You will need to meet specific qualifications to obtain a Commercial Driving License (CDL) in the state of Maryland. These qualifications include the type of vehicle that you intend to drive and your proven ability to operate the vehicle. 

You will also need to meet certain standards according to where you plan to drive the vehicle and pass medical tests that will vary according to your specific situation.

Which Types of Vehicles Require a CDL License?

You are only required to possess a CDL license for the following types of vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles (single/multiple) with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26001 pounds or more, with the weight value determined by the manufacturer of the vehicle(s)
  • Any passenger vehicle with 16 or more passengers, including the driver
  • Any vehicle that transports hazardous materials

What Are the Classifications and Endorsements Required for a CDL License?

You need to apply for a specific class of CDL license as well as added endorsements according to the vehicle that you intend to operate.

  • The Class A CDL permits driving any combination of vehicles with a GCWR over 26001 pounds with the towed vehicle over 10,000 pounds, such as tractor trailers
  • The Class B CDL permits the same GCWR, but the towed vehicle cannot exceed 10,000 pounds
  • The Class C CDL allows any combination of vehicles under 26001 pounds GCWR, with towed vehicles under 10,000 pounds. It also permits operation of passenger vehicles designed for 16 or more passengers, including the driver, as well as transport of hazardous materials.

You'll also need to qualify for specific endorsements on your CDL according to the type of vehicle that you intend to drive, including

  • (P) for Passenger Vehicles
  • (H) for Hazardous Materials
  • (S) for School Buses

What Are the Requirements for Obtaining Medical Certifications?

You'll need to pass yearly medical testing to drive according to where the vehicle will be operated and what (or who) will be transported. Types of driving include:

  • Non-Excepted Interstate: The driver may cross state lines but must meet federal testing requirements
  • Non-Excepted Intrastate: The driver may drive anywhere within Maryland but must qualify for an MVA CDL Medical Waiver, which exempts the driver from federal requirements
  • Excepted Interstate: The driver can cross state lines only for specific purposes, such as transport school children, sick or injured persons, or corpses. No medical waiver is required
  • Excepted Intrastate: The driver can operate only within the state for the same specific purposes without the required medical waiver

It's clearly not a simple process to obtain and hold a CDL license, but the regulations are designed to protect both the drivers and anyone else on the road. While it's an arduous process to apply for a CDL, the benefits outweigh the difficulties.