Guidelines for Residential Entrances to State Highways - INTRODUCTION

The goal of the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is maximum protection for the motoring public through the orderly control of traffic movement to and from State highways. Permits are required for all driveways to assure that entrances to State highways are constructed safely. Follow these guidelines to obtain a residential entrance permit.

Everyone accessing a State highway from a residential property must obtain a residential entrance permit. MDOT SHA must approve the location, design geometries, drainage requirements, and paving cross section. The entrance design guidelines in this publication are based on MDOT SHA approved standards, specifications and engineering manuals. Traffic control specifications for shoulder work and lane closures are based on federal guidelines.

Apply for a permit at a local MDOT SHA office (see addresses of the local offices). Depending on the county, the application may be made to the district engineer (DE), the resident maintenance engineer or the permit inspector. The DE is responsible for any construction, maintenance or other activity within his assigned counties. The DE ensures the safety of the traveling public, in part, by allowing only the safest possible access points onto State highways. The resident maintenance engineer is an agent of the DE who, in addition to supervising road maintenance activities, processes applications for residential driveway access. The resident maintenance engineer also periodically inspects the driveway construction. In metropolitan counties, a permit inspector may handle requests for residential access. The permit inspector will accept, process and inspect residential driveway access. The district engineer always has final authority to approve a residential driveway permit.

Here is the permit application procedure

  1. Upon receiving a completed application package, the District Engineer's representative will investigate the proposed driveway location to determine its acceptability based on sight distance, overall safety, drainage and other factors.
  2. After determining the best location for the driveway, the district engineer will issue a residential driveway permit to the homeowner for construction of the driveway at that location.
  3. The permittee is responsible for all construction related to the driveway, including any utility relocations made necessary by the driveway construction.
  4. 48 hours prior to beginning work, permittees must notify MDOT SHA of their intent to begin construction. This notification is necessary to allow for inspection scheduling.
  5. When construction is completed to the satisfaction of the district engineer or his representative, the permit will be released and the performance surety will be returned to the permittee (performance sureties, including sample documents, are described elsewhere in this document).

These guidelines provide safer roadways for all motorists –  the traveling public and homeowners.

Note: These regulations apply only to residential entrances serving a maximum of five homes. Any change in use or resubdivision of the land for more than five homes requires the owner/developer to obtain a new access permit from the local MDOT SHA district office. District office contact information is on the Access Management web page.