Maryland Motorist Info

The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Points of Interest

  • Maryland uses red-light cameras and speed cameras.
  • Motorists must turn on their headlights if it rains and they are using their windshield wipers.
  • Maryland has installed X-band RADAR transmitters on overpasses on I-495 (the Washington, DC Beltway), I-270, and I-95. These will set off RADAR detectors and provide a good place for speed traps since people become accustomed to their RADAR detectors going off at overpasses.
  • If you are cited for speeding by a Maryland State Trooper and go to court, there is no prosecutor involved–only the police officer, the judge and you.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 70, Trucks 70
Urban Interstates: Cars 70, Trucks 70
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars 55, Trucks 55

These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted.

Speed limits are absolute–exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se (regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions).

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: Yes
Automated Speed Enforcement: No
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: Yes

Aggressive Driver Actions Defined by Statute
At least three of the following: failure to obey traffic control device, overtaking and passing, passing on right, driving on laned roadways, following too closely, failure to yield right of way or speeding.

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed

And other court procedures such as jury trial

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: No
Parking: No
Equipment: No
DWI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact

Member of Driver License Compact

When and Where to File Accident Reports
Accidents involving death or personal injury must be reported immediately to the local authorities and (if the accident is not investigated by the authorities) within 15 days to the Motor Vehicle Administration.

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $20,000
All injuries: $40,000
Property Damage: $15,000

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: All drivers, School Bus Drivers
All Cell Phone Ban: Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders under 18. School bus drivers.
Texting Ban: All drivers
Enforcement: Primary: for all offenses (effective 10/01/13)

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants are prohibited in the vehicle.
  • The BAC level is .08%.
  • Maryland has an administrative license suspension law and an implied consent law. The breathalyzer refusal penalty is a 120-day driver’s license suspension.
  • Personal carry of handguns within a vehicle is prohibited unless the weapons are securely cased, unloaded, and stowed in the trunk; rifles and shotguns may be in plain view but must be unloaded.
  • Studded tires are prohibited.
  • Tire chains are not required.
  • Maryland has a seat belt law with primary enforcement for all front and rear seat occupants.
  • Maryland has a mandatory child restraint law for passengers under 17 years of age. Children under age 4 and weighing less than 40 pounds must use approved car safety seats.
  • Maryland has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law.
  • Registration must be carried in the vehicle. Insurance card is not required to be carried in the vehicle.

General Information (District Court of Maryland, Traffic)
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: 911 or *77