Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Endorsements & Requirements

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If you want to upgrade a CDL at the same time, see Reclassifying a Maryland License​​.​

How do I add a Passenger (P) and/or a School Bus (S) endorsement to my Maryland CDL?

 

To add either endorsement to your CDL, you must first obtain a commercial learner’s permit with the appropriate endorsement(s). Keep in mind that if you want to drive a school bus you will need to add both endorsements. Note also that if you have an intrastate waiver, you are not eligible for either the Passenger (P) or School Bus (S) endorsements.

After you receive your commercial learner’s permit, you must hold it for at least 14 days before you can obtain a new CDL with the added endorsement(s). While you are driving with the commercial learner’s permit:

  • A supervising driver (mentor) must accompany you. The supervising driver.
    • Must have a valid CDL of the same class as or higher class than your learner’s permit class;
    • Must have a valid DOT Card and intrastate/interstate waiver or exemption if required.
    • Must be 21 years or older;
    • Must have a minimum of 3 years driving experience in the same or higher class and the applicable endorsement(s); and
    • Must be in the front seat, with no other front seat occupants.
  • You cannot use any wireless communication device (including cell phone) except to make an emergency 911 call.

The next step is to make an appointment at a MVA full service branch office.

You can set up a skills test appointment by visiting the MVA Central Scheduling System or by calling the MVA Customer Service Center at 410-768-7000 or 1-800-492-4575 TTY for the Hearing Impaired. Please listen to the whole message to hear the prompt to press # 7 then # 2 to speak to a customer service representative so you can schedule an appointment.

CDL and class A & B skills tests are not given at the Baltimore City, Beltsville, Essex, Westminster or White Oak offices. On the day of your scheduled visit, be sure to bring with you the following:

  • Maryland commercial learner’s permit
  • Maryland CDL
  • Valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (DOT card) and waiver/exemption (if required). See CDL Medical/Physical Requirements for more information. A unaltered photographic copy of the DOT Card is acceptable.
  • Vehicles to be used in taking the skills test, with a valid registration card(s).
  • Supervising driver – the driver must bring his or her CDL and valid DOT card and waiver/exemption (if required).
  • Glasses or contact lenses, if needed.
  • Payment for the new CDL (cash, check, or Master Card, Discover Card, or Visa credit card or MVA credit voucher) (if required).

Note: You must provide a safe test vehicle for the driving test. If this vehicle is a rental vehicle, your name must appear on the rental contract as an approved driver of that vehicle or the test will be canceled and you will need to se up another test appointment date.

When you arrive for your scheduled visit, you will receive the appropriate skills test. If you pass all of the tests, you will be directed inside the office where a customer agent will:

  • Retrieve your Maryland CDL and commercial learner’s permit;
  • Take your photograph; MVA's Photo Guidelines.
  • Review the documents you brought with you; and
  • Verify that you meet all eligibility requirements.
  • You will be asked to sign the application; MVA Signature Guidelines.

The customer agent will then collect the fee​ and issue you the interim document. ​

How do I add, renew or transfer a HAZMAT or a tanker/HAZMAT endorsement to my Maryland CDL?

 

On May 5, 2003, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) published a rule to secure the transportation of hazardous materials (Hazmat), including explosives, by requiring threat assessments for all individuals who apply for, renew, or transfer a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) on their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). TSA issued the rule as a result of requirements in the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56, Section 1012) and the Safe Explosives Act (Public Law 107-296, Sections 1121-1123). Only commercial drivers who wish to transport hazardous materials requiring vehicle placards under DOT regulations must undergo threat assessments.​

This rule does not apply to applicants for or holders of a CDL who do not wish to transport hazardous materials.

TSA will require the collection of fingerprints from all HME applicants effective May 31, 2005 from drivers who wish to apply for a new, renew, or transfer of a Hazmat Endorsement.

How does a person initiate the process to apply for a new, renewal, or transfer of a HAZMAT endorsement in Maryland?

 
  1. The process involves two separate transactions: the HAZMAT application will be processed by MVA staff; the fingerprint background record check and fee collection will be processed by the Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services (DPSCS) staff. Click here and follow the directions provided to make an appointment at one of the following MVA offices: Bel Air, Glen Burnie Headquarters (Building B), Frederick, Salisbury or Waldorf​.

    Note: HAZMAT BRC appointments can no longer be made by phone.

  2. On the day of your scheduled background check, be sure to bring the required documentation to process your application. Visit the online document guide to identify eligible documents for application.

    Applicants are required to fulfill all fees associated with CDL endorsement application and background check at the time of appoint. Click here to view CDL fees.

    Note: The Maryland Department of Public Safety only accepts the following forms of payment: Check, Master Card, Visa and Discover Card, credit cards. Checks must be made payable to the "CJIS Central Repository." Cash is not accepted.

    At the time of your appointment the MVA customer agent will:

    • Review your CDL;
    • Take your photograph; MVA's Photo Guidelines.
    • Review required documents and verify that you meet all eligibility requirements.
    • Assist you in completing an electronic HAZMAT application.
    • You will be asked to sign the application; MVA Signature Guidelines
  3. Your fingerprint records will be forwarded by the DPSCS to the Criminal Justice Information Systems for a Federal and State criminal background check. Your Hazardous Materials Endorsement application will be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Security Administration for checks against numerous federal databases and watch lists.

  4. For New HME Applicants: TSA determines the final security threat assessment of all HAZMAT applicants. You will be notified by letter from the TSA of the disposition of your threat assessment usually within 4 to 6 weeks after submitting your fingerprints. If you are approved by TSA, you usually must report to the nearest full-service MVA to take the Hazmat knowledge test and obtain the HAZMAT endorsement. You do not need to schedule an appointment for this step. You will be required to bring your TSA letter, driver's license and valid DOT physical card with you.

    Note: You must obtain the HME within 6 months from the date of the TSA letter or you may be required to begin the HAZMAT application process over and pay the required fees, which includes your submitting a new set of fingerprints.

How do I add a tanker or doubles/triples endorsement to my Maryland CDL?

 

To add either endorsement to your CDL, you will need to pass the applicable knowledge test only. You do not need to take a skills test.

Gather the documents that you will need to present to the MVA:

  • Maryland CDL
  • Valid medical examiner’s certificate (DOT card). If you qualify for an exemption or waiver, you must present the exemption/waiver statement in addition to the DOT card. See CDL Medical/Physical Requirements for more information.
  • Payment for the new CDL (cash, check, or Master, Card Discover Card or Visa credit card or MVA credit voucher).

No appointment is needed to visit an MVA full-service branch office​ where an MVA customer agent will:

  • Retrieve your Maryland CDL;
  • Take your photograph. See the MVA's Photo Guidelines
  • Review the documents you brought with you; and
  • Verify that you meet all eligibility requirements.
  • Sign the application. See the MVA Signature Guidelines.

You will then be given the appropriate knowledge test and if you pass the tests, an MVA customer agent will collect your CDL fee and provide you with the interim document

Notes: All knowledge and skills test passing scores are valid for a maximum of six (6) months. Knowledge and skills tests expire and must be retaken and a new application is required if:

  1. The knowledge test(s) were passed but a learner's permit was not issued (if required).
  2. The knowledge test(s) were passed but a corrected license was not issued.
  3. The knowledge test(s) were passed but a skills test was not passed or if passed, a new driver's license was not issued.
  4. The learner's permit was issued and has expired before being converted into a driver's license.
  5. The learner's permit has not expired but the applicant wants to apply for a new permit.
  6. The applicant has a license that is expired for one (1) year or more.
​​​

When will the TSA Threat Assessment Expire?

 
  1. If you are adding the HAZMAT Endorsement to your current Maryland CDL as a correction, then the TSA Assessment will expire on the "SAME" date as your current CDL. For example, if your license is only valid for 2 more years, then the assessment will only be valid for 2 more years. You will be required to complete a new TSA Threat Assessment and retake the Hazmat knowledge test each time you renew your CDL, if you choose to keep Hazmat.
  2. If you are renewing your Maryland CDL with HAZMAT or transferring your Out-of-State CDL with HAZMAT to Maryland, the new TSA Threat Assessment will expire on the "SAME" date as your Maryland CDL. This could amount to up to 5-years and 6-months depending on when you renew your license or when you transfer your out-of-state CDL.

How will current CDL holders be notified of new TSA requirements?

 

The MVA mailed notices to all CDL holders summarizing the new requirements for Hazardous Materials Endorsements. Specific detailed information will be included with all commercial driver's license renewal notices.

For more information to questions on the CDL-HAZMAT Fingerprint Based/Background requirements please go to the Transportation Security Administration​ website and in search type in HAZMAT or call 1-410-768-7000.

What are the costs associated with this process?

 

MVA Commercial Driver's Licensing - Fees
All Commercial Driver's License fees​ are paid at the time of license issuance and are in addition to the fingerprint/background check fee. MVA will accept the following forms of payment: Cash, Check, Master Card, American Express, or Visa. Checks must be made payable to the MVA.

Contact Information

 

MDOT MVA Driver Services Division
6601 Ritchie Highway, NE
Glen Burnie, MD 21062

For telephone questions:

MVA Customer Service Center:   1-410-768-7000
TTY/Hearing Impaired:              1-800-492-4575