Maine CDL Requirements

Maine is the state to the farthest northeast of mainland USA and located within the region known as New England. To non-Americans, it is best known as "Stephen King Country"; the world famous horror writer sets most of his books there. But Maine has more to it than contemporary American literature. It has a great maritime history and a fine tradition of Atlantic fishing, jagged coastline (including multiple lighthouses), heavy forest and mountains. It's picturesque and atmospheric and it borders two Canadian provinces - Quebec and New Brunswick. The US state of New Hampshire lies to the west and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

Which CDL Licenses are Available in Maine?

Three CDL types are available in Maine. As with other states, these are based on weight, type and trailer. Regardless of CDL class, the prospective CMV driver must successfully complete several tests.

Class A CDL

For the heaviest type of vehicle (26,001lbs+) and the heaviest type of trailer (10,000lbs+), the applicant should apply for the Class A CDL

Class B CDL

For the heaviest type of vehicle (26,001lbs+) and lighter trailers (<10,000lbs), the applicant should apply for the Class B CDL

Class C CDL

For lighter CMVs (<26,001lbs), hazmat and passenger vehicles for 16 or more persons, the applicant should apply for the Class C CDL

Class D License

Before the prospective CMV driver is permitted to apply for a CDL, he or she must have their standard driver's license. This is the Class D

For A-C classes, all applicants are required to successfully complete any and all medical examinations prior to a general knowledge test and a practical driving exam. Any required further endorsements will mean further testing.

CDL Eligibility in Maine

Maine is required to abide by Federal laws on CMV licensing. However, there is some flexibility permitted. The state of Maine regularly reviews its state requirements in line with safety requirements and industry changes. Applicants are required to submit to both TSA screening and medical testing.

License and Permits

  • A Class D license with no penalties for a period of two years is required for eligibility for CDL application
  • Health checks are required of applicants all CDL classes. This will include eye testing to adjudge sufficient quality of vision
  • You will find that many private organizations offer training for applicants to learn to drive a CMV prior to their application. Although not mandatory, such courses are advisable
  • CDL testing is practical driving skills test following a written exam


  • In Maine, only applicants 18 years or older may apply for a CDL
  • However, 18-20-year-olds are only able to drive intrastate (within Maine)
  • 21-year-olds may drive interstate (to and through other states)
  • Only 21-year-olds and older may drive hazardous material vehicles

Proof of Residence of Maine

  • All applicants for a CDL in Maine must present proof of residence in the state. Any change of address must be registered with the authorities within 30 days
  • Valid ID is required at application along with your Social Security Number This is required to prove your right to work in the US

CDL Requirements for Maine Residents

  • Your Maine driver's license should be current and up to date. Change of address must be registered within 30 days
  • Your SSN must be presented
  • Proof of driving insurance must be presented
  • You will be required to submit to TSA screening

Maine CDL Requirements for Out-of-State Residents and Transfers

Further checks may apply to out of state applicants:

  • If your driver's license was issued in another state, you must convert it to a driver's license for Maine
  • In most cases, it will be a straight swap unless it is more than two years out of date
  • Proof of US citizenship should be presented. Residence Cards (Green Card) is required for foreign nationals
  • Present your Maine address details and SSN card at application
  • Any recent medical documentation that can aid your application you should present it with the rest of your application
  • Paperwork that declares exemptions should be presented also

Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements for Maine CDL

Foreign nationals are able to apply for a CDL so long as they have a valid and in-date Permanent Resident status. You must present:

  • Your Permanent Resident Card issued on your arrival into the US
  • Any other relevant paperwork pertaining to your immigration status
  • It will be beneficial, if you have your foreign-issued passport, to present it. Supporting documentation may also include your foreign driver's license and birth certificate
  • Only Permanent Residents living in Maine are permitted to apply for a CDL in Maine with relevant proof of residence
  • You may be required to surrender your foreign driver's license in most cases

Do I Need a CDL?

To aid recently retired military into commercial driving jobs, there is a scheme called "Troops to Trucks". If you have retired from the military up to 1 year prior to your application, or will retire/receive an honorary discharge within the next 90 days, you are eligible for a fast track system towards a CDL. Applicants may bypass the practical driving part test on certain condition. Applicants must still successfully complete the written part of the test and endorsement sections. Other exemptions may apply to applicants outside of the eligible period, usually for retirees due to retire later than the 90 days. Firefighters and police drivers may also be eligible for certain privileges regarding exemption.

