Thinking of becoming a commercial driver in Maryland?
Wondering how to get started?
Well, we’re here to give you all the details — from beginning to end.
We’ll show you what CDL class you need, the steps and requirements to get a CDL, as well as the endorsements.
We’ll even include an FAQ section.
So welcome to your complete guide to the Maryland CDL requirements.
CDL Classes in Maryland
Commercial driver’s licenses are classified into 3 categories:
- Class A CDL
- Class B CDL
- Class C CDL
Before you begin your CDL application, it’s important to know which CDL class you need. In other words, what commercial vehicle do you want to operate?
To help you decide, let’s explain each class.
Class A CDL
The Class A CDL is for combination commercial motor vehicles (CMV) with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. The towed unit should have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more.
Class B CDL
A Class B CDL is for combination and single CMVs with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more. However, if towing a unit, it should weigh less than 10,000 pounds.
Class C CDL
Finally, the Class C CDL is for combination and single CMVs with a GVWR of fewer than 26,000 pounds. The unit it’s towing should not exceed a GVWR of 10,000 pounds.
The Class C CDL is also for commercial drivers that operate vehicles that are designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) and vehicles designed to transport hazardous materials and substances.
CDL Requirements in Maryland
So you’ve determined which CDL class you need.
Are you even eligible to get a CDL in Maryland?
Let’s look at the basic requirements:
- At least 18 years old if driving a CMV intrastate
- At least 21 years old if driving a CMV interstate or if carrying hazardous materials
- Have proof of age and identity (e.g. birth certificate, valid IDs)
- Have proof of citizenship or legal presence in the US (e.g Social Security Number, passport)
- Have proof of Maryland residence
- Have a valid driver’s license
If you can meet the age requirements and provide all these documents, then go ahead and start working towards your CDL.
How to Get a CDL in Maryland
Just like a regular driver’s license, you will need to start with a permit — in this case, a commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
So let’s look at the requirements and steps.
How to Get Your CLP in Maryland
To get a CLP in Maryland, follow these steps:
- Prepare documents proving your age, identity, citizenship or legal presence, and Maryland residency.
- Print and complete a self-certification form DL-330
- Get a valid Medical Certificate from a physician. Submit it to the MDOT online portal (Drivers Services > Submit CDL Medical Certificate)
- On your scheduled date, submit all the documents.
- Pass a vision test.
- Pass the CDL written test. If you’re getting an endorsement, you might need to take additional knowledge exams (more on endorsements below).
NOTE: to prepare for the CDL written exam, review the Maryland Commercial Driver License Manual.
- Pay the $90 fee for the application and the tests.
- Receive your CLP.
You can now practice driving your CMV.
Of course, like a regular learner’s permit, you always have to have a commercial licensed driver, at least 21 years old, on the passenger seat. Another thing, the one accompanying you must be in the same CDL class or higher as yours.
How to Get Your CDL in Maryland
And here are the steps to getting a CDL in Maryland:
- Hold your CLP for at least 14 days.
- Complete an Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) program if:
- Applying for a Class A or B CDL for the first time
- Upgrading a Class B CDL to Class A CDL
- Applying for an S, P, or H endorsement
- Schedule an appointment for your CDL road test online or call the MDOT MVA hotline at 1-410-768-7000.
- Go to the MDOT MVA office for your road test. Bring the following documents:
- Valid ID
- Pass the CDL road test. This consists of:
- Pre-Trip Inspection Test
- Basic Control Skills Test
- Public Road Test
- Surrender your CLP.
- Wait for your CDL to be mailed to you within 7 days.
And there you have it!
You are now officially a licensed commercial driver in the state.
CDL Endorsements in Maryland
Apart from CDL classes, there are also endorsements placed on your CDL to indicate that you’re allowed to operate certain types of commercial vehicles.
In Maryland, there are 6 endorsement types, namely:
- T – double and triple trailers
- P – vehicles capable of carrying 16 or more passengers including the driver
- N – tank vehicles
- H – trucks that carry hazardous materials found on the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act
- S – school buses
- X – tank vehicles and trucks that carry hazardous materials
Now, you can add 2 endorsements to your CLP, while the other 4 can only be added to your CDL.
Here is a table to give you a clear idea about the endorsements in the state.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got some questions about the CDL process in Maryland? Here are some FAQs that may answer your questions.
How many questions are on the CDL permit test in MD?
The CDL knowledge exam has 25 questions. You need to get a passing score of 80% to earn your CLP.
How long is the MD CDL learner’s permit good for?
Your CLP is only valid for 6 months. If you’re ready to take the road test, you can apply as early as 14 days after having your CLP.
How long is a CDL school in Maryland?
On average, a CDL course takes 1-2 months. If you’re studying part-time, it may take longer.
How much does it cost to get a CDL in Maryland?
You can expect to pay around $4,500 for the whole CDL application. The bulk of this cost is the CDL school, which is at least $4,000. Other fees include the CLP fee and test fee ($90).
Additional fees include endorsement knowledge exams and retake exams.
What disqualifies you from getting a CDL in Maryland?
Getting a citation or a moving violation when you have a driver’s license or a CLP disqualifies you from getting a CDL.
How much does a CDL driver make in Maryland?
On average, the annual salary of a CDL driver in Maryland is $84,000.
And those were the Maryland CDL requirements.
The whole process is simple enough, although it might take some time (around a few months) before you can get hold of your CDL.
But with this complete guide, you just need to follow the steps one by one and you’ll get there soon enough.
So go ahead and pick your CDL class.
Best of luck!