MVA’s Possible Reasons for Nixing Parallel Parking

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Parallel Parking in Baltimore
Photo by Andrew Bossi

Yesterday we learned that the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration would no longer require prospective drivers to successfully parallel park to obtain a license. For city dwellers, the decision can be mystifying. There are two distinct reasons for the decision that have been floating around the Internet.

The MVA’s simple explanation that the two-point reverse turn is good enough isn’t very satisfying. Parallel parking is a uniquely frustrating maneuver for which there is no substitute! But there’s a longer answer makes a little more sense.

“We have a lot of parents who want us to make sure we spend a lot of time on parallel parking,” David Resnick, of the Maryland Professional Driver Education Association, told the Washington Post. “Our response is, nobody dies [while] parallel parking. We want to work on entering and exiting expressways and focus on more dangerous maneuvers.”

Fair enough. Parallel parking may induce stress, but it’s pretty low-stakes compared to all those life-or-death moments behind the wheel. Maybe shifting the focus to other driving skills is a good thing.

For all you Parallel Parking Truthers out there, we’ve got another, highly speculative explanation from the driving-instructor rumor mill. Certain areas are experiencing two-month-long waits to schedule driver’s tests. “Presumably,” that’s because so many fail the test. Maybe they’re all failing at the parallel parking portion. What if eliminating that element will speed things up?

Or maybe not. Whatever. Who knows?



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  1. I think it’s a good idea to spend more time during instruction actually driving not parking. Parallel parking is very important in the city but not so much other places

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