Some other waivers include:

  • Qualified personnel eligible to drive hazmat vehicles - small volume vehicles only
  • In a situation where a peace officer in an emergency situation instructs any individual to drive a CMV
  • RV drivers
  • Farm and ranch employees operating agricultural machinery within a 150-mile radius of their workplace
  • Any person instructed to operate any emergency clearing vehicle. This exemption applies during natural disasters and extreme weather conditions
  • Any person who is able and qualified drive any public service vehicle, ambulances, firefighting vehicles and police drivers

Driving convictions whether pending or present could invalidate your application for a CDL. Other violations that may affect your application process include DUI of controlled substances or alcohol, excess speed and leaving an accident without reporting it. Should your standard driver's license have been revoked for any reason, your CDL application may be rejected. Felonies and convictions involving a motor vehicle will also render your application void.

Medical and Physical CDL Requirements

  • All applicants are required to pass several medical tests. Please see our resource list at the end of the article for a full Federally-authorized list
  • Upon completion of the medical tests, you will receive two documents: Medical Examination Report Form and a Medical Examiner's Certificate
  • These are required in support of your CDL application
  • The applicant must make clear whether their CDL application is intrastate (within Maine) or interstate (to drive in other states). Age restrictions apply
  • Upon satisfactory completion, the applicant will receive a Federal medical card
  • Those who fail any part of the medical test may be eligible for restrictions within Maine
  • The employer will often be responsible for paying associated fees. If so, you should always direct queries through the paying party

Background Check for CDL Applicants

Due to the nature of the job, only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible to hold a CDL. All applicants must go through TSA screening to ensure good security standing. Further checks such as fingerprint check are required of prospective hazmat drivers.

CDL Testing in Maine

All medical testing must be completed before the applicant is eligible to submit to TSA screening. In turn, the Knowledge Test and Driving Test follow these two prior steps.

CDL Knowledge Test

The first part of the CDL exam is the Knowledge Test. This comprises 50 multiple choice questions. They are designed to test the applicant's general knowledge of Federal and state rules. If the applicant seeks special endorsements, each section comprises 20 further questions.

CDL Road Skills Tests

Successful completion of the Knowledge Test means that the applicant may move to the practical driving test.

  • The examiner must test the vehicle's eligibility and road-worthiness for the type of test
  • The examiner must also test the applicant's controls over basic functions. You will be asked to demonstrate that you know how to adjust mirrors and seat position
  • The driving test will then begin. Here, the candidate must demonstrate awareness and proficiency of traffic and road use under typical conditions

Maine CDL Office Locations

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles operates out of the following offices:

  • Augusta
    19 Anthony Avenue
    Augusta, ME 04330
    Tel: (207) 287-3330
    Fax: (207) 287-3389
  • Bangor
    1129 Union Street Suite 9
    Bangor, ME 04401
    Tel: (207) 942-1319
    Fax: (207) 945-0175
  • Calais
    23 Washington Street
    Calais, ME 04619
    Tel: (207) 454-2175
    Fax: (207) 454-7987
  • Caribou
    14 Access Highway Suite 2
    Caribou, ME 04736
    Tel: (207) 492-9141
    Fax: (207) 492-9142
  • Elleseworth
    22 School Street
    Ellsworth, ME 04605
    Tel: (207) 667-9363
    Fax: (207) 667-0048
  • Kennenbunk
    63 Portland Road
    Kennebunk, ME 04043
    Tel: (207) 985-4890
    Fax: (207) 985-2849
  • Lewiston
    36 Mollison Way Suite 1
    Lewiston, ME 04240
    Tel: (207) 753-7750
    Fax: (207) 783-5385
  • Portland
    125 Presumpscot Street
    Portland, ME 04103
    Tel: (207) 822-6400
    Fax: 822-6417
  • Rockland
    360 Old County Road Suite 1
    Rockland, ME 04841
    Tel: (207) 596-2255
    Fax: (207) 596-2209
  • Rumford
    65 Lincoln Avenue
    Rumford, ME 04276
    Tel: (207) 369-9921
    Fax: (207) 369-0106
  • Scarborough
    200 Expedition Drive Suite G
    Scarborough, ME 04074
    Tel: (207) 883-2596
    Fax: (207) 883-2649
  • Springvale
    456 Main Street
    Springvale, ME 04083
    Tel: (207) 490-1261
    Fax: (207) 324-4883
  • Topsham
    125B Main Street
    Topsham, ME 04086
    Tel: (207) 725-6520
    Fax: (207) 725-1244

Full list of Maine motor vehicle office locations.

Maine CDL Endorsements

Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles provides the following endorsements:

  • Hazardous material (H)
  • Tank vehicles (N)
  • Passenger vehicles (P)
  • School buses (S)
  • Double and triple trailers (T)

Maine CDL Disqualifications

CDL holders in Maine are subject to stricter regulations on driving laws. The following legal criteria apply.

