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Workforce Development & Continuing Education

Commercial Truck Driver (CDL) FAQs
Commercial Drivers Licence Class A and B collage
Transportation Safety Truck Driver (CDL)  Truck Driver FAQs Resources

What is a CDL?
A "CDL" is a Commercial Drivers License. It meets certain "standards" that are the same for every state. It differs from the Maryland "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial vehicles.

What if I don't have a Maryland Driver's License, can I still take the course? 
Montgomery College's Commercial Drivers License course is ONLY open to resident, licensed drivers of Maryland.

What is the COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 (CMVSA/86)?
It is a law passed by the United States Congress which requires ALL the individual states to comply with certain standards in regards to the licensing of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Maryland driver licensing standards comply with the law, requiring CMV drivers to obtain a Maryland Commercial Driver's License (CDL) when driving applicable vehicles. A CDL license can ONLY be issued in the driver's STATE OF LEGAL RESIDENCE, and if you have a CDL, you can have NO OTHER DRIVER'S LICENSE in ANY other state.

When do I need a Maryland CDL instead of my regular Maryland Drivers License?
A Maryland CDL is required if you operate any of the following CMV's . . .

  1. A vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs.
  2. A vehicle towing a unit with a manufacturer's GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. when the GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs.
  3. A vehicle used to . . .
    • Carry 15 or more passengers (excluding the driver), or
    • Carry 15 or less people (including the driver) when carrying children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
  4. A vehicle carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

 What are the eligibility requirements to obtain a Maryland CDL?

  1. You must be 21 years old. (18 years if all commercial driving is done within Maryland and if no hazardous materials requiring placarding are transported and if you do not drive double or triple trailer rigs).
  2. You must be physically capable of obtaining a valid medical examiner's card (before taking any CDL skills test).
  3. You must otherwise qualify for the license based on your driving record.
  4. Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a Maryland CDL . . .
    • If you possess a license from any state other than Maryland.
    • If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege from Maryland or any other state.
    • If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
    • If you have a conviction for operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
    • Other technical rules, and further restrictions that pertain only to Maryland are covered in detail within the Course.

How do I obtain a Maryland CDL?

  1. Show your Maryland driver license.
  2. You must take and pass all Maryland examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
  3. Show proof of social security number.
  4. Meet Maryland driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the State.
  5. Fill out an application including certifications.
  6. Pass the required knowledge and vision tests (BEFORE a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit will be issued).
  7. Pay the Maryland CDL fees.
  8. Schedule, take, and pass your Maryland CDL skills test.

 What is a "Skills Test" and how do I take it?
A "skills" test is the practical portion of the exam and includes . . .

  1. A vehicle inspection test to measure your ability to perform a vehicle safety check.
  2. A basic control skills test.
  3. A driving test.
  4. The skills test is normally given at an approved third party testing site in your area. This can vary and the latest procedures are indicated in the Maryland CDL Course.

 So let's say I get a Maryland CDL. Can I use it Out-of-State?
Yes! It is good throughout the entire United States.

 Can my Maryland CDL be suspended or revoked?
Yes, there are MANY reasons that your Maryland CDL can be suspended or revoked. Improper use of alcohol or drugs, traffic violations, and failure to notify top the list. The Course details ALL of the rules regarding suspension or revocation. The point to remember is that alcohol or drug use is not tolerated and your record WILL FOLLOW YOU THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOREVER!!!

 So let's say that my Maryland CDL is revoked. Can't I just apply for a CDL in another State?
No!!! Those days are gone.

Are there any exemptions to being required to have Maryland CDL?
Yes, a few . . .

  1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
  2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
  3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
  4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.

What do the terms Class A, Class B, and Class C mean on my Maryland CDL?
It refers to the type of vehicle that you may operate . . .

  • CLASS A: Allows you to operate vehicles which tow trailers or other vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds. A Class "A" license also allows you to operate Class B and C vehicles.
  •  CLASS B: Allows you to operate single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more OR a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, towing trailers/vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds GVWR or less. A Class "B" license also allows you to operate Class C vehicles.
  • CLASS C: Allows you to operate vehicles under 26,001 lbs. GVWR; that are designed to transport 16 or more persons including the driver; or that carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation, or carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

What are Endorsement Codes and when do I need them on my Maryland CDL?
Endorsements are necessary for certain commercial driving requirements as follows . .

  •  (T) DOUBLE or TRIPLE TRAILERS.
  • (P) PASSENGER. For vehicles which are designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver); or those which carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
  • (N) TANK VEHICLES. For vehicles designed to haul liquids or liquefied gases in bulk in permanently mounted tanks or portable tanks rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
  • (H) HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. To carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards.
  • (X) Endorsement code designating a Tank (N) vehicle that carries Hazardous Materials (H).

I'm over 18 years old, but not 21 years old yet. Can I get a Maryland CDL license?
Yes. With restrictions...

  • You cannot drive a commercial vehicle out of Maryland.
  • You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZ MAT placarding.
  • You cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs.

How can I pay for the class? What are some funding resources?

  • Cash, Check, Money Order, Credit Card.
  • Employer Tuition Reimbursement and Pre-Hiring Plans.
  • Loans, Banks, Grants, Personal and Professional resources.
  • Job Training Agencies
Contact Us:
  • Ms. Shannye Carroll, Program Coordinator, Truck Driver Training (CDL)
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  • Maria Castro, Program Assistant, Driver Education
  •  
  • (phone) 240-567-1864, (Fax) 240-567-1877
  •  
  • Marcy Jackson, CPP, Program Director, Transportation Safety
  •  
  • Customer Service
  • Montgomery College WD & CE
  • 51 Mannakee Street
  • Rockville, MD 20850

Montgomery College

Montgomery County, MD

240-567-5000

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