Maryland CDL Requirements
Home to the capital Washington DC, the state of Maryland is one of the original 13 states born out of the European colonies. It's named after Henriette Maria of France, wife of Charles I whose execution marked the end of the English Civil War. Today, it's known not only as the home of our capital city, but the birthplace of American democracy and religious freedom when founded by George Calvert. It's the 9th smallest state, roughly covering the same surface area as Hawaii. In terms of topography, it's considered a microcosm of the US mainland with sandy dunes along the coast, wetlands around Chesapeake Bay, oak and pine hills and forests and mountains to the west of the state. In this small area, it contains most of the typical topographies of the country.
Which CDL Licenses are Available in Maryland?
Maryland subscribes to Federal regulation on licensing. That means the following criteria apply to your CDL licenses. For each of the below listed CDL classes, drivers must complete a series of medical and proficiency tests.
Class A CDL
This class is for the heaviest CMVs weighing at 26,001lbs and over, to pull the heaviest trailers - those at 10,000lbs and heavier
Class B CDL
This class is for the heaviest CMVs weighing at 26,001lbs and over, to pull lighter trailers - those under 10,000lbs in weight
Class C CDL
This class is for lighter CMVs weighing less than 26,001lbs, for hazmat transportation and passenger vehicles to carry 16 people or more
All prospective CDL applicants must hold a standard driver's license (Class D) in good standing prior to application
A-C class applications are required to fulfil all criteria for any and all medical tests, then a general knowledge exam and a practical driving test for granting of the CDL. Extra endorsements require further testing.
CDL Eligibility in Maryland
Maryland adheres to all Federal laws regarding the CDL process but all states are permitted some flexibility to set standards beyond regulation. The state subjects these criteria to review in line with updated requirements. All applicants must submit to TSA screening to ensure good security standing, and to medical testing to ensure good health eligible for driving a CMV.
License and Permits
- You must already possess a Class D license. Any penalties in the last two years may render your application ineligible
- Health checks, especially for sufficient quality of vision, form an important part of the CDL application
- Private organizations across the country offer training courses to learn to drive a CMV. Such driving courses are not mandatory, it is strongly recommended that the applicant consider such instruction
- Once the previous stages are cleared, the applicant may study the multiple choice written exam and the driving skills test
- Only those aged 18 years and older may apply for any of the above listed CDL classes
- Only those aged 21 years and older may drive outside of the state border
- Applicants in the 18-20 age group may only drive within Maryland
- Only those aged 21 years and older may drive vehicles to transport hazardous materials
Proof of Residence of Maryland
- Proof of residence in Maryland is required at all times. Should you change address within the state, you must register your new details in no less than 30 days of the move
- You should present valid ID and a Social Security Number to prove your right to live and work in the USA
CDL Requirements for Maryland Residents
- You are legally required to keep your Maryland driver's license up to date. Any move of address requires registration at the Maryland MVA inside of 30 days
- You must provide your SSN to prove eligibility to work
- You must provide proof of eligible insurance
- TSA screening will form part of your application
Maryland CDL Requirements for Out-of-State Residents and Transfers
Maryland may require further checks to ensure your CDL eligibility:
- Out of state applicants must change their prior state's driver's license to a Maryland license
- Assuming your license is not more than two years out of date, it will be a simple transfer
- You must prove your US citizenship
- Proof of your Maryland address and SSN must be presented
- Any medical records or documentation relevant to your application should be presented at this time
- Should you be in possession of exemption paperwork, this too should be presented
Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements for Maryland CDL
Only foreign nationals with Permanent Resident Status may apply for a CDL in Maryland. Documents must be present, valid and up to date:
- You must present the Permanent Resident Card. Only Permanent Residents residing in Maryland may apply for a CDL in the state
- Any other relevant paperwork pertaining such as refugee paperwork relevant to your immigration status that permits you to work in the US
- Your foreign, where available and in date, should be presented Any other paperwork you have such as a Consular Report of Birth Abroad may also prove eligibility. Should you have other supporting documentation such as a foreign driver's license or birth certificate these are eligible forms of paperwork
- Maryland MVA requires that you surrender your foreign driver's license
Do I Need a CDL?
"Troops to Trucks" is a scheme permitting military personnel due for retirement or those recently retired to begin a career as a commercial vehicle driver. For eligibility, you must be due to leave service with an honorable discharge within the next 90 days or not more than 1 year ago. Where eligible, applicants are able to bypass the driving test. However, the written part of the test and any endorsement sections are still required. Outside of the 90-day to 1-year period, you may still be eligible when from qualifying previous careers. The military waiver applies to Class A and Class B, not Class C.