  • If the driver registers blood alcohol reading of 0.04% or above while driving a CMV
  • If the driver registers blood alcohol reading of 0.08% or above while driving a non-CMV vehicle
  • If the driver registers a positive reading for controlled substance
  • If the driver refuses to supply, when instructed, a breath or blood sample for testing for alcohol or controlled substances
  • If the driver fails to report an accident of which they are a part
  • Where the driver fails to stop at an accident that the CMV is involved in
  • Using any CMV for any offence not relating to vehicle crime
  • Dangerous driving that causes a fatality
  • Driving any CMV in the full knowledge that you have had your license suspended, revoked or otherwise canceled

Each of the above offences results in a minimum 12-month suspension. A second such offence in results in a CDL life suspension. You may also incur further penalties as determined by courts in Maine. Offences that took place in a hazmat vehicle is a three-year disqualification. Offences involving controled substances comes with a life suspension. Blood alcohol readings that register lower than .04% incurs a 24-hour suspension only.

Lesser offences are listed below. For the following, a 60-day suspension applies for a second offence inside three years. Third offences are an automatic minimum 120-day suspension:

  • Where speeding, driving at more than 15mph above the designated limit
  • Reckless or dangerous driving not leading to an accident
  • Where a law officer deems your driving as erratic or dangerous
  • Driving too closely to the vehicle in front (tail gating)
  • Any other offence demonstrating failure to comply with Maine laws
  • Driving a CMV when not qualified to do so
  • Driving a CMV without sufficient privileges (Driving a Class A vehicle while only holding a Class C)
  • Insufficient or incomplete endorsements on your CDL
  • Failing to carry your CDL documentation while driving a CMV

Out of Service violations (OOS) are necessary when a vehicle is not safe to drive. An inspector will determine that it should not be driven until made safe. Driving a vehicle with an OOS is a 90-day disqualification in the case of a first offence. A ten-year disqualification applies to a second OOS offence. For hazmat vehicles, a two-year suspension applies whereas second offences incur 3-10 years.

Railroad violations in the state of Maine are 60 days for any of the following as a first offence. Any subsequent second offence inside of three years is a 120-day suspension. Third offences incur a ban no less than one year:

  • Some junctions do not require vehicles to stop but users are required to slow to check the tracks. Not doing so is a violation
  • Failing to stop at a junction when the tracks are not clear while driving through a crossing where you are not normally required to stop
  • Some junctions require all drivers to stop when crossing even when the tracks are clear. Failing to do so is a violation
  • Putting other users in danger by failing to leave sufficient space to drive completely through a crossing
  • Ignoring any present traffic control equipment or law officer instructed correct procedure
  • Driving with insufficient undercarriage clearance to properly negotiate a crossing

Maine CDL Salary, Employment, and Prospects

BLS collated updated data through 2016 examining current employment trends. The state of commercial driving in 2017 suggested that driving jobs will grow 5% between 2014 and 2024. The present national average of all jobs is 7%. Commercial haulage growth is slower than this.

Heavy Trucks

Traditionally, heavy truck haulage pays better due to long distance and unsociable hours, especially for drivers able to travel interstate. They are also the highest-paid driving roles. The national average pay for heavy truck haulage is $41,340 salary and $19.87ph hourly. The range of pay is from $26,920 for the lowest 10% and $63,140 for the highest 10%. For Maine, the average is slightly lower than this average at $40,130 salary and $18.09 (median pay) and $19.29 (mean pay) hourly rates.

Light Trucks

Small truck transport job openings expect a growth of just 4% between 2014-2024 -approximately half the national average of all jobs. It's slower than heavy trucking jobs. This slowdown is explained through the growth of the self-employment gig economy and improvements in technology leading to efficiency of service. National average pay is recorded at $34,790 (salary pay) and $16.73 (hourly pay). As with the heavy truck jobs, Maine's data is slightly lower at $31,160 (salaried) and $13.51 (median hourly) and $15.20 (mean hourly).

Passenger Vehicles

Work in passenger vehicles is stable as a career choice due to the need for public transportation. Bus and other passenger vehicle driving can expect a 6% growth between 2014-2024 - around the national average. Average pay is $31,920 (salaried employees) and $14.96 (per hour employees). Maine pay is $34,010 (paid salary) and $16.06 (median hourly) and $16.41 (mean).

BLS Source:

Resources for Maine CDL Requirements

Learn more about Maine trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in Maine

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
Maine $28,150 $42,430 $34,520
Bangor, ME $26,970 $38,890 $30,640
Lewiston-Auburn, ME $30,570 $44,290 $38,740
Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME $32,160 $44,710 $36,900

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (