeding tickets, or other violations, acquiring an insurance policy can be difficult as some insurance companies may label you as a high-risk diver. In fact, the average cost of car insurance in Maryland for high-risk drivers is significantly higher than for others. However, under Maryland law, all drivers are required to have insurance coverage. As a result, high-risk drivers do have some options available to them. There are a select number of insurance companies and independent agents that specialize in finding companies that are willing to accept a high-risk driver. In the case that a Maryland resident is still unable to obtain automobile liability coverage, they may seek coverage with the Maryland Automobile Insurance Fund (MAIF). For additional information, call 1-800-492-7129. Or you can visit www.maif.state.md.us.
For additional information or if you have a complaint, please contact the Maryland Insurance Administration’s Consumer Complaint Investigation Division at 410-468-2000 or toll-free at 1-
800-492-6116 (1-800-735-2258 TTY). Consumers also may file their written complaint online or by mail at:
Maryland Insurance Administration
Consumer Complaints Investigation
525 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202-2272