A list of furthers potential waivers are:
- Hazmat vehicle drivers qualified for small volume carriage
- Conditions where a peace officer instructs any person to drive a CMV under emergency conditions
- Drivers of recreational vehicles
- Ranch and farm employees working agricultural machinery but only within a 150-mile radius
- Conditions where any authorizing officer instructs any person to operate emergency clearing vehicles following extreme weather and natural disasters (rock slide, hurricane, tornado, flooding etc)
- Those people qualified and able to drive ambulances, firefighting equipment, police vehicles and any other public service vehicle
If you have a current or pending driving conviction, this could make your CDL application ineligible. Violations that have a negative effect on your application include DUI (including both alcohol and illegal drugs), excessive speed and leaving the scene of an accident. Any revocation of your driver's license could lead to rejection of your CDL application. If you have been convicted of any felony involving a motor vehicle, this may also invalidate your application.
Medical and Physical CDL Requirements
- Medical tests form part of the CDL process to enjoy good eyesight and that you do not have potentially dangerous medical conditions such as epilepsy. The resource list provides a list of Federally-authorized medical examiners
- When the medical examiner is satisfied with your eligibility, they will generate a Medical Examination Report Form and a Medical Examiner's Certificate
- Pass these to the office of application and explain whether you are applying for intrastate or interstate driving. In return, you will receive a Federal Medical Card
- If you fail any part of the medical test, you may be eligible for a CDL with restrictions
- For most CDL applicants, the employer is responsible for all associated CDL fees. Direct your queries through your employer
Background Check for CDL Applicants
Security and background checks mean that only US citizens and permanent residents may hold a CDL. Everyone must pass TSA screening. Some may be requested deeper checks such as fingerprint scanning. This applies to those who wish to drive hazmat vehicles.
CDL Testing in Maryland
TSA screening, the Knowledge Test and Driving Skills test will not take place before the applicant is medically authorized to do so.
CDL Knowledge Test
This is the legally required first part of the CDL process comprising of 50 questions of the multiple-choice type. It will test the road knowledge pertaining to state and Federal laws, regulations and safety procedure. Endorsements include 20 extra multiple-choice questions per endorsement.
CDL Road Skills Tests
The second and final step is the driving test.
- To ensure that the vehicle is eligible and safe, the examiner will first perform a number of vehicle checks
- Once satisfied with the vehicles road-worthiness, the examiner will ask the CDL applicant to demonstrate awareness and understanding of the vehicle's basic functions. He or she will request that you adjust seating, mirrors and other interior controls
- Once complete, the examiner will test the applicant's driving skills in normal road conditions
Maryland CDL Office Locations
The Maryland Motor Vehicles Administration has a number of offices. Here are the Full Service Locations at which you will receive a full range of CDL services:
One number applies to all offices for queries: 410-768-7000
- Cumberland/LaVale Office
13300 Winchester Road SW
Cumberland, Maryland 21502
- Annapolis Office
160 Harry S. Truman Pkwy.
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
- Glen Burnie Headquarters
6601 Ritchie Highway, N.E.
Glen Burnie, Maryland 21062
Middlesex Shopping Center
1338-A Eastern Boulevard
Essex, Maryland 21221
- Prince Frederick
200 Duke Street
Prince Frederick, Maryland 21678
Note: Does not offer testing facilities, permits and updates to CDL licenses only
1106 Baltimore Blvd.
Westminster, Maryland 21157-7025
105 Chesapeake Blvd. Suite A
Elkton, Maryland 21921
St. Charles Business Park
11 Industrial Park Drive
Waldorf, Maryland 20602
1601 Bowman's Farm Rd.
Frederick, Maryland 21701
Route 135 & Weber Road
Oakland, Maryland 21550
- Bel Air
501 West MacPhail Rd
Bel Air, Maryland 21014
15 Metropolitan Grove Road
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20878
- White Oak
2131 Industrial Parkway
Silver Spring, Maryland 20904
11760 Baltimore Avenue
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
10251 Central Avenue
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772
27351 Point Lookout Road
Leonardtown, Maryland 20650
9148 Centreville Road
Easton, Maryland 21601
18306 Col. Henry K. Douglas Dr.
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740
251 Tilghman Road
Salisbury, Maryland 21801
Maryland CDL Endorsements
Maryland Motor Vehicles Administration authorizes the following CDL endorsements:
- Hazardous material (H)
- Tank vehicles (N)
- Passenger vehicles (P)
- School buses (S)
- Hazmat (X)
- Double and triple trailers (T)
Maryland CDL Disqualifications
Tighter driving laws apply to CDL holders in Maryland compared to other drivers.
- When a blood alcohol level reads 0.04% or over when stopped while driving a CMV
- When a blood alcohol level reads 0.04% or over when stopped while driving a vehicle other than a CMV
- When the driver is tested for controlled substances and registers positive
- When the driver refuses to supply a sample to test for alcohol or controlled substances
- When the driver is in an accident and fails to report it
- When the driver is in an accident and fails to stop at the scene
- When the driver uses a CMV for offences other than vehicle crime
- When the driver drives dangerously, leading to any number of fatalities
- When the driver operates any CMV knowing that their license is suspended, revoked or canceled
A minimum of a 12-month suspension applies for any first offence. Should the driver be convicted of any second offence, they will be subject to a life suspension. Courts in Maryland are permitted to set further punishments beyond this. Should any of the above offences take place in a hazmat vehicle, you will incur a disqualification of no less than three years. Any offence involving any controled or banned substance is automatic life suspension. Where the blood alcohol test reads.04% or lower, you will be subject to a 24-hour suspension.
The following list of lesser offences with less severe punishments. A 60-day suspension applies to any second offence whereas a 120-day suspension applies to any third offence:
- Driving at a speed more than 15mph over the legal limit for that given road
- Driving dangerously or with recklessness even when not causing an accident
- Driving erratically, putting other users in danger through improper lane changes
- Failing to leave sufficient safe gap between your vehicle and any in front of you
- Failing to comply with any other minor driving law in Maryland
- Driving a CMV without being qualified to do so
- Driving a CMV while holding the wrong class of license (holders of Class B licenses may not drive a Class A vehicle)
- Driving a CMV while holding the wrong or insufficient endorsements
- Driving a CMV while not in physical possession of your CDL documentation
Driving a vehicle with an Out of Service violation (OOS) incurs penalties. OOS orders are applied to vehicles deemed unsafe to drive until a fault is repaired. A 90-day disqualification applies in a case of a first violation and a ten-year disqualification for a second violation. Where hazmat vehicles are concerned, OOS violations incur 3-10 years for a first offence.
Separate punishments apply to railroad violations in Maryland. Each first offence carries a 60-day suspension. Each subsequent second offence within three years carries a 120-day suspension. A year-long ban applies to any third offence:
- Junctions that do not require the vehicle to stop still require that the driver slow down to check the tracks. Failure to do so is a violation
- Drivers should stop at junctions that do not require the vehicle to stop where the tracks ahead are not clear (traffic congestion on the other side and a train passing through the junction)
- Not stopping at junctions that require all drivers to stop
- Failing to allow enough space to allow your vehicle to pass all the way through the junction
- Where electronic equipment or law officers are present, failing to adhere to their instructions
- Driving through a railroad junction and failing to negotiate due to insufficient undercarriage clearance
CDL Salary, Employment, and Prospects
BLS updated information on the state of employment in the US in 2016 and published it in May 2017. Commercial driving at present suggests a 5% growth in the 2014-2024 decade. The average of all jobs across the nation presently stands at 7%. That makes commercial haulage jobs slower growth than expected.
Heavy truck roles usually experience the higher pay of commercial driving. This is usually due to distance and hours. Nationally, drivers of heavy trucks expect a salary of $41,340 and average hourly pay of $19.87ph hourly. The full salary range is $26,920 for those in the lowest 10% salary bracket and $63,140 for individuals earning in the highest 10% bracket. Heavy truck drivers in Maryland enjoy a salary considerably higher than the national average with $46,010 average salary, and $21.20 for the median hourly pay, and $22.12 for the mean hourly pay.
Driving jobs involving small trucks and transport vehicles can expect a growth of 4% in the 2014-2024 decade. This is much slower than the national average of all jobs. A likely explanation is the advent of GPS and other technology streamlining processes. A growth in the gig economy of self-employed delivery drivers doing it as a second job also explains this slowdown. The national average salary for light trucks is $34,790 with the hourly pay presently at $16.73. Similarly to heavy trucks, light truck drivers in MD can expect higher than average pay at $37,560 salaried employees, and $16.82 (the median hourly) and $18.02 (the mean hourly).
Work in public transportation is fairly stable work based on the constant need for transporting people from school and work. There is a projected 6% growth in the 2014-2024 period, approximating with the national average. The average pay for this type of CMV role is presently $31,920 for salaried employees and $14.96 for those on hourly paid contracts. The trend of higher pay with light and heavy trucks his repeated for Maryland. Pay within the state is an average $36,360 (for those on a salary) and $17.03 (median hourly pay) and $17.48 (mean hourly pay).
BLS Source: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_me.htm
Resources for Maryland CDL Requirements
- Maryland Commercial Driver's License Manual
- Motor Vehicle Administration of Maryland
- MVA - Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Information
Learn more about Maryland trucking schools.
Truck Driver Salary in Maryland
|Location||25th Percentile||75th Percentile||Annual Salary|
|Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division||$34,450||$47,390||$40,410|
Table data taken from 2015 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm)