When new drivers successfully complete their 18 months of conviction-free driving with their provisional licenses, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration will upgrade their licenses automatically. They will receive attachment cards in the mail. These attachment cards should be carried with the provisional licenses until they can renew their licenses. After renewal, drivers only need to carry their full licenses while driving.
Statute of Limitations for Claims
The period of time you can wait before you file a lawsuit in Maryland is three years. This applies to both property damage and personal injury claims. If you wait more than three years, your insurance company might not cover your claims.
Cancellation/Non-Renewal Notification Laws
Auto insurance companies cannot cancel policies that have been in force for over 60 days except when you don’t pay the premium, you have committed fraud or misrepresentation on your application, or your driver’s license has been revoked or suspended.
If a provider wants to cancel your plan midterm, it must notify you 45 days prior, unless the cancellation is due to nonpayment. In the case of nonpayment, the provider must notify you 10 days prior.
If the provider decides not to renew your policy at the end of the term, it must notify you 45 days prior. The provider must give you notice and explain its reasoning for not renewing your policy before it drops it. Common reasons why providers drop policies are that the provider no longer offers that type of insurance, it doesn’t want to write as many policies in your area, or you were convicted of drunk driving.
Maryland allows self-insurance, but only if you have more than 25 vehicles. The minimum required collateral is $105,000.
Car Inspection Requirements
In Maryland, all vehicles must be inspected every two years. The types of required inspections are based on the model year and weight of your vehicle.
- Gas cap test: This test is required for model years 1977 to 1995 and vehicles that weigh 8,501 to 26,000 pounds.
- Onboard diagnostic test: This test is required for model years 1996 and newer, model years 2008 and newer for heavy-duty vehicles, and vehicles up to 14,000 pounds.
- Tailpipe test: This test is required for model years 1977 through 1995, heavy-duty vehicles from 2008 and newer, and vehicles that weigh 8,501 to 26,000 pounds.
Along with the specific model year and weight criteria, only certain counties in Maryland require testing:
- Anne Arundel County
- Baltimore City
- Baltimore County
- Calvert County
- Carroll County
- Cecil County
- Charles County
- Frederick County
- Harford County
- Howard County
- Montgomery County
- Prince George’s County
- Queen Anne’s County
- Washington County
Some vehicles are exempt from testing, such as vehicles that meet any of these criteria:
- 1995 or older and under 8,500 pounds
- More than 26,000 pounds
- Powered solely by diesel or electric motor
- Registered as farm vehicles
- Historic or antique
- New and qualified hybrids for the first 36 months after titling and registration
- Fire apparatus owned or leased by the state of Maryland
- Registered to senior citizens over 70
- Registered as Class N street rod vehicles
- Military vehicle owned by the federal government
- Registered as Class H school or Class P passenger buses
You will know when your vehicle needs to be inspected if you get an email from the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program. It will email you 11 weeks from your car’s inspection due date. If you do not have an email address, it will notify you by U.S. mail six to eight weeks before your vehicle’s inspection due date.
An SR-22 is proof of minimum insurance. Maryland requires an SR-22 when you reinstate your license after revocation or suspension due to driving under the influence, driving without insurance, failing to pay compensatory damages, or, in some cases, committing multiple traffic violations. In most cases, you will need an SR-22 for three to five years following your date of conviction.
In Maryland, you may be required to take a defensive driving course for various reasons, but these are the most common:
- Referral from a District Court judge
- Referral from an administrative law judge in the Office of Administrative Hearings
- Five to seven points on your driving record
- Conviction or granted probation before a judgment for a moving violation while holding a provisional license
If a judge decides you must attend one of these courses, you will receive a letter from the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration four to six weeks after your hearing. In these classes, you will learn safe driving strategies to avoid hazards. These courses are available both online and in person.
Serious Injury and Monetary Thresholds
There is no minimum serious injury or monetary threshold in Maryland. Because Maryland is an at-fault state, each party pays for damages based on their degree of fault. If you don’t agree with the payout, you can file a lawsuit and seek uncompensated economic damages, such as medical expenses or lost wages. You can also seek noneconomic damages, such as for pain, suffering, and anxiety.
Accident Reporting Requirements
If you’re involved in a car accident that results in injury or death, you must report it to law enforcement within 15 days of the incident or be fined $150.
In Maryland, insurance providers can use your credit score to determine your rate on a new policy, but they cannot use it to deny the application, refuse to renew your policy, cancel your policy, or increase your premiums during renewal7. Providers can also use your gender to determine rates on your policy. In Maryland, men pay more than women for car insurance8.
When Is a Car Declared a Total Loss?
Your car is declared a total loss when repairs would cost more than the vehicle’s estimated value, the vehicle cannot be safely repaired, or the damage meets your state’s total loss guidelines. In Maryland, if the repairs cost more than 75 percent of the car’s actual market value, it’s declared a total loss.