Maine CDL Requirements (A Complete 2024 Guide)

Maine CDL Requirements (A Complete Guide)

Want to become a truck driver?

Good choice!

However, getting a CDL can be slightly overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure where to start.

Thankfully, if you’re from Maine, we’ve made a complete guide that helps you through the entire process. 

Here, we’ll cover the essentials, from the different CDL classes, requirements, and endorsements. 

We’ll even walk you through all the steps, so you know what to do when you have to do it. 

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s begin your complete guide to the Maine CDL requirements.

CDL Classes in Maine

First things first, you need to figure out what kind of CDL you need. 

Now, in Maine, there are three classes:

  • Class A CDL
  • Class B CDL
  • Class C CDL

The commercial motor vehicle (CMV) you want to operate determines which one you should get. Let’s take a closer look at each of these CDL types.

Class A CDL

If you’re driving a combination CMV that has a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or heavier and tows a unit weighing more than 10,000 pounds, get a Class A CDL.

Combination CMVs include big rigs or semis. 

Class B CDL

If your CMV is a single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or heavier, you can operate it with a Class B CDL. Also, if your CMV tows a unit, it should not exceed 10,000 pounds. 

Box and straight trucks fall under this category, as well as city and tour buses.

Class C CDL

If you want to drive a combination or single CMV with a GVWR of 26,0001 pounds or less, as well as tow a unit of fewer than 10,000 pounds, you will need a Class C CDL. 

The most common Class C vehicles are used to carry 16 passengers or more, as well as transport hazardous materials. 

CDL Requirements in Maine

After identifying what kind of CDL you need, let’s see whether you’re eligible to apply for a CDL or not. 

We’ve gathered the prerequisites for commercial drivers in Maine. Let’s see how many of these boxes you can check off:

  • You are at least 16 years old (21 if you want to transport hazardous materials, drive a bus, or make interstate trips)
  • You have a valid non-commercial Class C driver’s license
  • You have active driving privileges
  • You are a U.S. citizen (or have permission to work here)
  • You are a resident of Maine
  • You passed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations’ medical requirements
  • You can proficiently read and speak English

A check on all these boxes means you’re ready to apply for a commercial driver’s license in Maine.

Let’s check out the step-by-step process in the next section.

How to Get A CDL in Maine

To be a licensed commercial driver in Maine, you’re required to complete two phases:

  • Getting your commercial learner’s permit (CLP)
  • Getting your commercial driver’s license (CDL)

Let’s go through the steps for each one. 

How to Get Your Maine CLP

Just like a regular driver’s license, you first need a permit to practice your driving. 

So to get your Maine CLP, follow these steps:

  1. Check which CDL class you need.
  1. Confirm whether or not you need any endorsements (check below for information on endorsements).
  1. Ensure you meet all the CDL requirements mentioned above.
  1. Visit a local BMV branch (you can find all possible locations here) and submit the following (you can also choose to submit these through the mail, email, or fax):
  1. Pass the vision test.
  1. Pass the written portion of the CDL exam. You can study the Maine CDL Manual to prepare for it. 

NOTE: if you are applying for endorsements, each has a separate test.

  1. Pay the necessary fees:
    • Examination fee: $70 (regardless of class)
    • Endorsement fee: $20 each
  1. Receive your CLP.


Now you can practice driving a CMV. 

However, remember that a driver at least 21 years old with an active commercial license must always accompany you. 

How to Get Your Maine CDL

Let’s move to the next stage — getting your official CDL. 

Here are the steps:

  1. Hold your CLP for at least 14 days. If you need more practice, know that your CLP expires after 180 days.
  1. Complete the required Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) program if any of these apply to you:
    • You’re earning a Class A or B license for the first time
    • You’re applying for an S, P, or H endorsement for the first time
    • You’re upgrading a Class B CDL to a Class A

NOTE: Make sure you’re getting your ELDT program from an FMCSA-approved provider. If not, then it will not satisfy state requirements. 

  1. Send your CDL skills test request card (found in your CLP) to:

            Maine Office of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles

            29 State House Station

            Augusta, ME 04333-0029

  1. Wait for the BMV to send your appointment notice showing the location, time, and date.
  1. Pass the CDL skills test.

NOTE: You must bring your own commercial vehicle, and it must be representative of the CDL class you’re getting. Also, don’t forget to bring your CMV’s insurance and registration documents, as well as your CLP.

  1. Pay the CDL fee of $34 (it is $27 if you’re 65 and older)
  1. Surrender your CLP.
  1. Get your CDL.

And voila! You have your commercial driver’s license!

CDL Endorsements in Maine

We did mention endorsements in the steps above. 

But what is a CDL endorsement? 

Well, you may need additional knowledge to operate your CMV or haul your cargo. An endorsement on your license or permit means you’ve received the necessary information.

Now, there are six CDL endorsements in Maine. You can only get 3 with your CLP, while the remaining 4 can be added after you get your CDL. 

The table below puts all these together.

Endorsement:Description:Can be added to CLP:Requirements:
NTo drive tank vehiclesYesKnowledge Exam Only
HTo operate a vehicle transporting hazardous materials in amounts requiring placardingNo
XTo drive tank vehicles containing hazardous materials in quantities that require you to place a placard on your vehicleNo
TTo operate double or triple trailers in areas where they’re allowed NOTE: You cannot drive a triple trailer in MaineNo
PTo drive vehicles meant to carry 15 passengers  or more, including the driverYesKnowledge Exam and Skills Test
STo operate a school bus that can accommodate 15 or more passengers, including the driverYes


For even more information about CDLs in Maine, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions. 

How long is a truck driving school in Maine?

Trucking school in Maine runs for at least 160 hours, spread over four weeks. However, some schools with more flexible scheduling may be longer.

How much does it cost to get a CDL in Maine?

Trucking school doesn’t come cheap in Maine. It costs an average of $10,277, although it varies depending on your CDL class and provider.

So, for the overall cost, it’s best to prepare at least $10,500 when getting a CDL. Remember, you still have to pay $70 for your examinations, $20 for each endorsement you get, and $34 or $27 for the CDL fee. 

Do you need a CDL for air brakes in Maine?

Yes. Large, heavy vehicles use air brakes, and you need a CDL to operate them.

How many questions are on the Maine CDL permit test?

The written portion of the CDL exam in Maine has 50 questions. All of them are multiple-choice. To pass, you need a score of  80% or higher, this means you need to answer 40 questions correctly. 

Can a felon get a CDL in Maine?

Having a felony record doesn’t automatically disqualify you from having a CDL in Maine. However, the BMV may not issue you a CDL if you commit the following:

  • Negligent homicide
  • Homicide by motor vehicle
  • Motor vehicle manslaughter 

The Wrap Up


You now have everything you need to know about getting your CDL in Maine.

Remember, everything begins with making sure you’re eligible for one. Then, decide which CDL class you need and whether or not you must apply for endorsements.

Once you get your CLP, put your time to good use and practice operating a CMV while a licensed commercial driver supervises you. 

Sooner than you think, you’ll be able to earn your CDL.

Sure, the process can seem overwhelming at first, but with this complete guide on Maine CDL requirements, you’ll have a roadmap of what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. 

Good luck!

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