How to Renew a Commercial Drivers License in Maryland
While a CDL renewal in Maryland may seem stressful and unnecessary, it maintains your skill level and increases the safety of you and other drivers on the road. Renewing a CDL lets the state know that you are still physically capable of driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and are knowledgeable of emergency procedures. Luckily, CDLs do not expire as quickly as noncommercial driver’s licenses, so they do not have to be renewed as often.
CDL renewal requirements are more extensive and restrictive than that of other licenses. For instance, CMV drivers may need to update certain medical documents and retake certain endorsement tests. They also cannot renew their licenses online or by mail, but must do so at a Motor Vehicles Administration (MVA) office.
When to Renew Your CDL License in Maryland
As there may be no CDL expiration grace period in MD, you must renew your commercial driver’s license as soon as possible. The MVA will notify you of your expiration date 60 days in advance. Make sure that your address is up to date, as this notice will be mailed to the most recent address you provided in your application or most recent renewal.
The notice may also indicate whether you need to update certain medical documentation.
If you have had an expired CDL license for some time, you may need to re-apply for a new one. This involves taking knowledge and skills tests and paying application fees, which are higher than renewal fees. If your current CDL is not expired but you want to add an endorsement or drop a restriction, you may do so with a renewal.
CDL Renewal Testing Requirements in Maryland
Maryland CDL renewal requirements include medical tests and potentially endorsement exams. Contact your employer for more information on which endorsement tests you need to retake.
If your medical examiners certificate is due to expire soon, you must have a physical from a licensed medical examiner. Search through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) registry to find a list of approved examiners. If your doctor cannot approve you to drive a CMV at this time, you may apply for a medical waiver.
When you renew your commercial driver’s license, you may also need to pass a vision screening. If you are younger than 40 years of age, you must take a vision exam at every other renewal. If you are 40 years of age or older, every license renewal requires a new vision exam.
The screening may be administered at the MVA for free or by a third-party doctor at your own expense. Unlike non-commercial driver’s license holders, CDL holders must submit the results in person.
If you plan to renew or add an endorsement, you may be required to retake certain exams. The questions for these exams cover certain CMV procedures, such as safe driving practices and how to check your vehicle for problems. If you have a HAZMAT endorsement, you may be required to undergo other assessments.
What do you need to renew your CDL license in Maryland?
The CDL renewal cost may increase if you need to update your medical certification (Med Cert) documentation. This documentation must be updated before it expires, even if your CDL expires later. If you do not submit it before it expires, you may lose all your CDL privileges. Med Cert documentation may include one or more of the following:
- Department of Transportation (DOT) card
- Skills performance evaluation
- Waiver exemption
- Medical Examiner Certificate
- Medical Examiner Report
For more information on Med Cert requirements, call 410-768-7000. You must also submit a self-certification form and other identification, such as:
- Your current commercial driver’s license.
- Proof of identity.
- Proof of residency.
- Your Social Security Number (SSN).
Remember to bring payment for the CDL renewal fee and endorsement fees.
CDL Renewal Process in Maryland
The MD CDL license renewal process requires you to first update your Med Cert documentation with a medical examiner. You may receive a CDL medical card renewal if you meet certain physical requirements.
Upon successful completion of a physical, the examiner will issue a certificate and fill out the second half of the medical examiners form. Otherwise, you may apply for a waiver exemption. The exemption allows you to drive a CDL under certain restrictions and may require more frequent medical exams.
Next, fill out a CDL self-certification form. This form asks you to indicate what type of commercial driving you will perform. There are four driving categories, which include:
- Non-excepted interstate (NI)
- Non-excepted intrastate (NA)
- Excepted interstate (EI)
- Excepted intrastate (EA)
If you are unsure of which category applies to you, contact your employer. The self-certification form must be submitted for CDL renewals but does not need to be submitted for every medical update.
Finally, you may renew your CDL and complete applicable endorsement exams at a local MVA. In Maryland, you may only renew commercial driver’s licenses in person at a full-service MDOT MVA office. MVA hours of operation are Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
You may make a payment in the form of cash, money order, check, credit card or debit card. Contact a nearby office in advance to learn what payment methods are available, as certain offices do not accept credit cards.
Maryland CDL Permit Renewal Requirements
You may be asking “how long is a CDL permit good for?” In general, commercial learners permits (CLPs) last up to one year. As Maryland may not provide a CDL permit expiration grace period, try to take the skills test before the permit expires.
If your CLP expires, you must retake the appropriate knowledge and endorsement exams, repay the learners permit fee, resubmit a self-certification form and provide up-to-date Med Cert documentation. You do not need an appointment to begin the re-application process, but you will need an appointment to retake the skills test.
Hazardous Material Endorsement CDL Renewal Requirements in Maryland
If you want a MD HAZMAT renewal, you are required to have a background check and undergo a threat assessment. The threat assessment is conducted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Unfortunately, the application for a threat assessment may not be completed online in Maryland. The state recommends that you begin this process 30 days before your CDL expires at a local MVA office.
In general, HAZMAT endorsements (HMEs) last for five years and the fee for the threat assessment is non-refundable. You must submit new fingerprints every time you renew the endorsement.
Other HAZMAT endorsement requirements for renewals include the HME exam. The HME renewal exam covers the same topics as the application exam, such as safety protocol for hazardous materials and how to handle emergencies.
CDL Renewal Fees in Maryland
Below is a list of CDL fees you may encounter at a full-service MVA office. Contact your employer to see if any fees are covered.
- CDL Renewal: $50
- CDL Skills Retest: $20
- CDL Learner’s Permit, if your CLP expires: $90
- Skills Retest: $20 per endorsement
- TSA threat assessment fee: $67 to $86.50
Remember that fingerprinting for HMEs may require an additional fee.