2023 Maryland CDL Requirements

To obtain a CDL in Maryland, drivers will need to be at least 18 years old and hold a valid Maryland driver’s license.
Written by Kathryn Mae Kurlychek
To apply for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in
, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid state
driver’s license
. If you don’t have a driver’s license, you’ll need to be able to prove your age, as well as
Maryland residency
before you can apply. 
In Maryland, truck drivers can earn a salary of $66,000 per year or more. But in order to operate heavy vehicles, drivers must obtain a valid commercial driver’s license. Whether you’re a first-time applicant or an existing license holder looking to upgrade or renew your CDL, the process of acquiring a commercial driver’s license in Maryland is both extensive and time-consuming. 
That’s why
has compiled this short and sweet guide on everything you need to know to get your Maryland CDL without a hitch. We’ll cover the basic requirements for a commercial license, plus an overview the application process.
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What is required for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Maryland?

The basic requirements for any Maryland CDL include a valid Maryland driver’s license and a
clean driving record
But there’s a lot more to the process than just providing identifying documentation—outside of showing documents and paying fees, you’ll also have to acquire a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) and pass a variety of skills tests, which can vary depending on the class of CDL you’re applying for. 

Maryland CDL classes 

There are three types of CDL in Maryland: Class A, Class B, and Class C. The class of CDL you apply for determines the types of heavy vehicles you’re legally permitted to operate. Here’s a closer look at each class:
  • Class A: Any combination of vehicles that have a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) that exceeds 26,000, including trailers with a GCWR of 10,000 pounds or greater. 
  • Class B: Any single vehicle that has a GCWR exceeding 26,000; including a vehicle that’s towing another weighing 10,000 or less. 
  • Class C: Any single vehicle or combination of vehicles intended to carry 16 or more passengers, or vehicles intended to transport hazardous material, that do not meet the above qualifications of Class A or Class B. 
If you receive a Class A CDL in Maryland, you’re also authorized to operate vehicles in lower class levels, such as Class B and Class C. Likewise, if you receive a Class B CDL, you’ll be able to operate Class C vehicles—but if you hold a Class B CDL and want to operate Class A vehicles, then you’ll have to pursue additional certification. 


In addition to CDL classes, there are also a number of endorsements that commercial drivers may need in order to operate specific vehicles. Here are the five endorsements available in Maryland:
  • H: for operating HAZMAT vehicles/transporting hazardous materials
  • N: for tank vehicles
  • P: for transporting passengers
  • S: for operating school buses 
  • T: for towing two or three trailers (doubles or triples) 
Certain CDL endorsements require you to take supplemental tests or meet additional criteria. For an H endorsement, you may also have to comply with a federal background check to qualify. 

Minimum age requirement 

The minimum age requirement for an intrastate commercial driver’s license is 18 years old. With an intrastate license, you’ll be able to drive commercial motor vehicles exclusively in the state of Maryland. If you want to cross state lines or apply for certain endorsements, you’ll need an interstate CDL—which is only available to drivers aged 21 years or older.  

Medical requirements 

Per the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, there are also a number of medical criteria that Maryland CDL drivers must meet, including:
  • Blood pressure of 140/90 or better
  • Blood sugar content below 8% 
  • At least 20/40 vision in both eyes (and 70” peripheral vision) 
  • Ability to distinguish between amber, red, and green colors
  • Ability to hear a forced whisper from a minimum of 5 feet away
  • A clean drug test (no use of Schedule 1 drugs, amphetamines, or narcotics) 
You must receive your medical examination from a National Registered Medical Examiner in order to meet FMCSA regulations. If for any reason you do not meet the above criteria, you may request an
Intrastate or Interstate Medical Waiver or Exemption
. First-time CDL applicants must also self-certify regarding the type of commercial motor vehicle they intend to drive, since certain license classes and endorsements come with additional medical requirements. 

ELDT requirements

In Maryland, first-time CDL applicants (as well as CDL drivers switching from a Class B to Class A license) will be subject to the newest regulations from the FMCSA for
Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT)
. Under these requirements—valid as of February 2022—new applicants must complete standardized training with an
FMCSA-registered training provider
prior to taking the skills tests or the H knowledge test. Applicants who received a CLP prior to Feb. 7, 2022, are exempt from these requirements. 
In addition to updated training regulations from the FMCSA, Maryland’s Department of Transportation (MDOT) also began issuing a new
Modernized Commercial Driver's License
(CDL) Skills Test in August of 2022. 

How to apply for a CDL in Maryland 

Before you can apply for a Maryland commercial driver’s license, you’ll need to have a valid Maryland driver’s license and a clean
driving record
. If you don’t have a valid driver’s license, you’ll need to provide alternative proof of your age, identity, and Maryland residency.
Any traffic violations on your record could delay your qualification for a CDL, or in extreme cases, disqualify you from obtaining one altogether. Major infractions like DUIs or DWIs are obvious barriers to acquiring a CDL—but even receiving a citation or moving violation on your driver’s license or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) can disqualify you from CDL eligibility. 
If you’ve got your license and record in order, you’ll need to gather a few more supporting documents, including:
  • Proof of age and identity
  • Proof of citizenship or legal presence
  • Proof of Maryland residency
  • A completed
  • A completed driving history check (or a copy of your complete driving record)
  • A valid Medical Certificate from a licensed physician
With these documents in hand, you’re ready to apply for a commercial learner’s permit—the first step to obtaining a CDL. You can schedule your permit test with a local
office, where you’ll submit the above documents along with a $90 application fee, complete a vision test, and take a written CDL exam (along with any extra knowledge tests for your endorsement level).
Once you’ve been issued a CLP, you must wait two weeks before scheduling your CDL skills test—although the permit itself is valid for up to six months. In that time, it’s best to start practicing driving commercial vehicles on the road—just make sure you’re accompanied by a CDL holder 21 years or older in the passenger seat. 
When you’ve got the practice you need to feel ready, you can
schedule your CDL driving test
online or by calling 1-410-768-7000. Your test will cover:
  • Pre-trip Inspection (45-minute time limit)
  • Basic skills maneuver test (10-minute time limit per maneuver) 
  • Road test 

How long is a CDL valid in Maryland? 

It’s important to note that in Maryland, drivers may only hold one license at a time—so once you’ve been issued your CDL, you’ll have to surrender your personal driver’s license. The good news is a Maryland CDL lasts the same amount of time as any other license! That is, it's valid for five to eight years, depending on the specifications of your license. 
The renewal fee for a Maryland CDL is typically around $68, or $92 for an eight-year license.

How to save on car insurance in Maryland

The process of getting a CDL in Maryland is expensive—but finding a lower
car insurance
premium can help you save up some extra cash. Whether you’re looking for basic liability coverage or low rates on a full-coverage policy,
can help you find the savings.
A licensed broker and AI-powered super app, Jerry does all the hard work of gathering quotes from the top, name-brand providers using just your basic information, and lets you compare real-time rates right on your phone. Once you’ve chosen your policy, Jerry can help you swap plans, and even cancel your old insurance upon request. And if you have any questions along the way, Jerry’s team of helpful agents is only a text away!
“I was looking for a liability insurance plan for my truck until I can afford more coverage.
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