UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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The Ultimate Maryland Car Insurance Guide (Costs + Coverage)
|Maryland Statistics Summary||Details|
|Road Miles||Total in State: 32,037|
Vehicle Miles Driven: 57,516 Million
Total Stolen: 13,151
|Most Popular Vehicle||CR-V|
State Rank: 23
|Total Driving Fatalities||2008-2017|
Drunk Driving: 1,542
|Annual Average Premiums||Collision: $353.99|
|Cheapest Providers||NAICOA + USAA|
Known for its popular vacation spots like Ocean City, Chesapeake Bay, and Baltimore, the Old Line State is usually defined by its beautiful Atlantic coastline, its American history pertaining to the Civil War, and of course, crabcakes.
Maryland is a Mid-Atlantic state with over 3,000 miles of coastline, abundant waterways, snowy mountains, and a sub-tropical climate.
Whether you’re in Maryland studying at one of the many universities, or you live in the busy city of Annapolis full time, one thing is for sure — you’re going to need to purchase a Maryland car insurance policy.
We know finding an insurance policy can be difficult, especially if you have no idea what you’re looking for – and that’s exactly why we came up with the ultimate guide to Maryland insurance.
With some effective research and the right tools, you could save up to 40 percent or more on your car insurance policy.
Shopping for Maryland automobile insurance? If you live in Baltimore, Rockville, Frederick, Gaithersburg, or Columbia, you may acquire up to five rate quotes from top companies in your state through AutoInsuranceEZ.com. Rates fluctuate by company and you ought to compare rates diligently before you purchase a policy. We’ll show you how to acquire the coverage to meet your needs.
So what are you waiting for? Use our free tool by entering your zip code in this box above to get started. Need to do more research? That’s fine too. Keep reading to learn all you need to know about Maryland auto insurance.
Maryland Car Insurance Coverage and Rates
You might be wondering where to start when it comes to finding the right insurance policy. You may have questions like, how much car insurance do I actually need? Who is the cheapest provider? What type of car insurance do I need?
Before we dive into some of these questions, let’s first talk about how much car insurance is legally required by the state of Maryland.
To help you better understand Maryland’s rhyme and reason when it comes to car insurance, it might be a good idea to read about Maryland’s car culture below.
Maryland’s Car Culture
Maryland may not be known as a historic capital of automobiles, but drivers here spend a lot of time in their cars.
The state has a history of not only driving vehicles but also of making them. The Broening Highway General Motors Plant, more commonly known as the Baltimore Assembly, operated from 1935 to 2005 and had produced Buicks, Chevrolets, Oldsmobiles, Pontiacs and Chevrolet Trucks.
Marylanders also have a love for auto racing and vintage cars. There are also a number of annual car shows in the state including the OC Car Show in Ocean City which is one of the hottest and longest-running shows on the East Coast.
Maryland Minimum Car Insurance Coverage Requirements
Okay, now back to the real show. What in the world do we mean by minimum car insurance requirements?
Maryland is considered to be an at-fault car accident state.
Maryland is an at-fault car accident state. If you don’t already know what this means, it is a huge part of the reason why Maryland requires every driver to carry at least a minimum car insurance policy.
In at-fault car accident states, drivers who cause an accident are responsible for paying the costs of all repairs to damaged vehicles, replacing totaled vehicles, and covering the costs of all medical bills for anyone who was involved in that accident.
In short, if you break it, you buy it.
So now that you know what at-fault means, let’s move onto Maryland minimum liability requirement laws.
Liability insurance acts as a safety net. You’re probably not going to die if you land in a safety net, but you’re most likely going to have some injuries – but it’s definitely a gamble when it comes to how serious those injuries are.
Just like the safety net protects you from dying, liability insurance protects you from owing thousands of dollars if you ever do get into a bad accident.
Since it’s only liability insurance however, you are most likely going to owe some money after you cause an accident with an innocent victim.
So what’s the bottom line? Maryland minimum insurance liability laws are as follows:
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
- $60,000 for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
- $15,000 for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
You may have heard this called the 30/60/15 policy. Don’t think you need more insurance than what is required? Keep reading to find out why you actually should have more insurance coverage than what is required.
Forms of Financial Responsibility
What is a form of financial responsibility? A form of financial responsibility is just a fancy term for proof of insurance.
Every driver in the state of Maryland must be able to show proof of insurance, license, and registration at any time when a law enforcement officer requests to see it.
Are you wondering how to show proof of insurance? When you sign up for car insurance, your insurance company will give you an insurance card.
While this is an acceptable form of proof of insurance, there are also other forms of proof of insurance that you may show to an officer if you get pulled over.
Acceptable forms of proof of insurance are:
- Valid liability insurance ID cards
- Copy of your current car’s insurance policy
- Valid insurance binder (a temporary form of car insurance)
- Picture of proof of insurance on your smartphone
- Electronic insurance card
So what happens if you are unable to show proof of financial responsibilty when an officer requests it?
- You may lose your license plates and vehicle registration privileges.
- You will need to pay a fine of at least $175.
It is illegal to drive without insurance in Maryland, but it’s also illegal to drive without proof of insurance.
Premiums as a Percentage of Income
In 2014, Maryland’s annual average per capita income was $46,875. This is the average amount of money Maryland residents take home after paying their taxes. But why is this important to know?
In 2014, Maryland drivers paid an average of $1,096.37 for a full comprehensive coverage auto insurance policy. That means Maryland drivers spend 2.34 percent of their annual income on car insurance alone!
Estimates are a good, quick way to figure out what you might have to pay for your car insurance policy. But keep in mind that because this estimate was taken in 2014, you can bet car insurance costs have increased a little since then.
From 2012-2014, Maryland car insurance costs increased by about $40.
The national average per capita income in 2014 was $40,859 and the national average cost of a full coverage insurance policy from the same year was $981.77.
Even though this number is slightly lower than Maryland’s average cost and income, Maryland usually has cheaper car insurance than Washington, D.C., and Delaware.
Core Car Insurance Coverage in Maryland
The data from the table below is pulled directly from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
|Coverage Type||Annual Costs (2015)|
Since this data is from 2015, you can expect insurance rates to be slightly higher today.
Having minimum coverage is important (it’s required by law to carry it) however, it’s always smart to carry more coverage than what is actually required. Your wallet will thank us if and when you get into a car accident.
Additional Liability Coverage in Maryland
|Personal Injury Protection||80.28%||76.37%||78.14%|
|Medical Payments (MedPay)||84.19%||81.75%||88.89%|
|Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UUM)||74.08%||71.49%||71.73%|
The additional insurance coverage types in the table above are all optional add-ons that anyone can add to an existing or new insurance policy.
But why would anyone want to add them on to a policy voluntarily? Insurance is already expensive, so why would anyone want to pay even more for a policy?
Uninsured/underinsured coverage is important to have because not every driver obeys the law and actually carries car insurance. It is impossible to monitor millions of people at all times.
If an uninsured driver hits you and causes damage to your vehicle, that driver may not be able to just write you a check to cover repairs — he or she is likely going to go bankrupt while trying to pay for these damages and/or medical bills.
12.40 percent of Maryland drivers are uninsured. This means Maryland is ranked 23rd in the U.S. for uninsured drivers.
This is where additional liability coverage steps in. Long story short, it protects you when you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver.
But what about loss ratio percentage?
Loss ratio percentage shows a company’s financial strength. It also tells how many filed claims were paid and how many filed claims went unpaid.
Take a look at the percentages in the table above. If a company has a loss ratio that is too low (under 50 percent) the company might be scamming its clients because it isn’t paying enough of the filed claims received.
IMPORTANT: When you get into an accident, you file a claim with your insurance company stating the damage done and the estimated cost of repairs. You can also file a claim for medical bills.
On the other hand, if a company has a loss ratio percentage that is too high (over 100%) the company could be at risk of going bankrupt because it is paying too many claims – some of these claims are likely to be fraudulent.
So what should you look for when finding a new provider?
Stay away from companies with loss ratio percentages under 50 percent and over 100 percent.
Add-ons, Endorsements, and Riders
Are you looking for even more insurance? More insurance is always better insurance.
Click on the links below to find out more about each individual insurance add-on.
- Guaranteed Auto Protection (GAP)
- Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP)
- Rental Reimbursement
- Emergency Roadside Assistance
- Mechanical Breakdown Insurance
- Non-Owner Car Insurance
- Modified Car Insurance Coverage
- Classic Car Insurance
- Pay-As-You-Drive or Usage-Based Insurance
Add one or add them all, the choice is up to you.
Male vs. Female Annual Car Insurance Rates in Maryland
Did you know factors like gender, marital status and age can affect your car insurance rate? People usually think that women pay more for car insurance than men do. However, this is usually not the case.
|Company||Married 35-year old female||Married 35-year old male||Married 60-year old female||Married 60-year old male||Single 17-year old female||Single 17-year old male||Single 25-year old female||Single 25-year old male|
|Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||$6,671.15||$6,671.15||$6,594.83||$6,594.83||$12,964.69||$19,221.87||$6,671.15||$8,990.68|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$2,384.38||$2,384.38||$2,189.99||$2,189.99||$7,402.28||$9,470.28||$2,661.50||$3,004.10|
If you’re 17 years old and bumming out about how expensive car insurance will most likely be, don’t read into this table too much.
As soon as you turn 25, your rates drastically decrease because car insurance companies have deemed 25 as the age at which you become an “experienced driver”.
This data is based on actual purchased coverage by the state population and includes rates for high risk drivers and those drivers who choose to purchase more than the state minimum as well as other types of coverage not required such as uninsured/underinsured motorist, PIP, and MedPay.
Just remember to keep a clean record as a young driver – this will affect your rate much more than your age.
Rates in Maryland’s Ten Largest Cities
Here’s a list of some average rates for Maryland’s top ten most populated cities.
Cheapest Rates by Zip Code in Maryland
Did you know that where you live can affect your rate?
|Cheapest ZIP Codes in Maryland||City||Average by ZIP Codes||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|21842||OCEAN CITY||$3,698.26||Liberty Mutual||$7,741.31||Allstate||$4,095.48||Nationwide||$2,213.21||USAA||$2,322.55|
|21663||SAINT MICHAELS||$3,702.10||Liberty Mutual||$8,068.52||Allstate||$4,095.48||Nationwide||$2,199.10||USAA||$2,278.74|
It makes sense for Baltimore to have to highest insurance rate because it is the biggest city in the state of Maryland.
|Most Expensive ZIP Codes in Maryland||City||Average by ZIP Code||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|21213||BALTIMORE||$8,455.92||Liberty Mutual||$16,417.60||State Farm||$8,891.65||USAA||$4,390.01||Nationwide||$5,201.68|
|21205||BALTIMORE||$7,886.36||Liberty Mutual||$16,417.60||State Farm||$8,088.92||USAA||$3,761.94||Nationwide||$5,201.68|
|21207||GWYNN OAK||$7,721.94||Liberty Mutual||$15,383.48||Progressive||$7,844.78||USAA||$4,882.32||Nationwide||$5,400.63|
|21244||WINDSOR MILL||$7,164.27||Liberty Mutual||$15,383.48||Allstate||$7,585.22||USAA||$3,906.13||Nationwide||$4,509.81|
|20743||CAPITOL HEIGHTS||$6,517.08||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,180.00||Nationwide||$4,077.69||USAA||$4,095.03|
|20747||DISTRICT HEIGHTS||$6,402.12||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,180.00||USAA||$4,040.83||Nationwide||$4,077.69|
Cheapest Rates by City in Maryland
Find your city in the tables below.
|Cheapest Cities in Maryland||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Fountainhead-Orchard Hills||$3,697.62||Liberty Mutual||$7,798.10||Allstate||$4,058.11||Nationwide||$2,288.47||USAA||$2,292.55|
|Ocean City||$3,698.26||Liberty Mutual||$7,741.31||Allstate||$4,095.48||Nationwide||$2,213.21||USAA||$2,322.55|
|St. Michaels||$3,702.09||Liberty Mutual||$8,068.52||Allstate||$4,095.48||Nationwide||$2,199.10||USAA||$2,278.74|
Cavetown and Denton have the cheapest rates in Maryland.
|Most Expensive Cities in Maryland||Average by City||Most Expensive Company||Most Expensive Rate||2nd Most Expensive Company||2nd Most Expensive Rate||Cheapest Company||Cheapest Rate||2nd Cheapest Company||2nd Cheapest Rate|
|Windsor Mill||$7,164.27||Liberty Mutual||$15,383.48||Allstate||$7,585.22||USAA||$3,906.13||Nationwide||$4,509.81|
|Capitol Heights||$6,517.08||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,180.00||Nationwide||$4,077.69||USAA||$4,095.03|
|District Heights||$6,402.12||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,180.00||USAA||$4,040.83||Nationwide||$4,077.69|
|Forest Heights||$6,203.36||Liberty Mutual||$13,517.97||Allstate||$5,762.95||USAA||$4,029.40||Nationwide||$4,077.69|
|East Riverdale||$6,143.03||Liberty Mutual||$14,583.12||Allstate||$6,205.95||Nationwide||$3,588.66||USAA||$4,003.22|
|Camp Springs||$6,017.80||Liberty Mutual||$13,119.41||Allstate||$5,901.97||USAA||$3,873.61||Nationwide||$3,944.81|
|Mount Rainier||$5,870.98||Liberty Mutual||$12,306.94||Allstate||$6,205.95||Nationwide||$3,588.66||USAA||$4,003.22|
|Bowleys Quarters||$5,711.38||Liberty Mutual||$10,811.14||Allstate||$6,509.97||USAA||$3,401.99||Nationwide||$3,767.26|
Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.
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Maryland’s Best Car Insurance Companies
With literally hundreds of car insurance companies out there, it can be difficult to choose just one to trust with your money – and let’s be honest, your piece of mind.
But no one has hours and hours to sift through the details and reviews of hundreds of companies, and that is exactly why we wanted to include this section.
In these next few sections, we will go over financial ratings, company complaints, AM Best ratings, and more.
The Top Ten Largest Company’s Financial Ratings
|Company||AM Rating||Direct Premiums Written||Market Share||Loss Ratio|
|State Farm Group||A||$940,404||19.21%||76.11%|
|Allstate Insurance Group||A+||$582,872||11.91%||56.19%|
|Erie Insurance Group||A||$376,241||7.69%||78.20%|
|Nationwide Corp Group||A+||$373,032||7.62%||63.41%|
|Liberty Mutual Group||A||$185,153||3.78%||61.25%|
|Hartford Fire & Casualty Group||A+||$50,075||1.02%||61.65%|
Similar to loss ratios, AM Best ratings show a company’s financial strength.
As you can see in the table above, none of the companies have loss ratio percentages above 100 percent or under 50 percent.
Maryland Car Insurance Companies with the Best Ratings
If you’re standing on the side of the road waiting for your insurance company to pick up the phone after you’ve just been in an accident, the last thing you want to hear is a rude person on the other end of the line.
We all know that customer service is pertinent when you are looking for a new car insurance company, and J.D. Power knows this as well.
J.D. Power conducts a study every year that ranks car insurance companies based on customer satisfaction grades.
The 2019 U.S. Auto Insurance Study, now in its 20th year, examines customer satisfaction in five factors (in order of importance): interaction; policy offerings; price; billing process and policy information; and claims.
According to this study, with the exception of USAA (a company that only services military members and their families), Erie Insurance was ranked as the number one car insurance company for customer service in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S.
The study is based on responses from 42,759 auto insurance customers and was fielded from February through April 2019.
The Top Ten Largest Companies with the Most Complaints in Maryland
The data from the table below is pulled from the NAIC.
|State Farm Group||1||0.44||1482|
|Allstate Insurance Group||1||0.5||163|
|Erie Insurance Group||1||0.7||22|
|Nationwide Corp Group||1||0.28||25|
|Liberty Mutual Group||1||5.95||222|
|Hartford Fire & Casualty Group||1||4.68||9|
Don’t be discouraged by these statistics. Every company receives complaints. How a company chooses to handle a complaint it what really matters.
Cheapest Car Insurance Companies in Maryland
|Company||Average||Compared to State Average||Percentage Compared to State Average|
|Liberty Mutual Fire Ins Co||$9,297.55||$4,714.85||50.71%|
|State Farm Mutual Auto||$3,960.86||-$621.83||-15.70%|
If you’re looking for a cheap car insurance company, check rates with NAICOA. Keep in mind that USAA only services military members and their families.
Commute Rates by Companies in Maryland
Did you know that how far you drive every day can affect the cost of your car insurance rate? Statistically, the more you’re driving on the road, the more likely you are to be involved in a car accident.
|Group||10 miles commute, 6000 annual mileage||25 miles commute, 12000 annual mileage|
As you can see, some rates don’t change at all based on mileage, some change by $100 or less, and some change by about $500.
Coverage Level Rates by Companies in Maryland
Sometimes, car insurance companies will give you a break on your rate if you have more insurance than what is required.
Take a look at the table below to see what we mean.
|Group||Low Coverage||Medium Coverage||High Coverage|
Having better coverage is only a couple of hundred dollars more a year and can save you thousands of dollars in the long run.
Credit History Rates by Companies in Maryland
Credit history can also affect insurance rates.
|Group||Poor Credit History||Fair Credit History||Good Credit History|
According to Experian, Maryland’s average credit score is 672.
The national average credit score is 675.
Basically, if you have decent credit, you’ll usually end up with a decently lower rate. Wreck your credit score, and you’re rate is sure to be significantly higher than it normally would be.
As you can see from the table above, a poor credit score can drive up your rate by thousands of dollars.
Driving Record Rates by Companies in Maryland
The biggest factor to decide your car insurance rate is your driving record.
|Group||Clean record||With 1 speeding violation||With 1 accident||With 1 DUI|
Check out Liberty Mutual’s rate – if you get just one DUI, your rate will increase by up to $5,000 per year.
Number of Licensed Insurers in Maryland
|Domestic||Foreign||Total Number of Licensed Insurers|
You might be wondering what the difference is between foreign insurance laws and domestic laws.
Domestic insurance laws are formed under the laws of the state of Maryland while foreign insurance laws are formed under the laws of the U.S.
Maryland State Laws
Knowing every single Maryland state law ever written isn’t necessary (especially when some are very out of date), however, it’s important to be familiar with Maryland state driving laws.
Knowing driving laws will help you avoid traffic tickets and fines, and help you stay safe while on the beautiful Maryland coastline. In this section, we will cover car insurance laws, high-risk insurance, auto fraud laws, vehicle licensing laws, and much more.
Car Insurance Laws in Maryland
Before we get into Maryland auto insurance laws, let’s first talk about how auto insurance laws are formed.
According to the NAIC, domestic car insurance rate filing laws are formed using a system called file and use.
When creating form filing laws, Maryland uses a different system called prior approval.
To find out more about how state car insurance laws are formed in Maryland, please visit www.maryland.gov.
If you need your windshield replaced because a huge rock flew up and cracked it while you were driving, your insurance company isn’t obligated by law to fix it unless you want to pay a hefty deductible first.
However, some car Maryland auto insurance companies may offer a comprehensive plan that includes windshield repairs and replacements.
Carwindshields.info says an insurer who has this plan may use aftermarket parts if they are of “like kind and quality” (used parts are acceptable).
A separate endorsement may be purchased (prior to the loss) that requires the insurer to use OEM parts. You may use any repair shop of your choice (but you may have to pay the difference in price).
What is SR22 high-risk insurance?
If you get caught driving without insurance, the Department of Motor Vehicles may require you to carry SR22 insurance or “high-risk insurance”. An SR22 form is a form that must be carried at all times because it proves you are an insured driver.
You might also need to carry high-risk insurance if you have been convicted or involved in one of the following actions:
- DUI Conviction
- Uninsured auto accident
- If you have too many points on your driving record
- If you are convicted of a DUI and you didn’t have insurance when convicted
- A traffic violation that results in a fatality or serious injury
- If you are an older driver
- If you have your license suspended
Keep in mind that it is the right of any insurance company to refuse service to you if you need high-risk insurance.
Low-Income Government Aid Insurance Plan
Unfortunately, the state of Maryland doesn’t have a government-aided insurance plan for families with low income. But don’t let this get you down, there are still many more ways to save money on your insurance policy.
Ask your insurance company if you qualify for any of the following discounts:
- Good driver discount
- Student discount
- Homeowner’s discount
- Bundle discount
- Military discount
- Multi-car discount
Hawaii, California, and New Jersey are the only states in the U.S. that provide insurance aid to families with low income.
Automobile Insurance Fraud in Maryland
What do we mean when we’re talking about automobile insurance fraud?
According to this article, Maryland accounts for a third of CSAA Insurance Group’s questionable claims.
The IIHS says insurance fraud can be “hard” or “soft.” Hard fraud occurs when someone deliberately fabricates claims or fakes an accident.
Soft insurance fraud, also known as opportunistic fraud, occurs when people pad legitimate claims, for example, or, in the case of business owners, list fewer employees or misrepresent the work they do to pay lower premiums for worker’s compensation.
Insurers said two of the most common — and costly — problems in Maryland are claims for accidents involving a second car that left the scene, which makes details hard to prove, and people using out-of-state addresses to secure lower insurance rates.
If you or someone you know would like to get a hold of the Maryland Insurance Administration, you can visit their website at www.mdinsurance.state.md.us or give them a call at 800-492-6116.
You can also visit their office at the office listed below.
525 St. Paul Place
Baltimore, MD 21202-2272
Do you want to stay out of trouble with auto insurance fraud? Don’t pad your claims and don’t fake an accident.
The Statute of Limitations Law in Maryland
The statute of limitations law protects insurance companies from people who decide that they want to file a claim many years after an accident has occured.
At the same time, the statute of limitations law also protects a driver by giving him or her ample time to file a claim with their respected insurance company.
In the state of Maryland, drivers have just three years from the day of their accident to file a property damage claim and/or a personal injury claim.
Maryland’s Vehicle Licensing Laws
Car insurance isn’t cheap — but driving without it can really hurt your wallet and your peace of mind. We want this next section to be dedicated to vehicle licensing laws.
We’ll go over teen driving laws, penalties for driving without insurance, license renewal procedures and more.
Have you ever heard of a REAL ID?
After October 2020, drivers will need a Real ID to go through airport security and board any domestic flight.
Penalties for Driving Without Insurance in Maryland
By now you should know that driving without insurance is against the law in Maryland. But if you get caught driving without insurance, what penalties could you be facing?
You could . . .
- Lose your license plates and vehicle registration privileges
- Have to pay uninsured motorist penalty fees for each lapse of insurance — $150 for the first 30 days, $7 for each day thereafter
- Pay a restoration fee of up to $25 for a vehicle’s registration
According to Maryland.gov, the penalties for driving without insurance are always the same, even if it’s your fourth time being caught and charged as an uninsured driver.
Since we’re parked here, let’s review acceptable forms of proof of insurance.
Acceptable proof of insurance forms in Maryland are:
- Valid liability insurance ID cards
- Copy of your current car’s insurance policy
- Valid insurance binder (a temporary form of car insurance)
- Picture of proof of insurance on your smartphone
- Electronic form of proof of insurance card
Whenever you are pulled over and a law enforcement officer requests to see a copy of your proof of insurance, you must be able to show it — otherwise, you will receive a fine for driving without proof of insurance.
Anytime you are pulled over, have your proof of insurance, license, and registration handy. You can take a photo of your insurance card if you’re not good with carrying paper cards.
Like we said – insurance isn’t cheap, but at least it’s less expensive than getting caught without insurance.
Want to get started saving on Maryland auto insurance right now? Enter your zip code in the box below.
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Teen Driver Laws
Teens can start driver education at 15 years and nine months old. In Maryland, driver education is required regardless of applicant age. Take a look at the table below to view more laws about teen driving and restricted license laws.
|Requirements for Getting a Maryland License||Details|
|Mandatory Holding Period||9 months|
|Minimum Supervised Driving Time||60 Hours, 10 must be at night|
|Minimum Age||16, 6 months|
License applicants who are 19 years old (or 18 with a high school diploma) but younger than 25 must hold a learner’s permit for three months before taking the road test. All applicants 25 and older must hold the permit for 45 days.
Sixty supervised driving hours are required for all applicants younger than 25. Applicants age 25 and older are required to drive for fourteen supervised hours.
Check out the restricted license laws in the table below.
|Restricted License Laws in Maryland||Details|
|Nighttime restrictions||midnight-5 a.m.|
|Passenger restrictions (family members excepted unless noted otherwise)||no passengers younger than 18, secondary enforcement|
|Minimum age at which restrictions may be lifted|
|Nighttime restrictions||until age 18 (min. age: 18)|
|Passenger restrictions||5 months or until age 18, whichever occurs first (min. age: 16, 11 mos.)|
The night and passenger restrictions only apply to intermediate license holders younger than 18.
License Renewal Procedures
It doesn’t matter if you’re 18 years old or 80 years old, every driver in the state of Maryland must renew his or her license every eight years.
IMPORTANT: Mail and online renewal is permitted, but only at every other renewal.
If you’re 40 years old or older, you must be able to provide adequate proof of vision at every renewal. If you’re under 40, don’t worry about proof of vision.
New Residents in Maryland
According to the DMV, if you’ve just moved to Maryland, there are a few things you need to take care of with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) soon after your move.
- applying for a Maryland driver’s license,
- registering your out-of-state vehicle, and
- updating your voter and organ donor registrations
If you’re a military member recently stationed in Maryland, some licensing and registration requirements may not apply to you.
If you’ve brought your out-of-state vehicle with you to Maryland, you have 60 days to register it with the MVA before you risk being penalized.
Contact your previous state’s DMV to check whether you need to return your license plates to them or notify them of your new address.
It would also be a good idea to let your insurance company know you are moving to the state of Maryland and you will need adequate Maryland car insurance.
Maryland’s minimum liability car insurance requirements are as follows:
- $30,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle
- $60,000 for total bodily injury or death liability in an accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle, and
- $15,000 for property damage per accident caused by the owner/driver of the insured vehicle.
Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS)
According to Driving Laws Published by Nolo, negligent driving—which is a “lesser included offense” of reckless driving—is defined as driving a vehicle “in a careless or imprudent manner that endangers any property or the life or person of any individual.”
The difference between reckless and negligent driving is a matter of degree, and the dividing line isn’t always clear.
Basically, reckless driving involves the operation of a vehicle that’s obviously dangerous, whereas more subtle instances of bad driving might be in the negligent driving category.
The penalties for negligent driving are less severe than those for reckless driving. Like reckless driving, negligent driving is a misdemeanor.
But the scheduled fine for negligent driving is only $140, and the maximum fine a judge can impose in court is $500. A negligent driving conviction puts three points on the driver’s record.
Maryland Rules of the Road
What do we mean by Maryland rules of the road?
To give it to you straight, this next section will include Maryland seat belt and car seat laws, speed limit laws, ridesharing laws, and keep right or move over laws.
First up, let’s cover our bases and define the term at-fault.
Fault vs. No-Fault
Maryland is an at-fault car accident state.
This means that any driver who causes an accident is held responsible for the property damage repairs and medical bills of any person (or any vehicle) who was involved in the accident.
Because of Maryland’s at-fault status, it is very important to have more insurance than what is required by the state.
Seat Belt and Car Seat Laws
Are you familiar with Maryland’s seat belt laws? If you get caught with an unbuckled seat belt, you may be facing some serious fines.
|Seat Belt Laws in Maryland||Details|
|Effective Since||July 1, 1986|
|Primary Enforcement||yes; effective 10/01/97 (secondary for rear seat occupants; effective 10/01/13)|
|Age/Seats Applicable||16+ years in all seats|
|1st Offense Max Fine||$50|
Help keep your child safe by making sure they are in the proper car seat.
|Type of Car Seat Required||Age/Details|
|Must be in Child Safety Car Seat||7 years and younger and less than 57 inches|
|Maximum base fine||$50|
|Preference for Rear Seat||law states no preference for rear seat|
|Adult Belt Permissible||8 through 15 years; children who are at least 57 inches|
Have you ever wondered if it’s illegal to ride in the cargo area of a pick-up truck?
According to AAA, riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck is not permitted for persons under the age of 16. If the vehicle is traveling more than 25 mph, proper child restraints are still required.
Keep Right and Move Over Laws
Have you ever heard of keep right or move over laws?
In the state of Maryland, left lane driving prohibited if a driver is traveling under the speed limit.
Maryland code 21-301 says any vehicle going 10 miles an hour or more below the applicable maximum speed limit shall be driven in the right-hand lane then available for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.
AAA says state law requires drivers traveling in the same direction and approaching a stopped emergency vehicle using flashing lights, including tow trucks or service vehicles, to change into a lane not immediately adjacent to the vehicle, if possible, or to slow to a speed safe for the weather, road, and traffic conditions.
Also included in the law are municipal vehicles, such a waste or recycling vehicles.
Speed Limit Laws
The information below is brought to you by the IIHS.
Are you aware of Maryland’s maximum speed limits?
|Type of Roadway||Speed Limit|
|Rural Interstates||70 mph|
|Urban Interstates||70 mph|
|Other Limited Access Roads||70 mph|
|Other Roads||55 mph|
Keep in mind that it is illegal to drive over the speed limit.
What is ridesharing?
Taxi services like Uber or Lyft are considered to be ridesharing services. If you are an employee or a driver for companies like these, you’ll need to apply for ridesharing insurance.
If you need ridesharing insurance, try calling any of these providers listed below.
- Liberty Mutual
Some insurance companies may refuse to insure you if you work as a driver for a ridesharing company.
Automation on the Road
Technology has come a long way in the last few years. The word “automation” means something totally different today than it did 40 years ago.
The IIHS says automation involves using radar, camera, and other sensors to perform parts or all of the driving tasks on a sustained basis instead of the driver.
One example is adaptive cruise control, which continually adjusts the vehicle’s speed to maintain a set minimum following distance.
Features such as automatic braking, which acts as a back-up if the human driver fails to brake, or blind-spot detection, which provides additional information to the driver, aren’t considered automation under this definition.
Could vehicle automation be the answer to distracted driving?
Currently, Maryland doesn’t have any laws about vehicle automation, but with new technology changing every day, laws about automation are probably going to start taking effect in the near future.
Safety Laws in Maryland
What’s a more important topic than safety? Let’s take a look at laws to help keep you safe while on the road.
In this section, we will go over DUI laws, distracted driving laws, and drugged driving laws,
DUI Laws in Maryland
From 2008-2017, there were over 1,542 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities in the state of Maryland. This is why Maryland has strict laws against drunk driving.
|Name for Offense||Driving Under the Influence (DUI)|
|High BAC Limit||0.15|
|Criminal Status||all misdemeanors|
|Look Back Period||5 years|
To discourage drivers from drinking and driving, we’ve included a section on the penalties for drinking and driving. Take a look at the table below.
|Number of Offense||ALS or Revocation||Imprisonment||Fine||Other|
|First Offense||6 months||no minimum, but up to 1 year||no minimum, but up to $1000||12 points on license|
|Second Offense||1 year; if 2 convictions w/in 5 years, IID program mandatory||5 days - 2 years||no minimum, but up to $2,000||12 points on license|
|Third Offense||18 months up to lifetime||no minimum, but up to 3 years||no minimum, but up to $3,000||12 points on license|
These penalties may seem harsh, but in 2017, 186 people died from drunk driving accidents. In the same year, more than 14,000 people were arrested for drunk driving.
Please don’t drink and drive; every time you do, you risk your life and someone else’s.
Marijuana-Impaired Driving Laws
At this time, there aren’t any specific laws in Maryland about taking marijuana while driving. However, a law enforcement officer can pull you over and charge you for something called impaired driving.
If you are suspected of driving impaired, a law enforcement officer has every right to pull you over. This is called primary enforcement.
If you are charged with impaired driving, most likely you will be penalized with fines and jail time.
Distracted Driving Laws
Cell phones have come a long way in the last 40-50 years. We use them everywhere, so why not use them while driving?
Studies have shown that the effects of texting while driving can be worse than drinking and driving.
According to AAA, using a text messaging device to write, read, or send a text message while driving is prohibited for all drivers.
The use of a handheld telephone is prohibited for all drivers. The use of wireless communication devices by all drivers under 18 is prohibited.
That text can wait! Save a life and wait to answer your phone until you are safely parked.
Driving in Maryland
Since we’ve covered a good portion of Maryland laws, it’s time to get into Maryland’s can’t miss facts.
In this next section, we want to discuss vehicle theft, traffic fatality rates, traffic congestion, transportation statistics and more.
Keep reading to find out more about how vehicle theft rates can affect your car insurance rate.
Vehicle Theft in Maryland
Is your vehicle on this most-stolen list?
The year with the vehicle is just the most popular model year stolen. The number listed as stolen for that make and model includes all model years of it.
|Make/Model||Year of Vehicle||Thefts|
|Ford Pickup (Full Size)||2004||287|
|Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee||2015||194|
|Chevrolet Pickup (Full Size)||1999||192|
Apparently, Dodge Caravans are the most stolen vehicles in Maryland. This next list comes from the FBI. It shows vehicle theft by city in Maryland in 2017.
|Baltimore City Sheriff||0|
|Chevy Chase Village||2|
|Havre de Grace||3|
Some of these cities had zero theft in 2017. That’s not a typo – that’s correct!
Road Fatalities in Maryland
It’s time to get into a more sobering topic: road fatality rates.
What causes them? Where do they happen the most? How can we prevent traffic fatalities?
Before we start answering all of these questions, let’s look at Maryland’s most dangerous road.
Most Fatal Highway in Maryland
Every year, over 30,000 people are killed in road crashes in the United States.
To determine the most dangerous highway in Maryland, a Fatal Crash Rate was calculated that is based on the annual number of road fatalities and fatal crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
It was adjusted for the average daily traffic counts provided by the Federal Highway Administration.
According to geotab.com, US Route 1 in Maryland sees around 12 fatal accidents every year. It runs through Pennsylvania and D.C.
Fatal Crashes by Weather Condition and Light Condition
Did weather and light conditions have anything to do with the fatality rate in Maryland?
|Weather Condition||Daylight||Dark, but Lighted||Dark||Dawn or Dusk||Other / Unknown||Total|
According to this list above, most of these fatal accidents occured under normal weather conditions. Many of them happened in broad daylight and at night.
Fatalities (All Crashes) by County
The table below shows fatal crashes by counties in Maryland.
|Anne Arundel County||34||37||37||44||44||6.12||6.6||6.56||7.73||7.68|
Traffic Fatalities: Rural vs Urban
Usually, more traffic fatalities happen in rural areas than in urban areas because there aren’t as many EMS service locations in rural areas as there would be in the city.
However, this was not the case in Maryland. From 2008-2017, one hundred to two hundred more fatalities happened per year in urban areas.
Fatalities by Person Type
Did person or vehicle type have anything to do with the fatal crash rate?
|Light Truck - Pickup||39||24||42||33||42|
|Light Truck - Utility||40||48||50||47||51|
|Light Truck - Van||19||8||11||19||12|
|Light Truck - Other||0||1||0||0||3|
|Bicyclist and Other Cyclist||6||5||11||16||10|
Fatalities by Crash Type
What types of crashes caused fatalities?
|Total Fatalities (All Crashes)||465||442||520||522||550|
|(1) Single Vehicle||269||254||280||288||304|
|(2) Involving a Large Truck||58||49||58||63||48|
|(3) Involving Speeding||148||134||124||132||160|
|(4) Involving a Rollover||71||65||99||60||59|
|(5) Involving a Roadway Departure||226||205||249||222||262|
|(6) Involving an Intersection (or Intersection Related)||100||127||145||146||163|
Most traffic fatalities were the result of a single-vehicle crash.
Five-Year Fatality Trend for the Top Ten Largest Counties in Maryland
Below is the five-year fatality trend for the largest counties in Maryland.
|Anne Arundel County||34||37||37||44||44|
According to this list, Prince Georges County had the highest fatality rate from 2013-2017.
Fatalities Involving Speeding by County
Speeding is a huge culprit for crashes that result in a fatality.
|Anne Arundel County||15||12||13||15||14||2.7||2.14||2.3||2.64||2.44|
Fatalities in Crashes Involving an Alcohol-Impaired Driver (BAC = .08+) by County
In 2017, there were 186 alcohol-impaired fatalities in the state of Maryland.
|Anne Arundel County||12||9||15||10||19||2.16||1.61||2.66||1.76||3.31|
Teen Drinking and Driving
Teenage drinking and driving has become an epidemic in the U.S.
|DUI Arrest (Under 18 years old)||DUI Arrests (Under 18 years old) Total Per Million People||Rank|
Maryland is ranked 39th in the U.S. for under-18 DUI arrests. According to Responsibility.org, in 26 states and D.C., under 21 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities per 100k population were at or below the national average of 1.2 deaths per 100,000 population.
Maryland had .6 deaths per 100,000 population. This number is half the national average.
Insurance companies often base their rates off of national and state averages. These averages include car ownership, commute time and how people travel to work every day.
To take a closer look at these numbers, take a look at the graphs below.
According to Data USA, the following chart displays the households in Maryland distributed between a series of car ownership buckets compared to the national averages for each bucket.
The largest share of households in Maryland have two cars, followed by three cars.
The orange bars represent Maryland’s average while the gray bars represent the national average.
Using averages, employees in Maryland have a longer commute time (31.7 minutes) than the normal US worker (25.5 minutes). Additionally, 4.8 percent of the workforce in Maryland have “super commutes” in excess of 90 minutes.
In 2017, the most common method of travel for workers in Maryland was Drove Alone, followed by those who Carpooled and those who Public Transit.
Traffic Congestion in Maryland
According to Inrix, Baltimore is the 88th most traffic-congested city in the world.
|City||2018 World Rank||Hours Lost in Congestion||Cost of Congestion (Per Driver)|
As we’ve said above, your auto insurance policy should be as unique as you are.
Now that you’ve read through this ultimate guide to Maryland auto insurance, it’s time to start shopping for your own policy by using our free tool and entering your zip code in the box below.
Good luck and happy shopping.