GLEN BURNIE, MD (August 10, 2022) – Maryland will implement a new, modernized commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills test beginning August 22 at all Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) branch offices statewide and at partner testing sites. In addition, MDOT MVA will host its third “Bus Drivers’ Day at the MDOT MVA” on Saturday, August 20, to help school districts statewide meet staffing requirements prior to the start of the school year.
The updated CDL skills test comes after Maryland was one of three states to participate in a pilot program through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) this past year. FMCSA has given MDOT MVA permission to expand the use of this new test statewide.
“Technology has evolved and improved since the last time the CDL test was reviewed,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “The new test evaluates an applicant’s knowledge based on updated vehicle features, and focuses on key skills needed to safety operate a commercial vehicle. The modernized test is another way the MDOT MVA is enhancing its services for CDL applicants while prioritizing safety.”
Applicants will need to pass the full CDL Skills Test – which includes the pre-trip inspection, basic control and a road test – to receive their CDL. Prospective applicants scheduled to take the test after August 22 are encouraged to review and study the updated Commercial Driver License Field Test Manual to prepare for each portion of the knowledge and driver skills test. If an applicant needs additional time to review the new CDL Skills Test, appointments can be rescheduled for a later date. In the case of a failed test, the CDL candidate must wait seven days before retaking the CDL Skills Test. The test must be retaken at the same branch location.
One of the changes in the CDL test involves the “pre-trip inspection” component, which will be reduced to around 50 items or less – depending on the vehicle – compared to the current requirement of more than 100 items. The inspection focuses on knowledge and safety, and contains items a driver would typically experience on the job.
In the basic control component, CDL applicants will be tested on four maneuvers to demonstrate control:
- Forward Stop to demonstrate an applicant’s ability to judge the front of the vehicle.
- Straight-Line Backing to demonstrate the applicant’s ability to back the vehicle in a straight line.
- Forward Offset Tracking to demonstrate an applicant’s ability to maneuver the vehicle around other objects while moving forward.
- Reverse Offset Backing to demonstrate an applicant’s ability to offset reverse and park the vehicle.
Once a CDL applicant obtains a license, they have access to an array of online services that makes maintaining their CDL status quick and easy through a myMVA account. CDL products now have an 8-year expiration date, the same as non-commercial licenses (with the exception of hazmat endorsements). CDL holders can submit their medical certificate electronically, and eligible customers can renew online. Additionally, CDL holders with a valid Medical Certificate and REAL ID documents on file can now order a correction or duplicate copy of their license through their myMVA account or at a 24-hour self-service kiosk.
2022 Bus Drivers’ Day
On Saturday, August 20, MDOT MVA will host its third “Bus Drivers’ Day at the MDOT MVA” to assist school districts statewide meet staffing requirements. MDOT MVA has been proactively reaching out to each school district statewide to help streamline appointment scheduling for bus driver trainees. The “Bus Drivers’ Day at the MDOT MVA” will be offered at the following branch offices, with appointments scheduled 7 a.m. to 12 noon, August 20:
- Bel Air – 501 W. MacPhail Road, Bel Air.
- Easton – 9148 Centreville Road, Easton.
- Frederick – 1601 Bowmans Farm Road, Frederick.
- Gaithersburg – 15 Metropolitan Grove Road, Gaithersburg.
- Glen Burnie – 6601 Ritchie Hwy., Glen Burnie.
- Largo – 10251 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro.
- Salisbury – 251 Tilghman Road, Salisbury.
- Waldorf – 11 Industrial Park Dr., Waldorf
Customers can schedule appointments to take the driver’s skills test, as well as the CDL learner’s permit test. School districts and/or applicants should email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment. Please include your contact information, including phone number, driver’s license number, and availability to facilitate scheduling.
Customers who are planning to attend “Bus Drivers’ Day at the MDOT MVA” will be tested on the current CDL skills test, and are asked to cancel any other existing CDL testing appointments in order to make those time slots available for other CDL applicants.