How to Get a Commercial Drivers License in Maine
A Maine CDL license must be earned from the ME Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) in order to operate commercial motor vehicles, or CMVs, in the state. The BMV can provide a commercial drivers license to any qualified driver who is able to meet the state’s application and driving requirements. To be found eligible, Maine drivers must be the required age, submit a complete application packet and be able to pass all of the state’s commercial driving and knowledge exams.
Before receiving a CDL, all Maine drivers must obtain their commercial permits and gain experience driving vehicles in the class of the desired license. Once the driver has earned his or her truck driver license, he or she can move ahead in the licensing process and take the driving skills tests. Drivers must apply for endorsements to drive certain types of vehicles or transport certain kinds of materials. All applications must be accompanied by the necessary application fees, as well.
CDL Requirements in Maine
The general CDL license requirements in Maine must be met by all applicants for a commercial license, regardless of the class of license being requested. Important CDL requirements for applicants in Maine to be aware of include:
- Being at least 16 years of age, or 21 years of age to operate a bus or carry hazardous materials.
- Providing proof of your proof of full name, date of birth and Social Security Number (SSN).
- Providing proof of valid presence in the U.S., if not already provided to the BMV.
- Providing proof of Maine residency.
- Holding a CLP for the necessary length of time.
- Self-certifying whether driving intrastate or interstate.
- Passing a vision screening.
- Passing all necessary written knowledge tests.
- Passing all necessary driving skills exams.
- Paying the necessary fees.
How to Apply for a CDL Permit in Maine
Any Maine driver must receive a CDL permit before he or she can be found eligible to receive a full operator’s commercial license. The CDL learners permit is issued to ME drivers after they have submitted the necessary application material mentioned previously, and completed the necessary knowledge exams. Drivers in Maine can take the following steps when getting CDL permit credentials:
- Print out or pick up the ME Commercial Driver License Application from a nearby BMV office
- Gather the applicable supporting documentation
- Prepare the necessary application fee by check or money order
- Mail the completed application and fee to the “CDL Examination Section” at the Secretary of State, BMV office in Augusta
- Wait for an appointment notice with the location, date and time for your knowledge test(s) to be mailed to you
- Complete the knowledge and vision tests
- If passed, you will receive your permit and skills test request card enabling you to move forward with the licensing process; you must keep the CLP for at least two weeks before requesting a skills test.
CDL Written Test in Maine
All Maine drivers must pass the CDL general knowledge test in order to receive any type of commercial license. Every endorsement requires that another CDL written test, and sometimes another skills test, be completed by the driver. These written exams must be taken at the licensing agency at the time designated by the BMV on the driver’s mailed notification. Topics concerning the inspection, operation and maintenance of CMVs will be included on the exams.
Maine CDL Training Schools & Practice Tests
Many Maine drivers choose to enroll in a CDL school to learn important trucking skills under the supervision of experienced instructors and in a safe environment. While no specific form of CDL training is required by the BMV to apply for a commercial license, the BMV does encourage all drivers to seek out educational programs, along with a trusted CDL practice test, to help them learn everything they can about commercial vehicles before taking the state exams and receiving their licenses.
All commercial drivers in Maine should review the state-issued CDL handbook before signing up for the knowledge exams. This handy manual goes in-depth about all the topics that will be covered on both the general knowledge exam and the endorsement exams. A copy of the handbook can be printed offline or picked up at a BMV location.
How to Get a CDL License in Maine
The process to apply for CDL credentials in Maine is relatively straightforward after the driver has already received his or her commercial permit. At this point in the CDL application process, the driver has already submitted the large majority of the paperwork that is required for the license, and is mainly charged with passing the final skills-based driving exam(s) to complete the process and receive the license. In order to complete the process, drivers should follow the required steps, which include:
- Keeping your CLP for at least 14 days. Learn how to safely and confidently operate CMVs in your class of license.
- Mailing the skills test request card you received with your CLP into the BMV in Augusta.
- Waiting to receive an appointment notice for your required skills test(s) and the location, date and time of your skills test(s).
- Heading to your appointment. Try to avoid being late and having your appointment cancelled.
- Providing the examiner with your appointment notice, CLP, the license of the person accompanying you which must be valid for the type of vehicle being operated (this person must remain at the test site until the examination is completed) and the registration of the vehicle being used.
- Passing all sections of the exam.
- Submitting the certificate of completion to the BMV to get your CDL full license.
CDL Driving Test in Maine
Passing the CDL test of driving skills is the last step in the process of qualifying for a commercial license. The CDL driving test can be requested from the BMV once the driver has held his or her CLP for at least two weeks, by mailing in the request card. When attending the appointment scheduled by the BMV, all drivers will be obligated to take the general exam. Drivers applying for the passenger and school bus endorsements will have to take additional tests. The three parts of the general CDL test include the:
- Pre-trip vehicle inspection test.
- Control skills test (maneuvers around obstacles, backing skills and more).
- Road skills test (in traffic with examiner).
How to Get a CDL as a Military Member in Maine
A military CDL may benefit residents of Maine who are currently in – or were recently released from – the military waive some of the requirements to receive a commercial license. This CDL for veterans (released in the last 12 months) and active-duty personnel allows drivers to receive a full commercial license immediately after submitting an application packet and completing the necessary written knowledge tests, without having to schedule a driving skills exam. To qualify for this program, drivers must complete the CDL Certification for Military Waiver of Skills Test form and be able to demonstrate having adequate vehicle experience.
CDL Medical Exams in Maine
Commercial drivers seeking non-excepted licenses in Maine must get a CDL medical exam certificate completed by a qualified physician before they can be granted a commercial license, depending on the type of commerce in which they participate. To be valid, the exam must be completed by a DOT medical examiner who is registered with the National Registry of Medical Examiners, and signs the form. Exams completed within the last two years can be used for an application. If not included with the original application, drivers can send an updated medical form to the BMV in one of three ways:
- By email to: BMV@maine.gov
- By fax to: 207-624-9339
- By mail to:
Bureau of Motor Vehicles CDL Compliance Unit 29 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0029
Types of CDL Classes in Maine
There are three types of CDL classes in Maine. Drivers must choose whether they need a Class A license, Class B license or Class C license before submitting the license application form. The Class A CDL is required for drivers of a combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds. The Class B CDL is used by drivers of any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds. The Class C CDL is for drivers of single vehicles weighing less than 26,001 pounds carrying hazardous materials or more than 15 passengers.
Types of CDL Endorsements in Maine
CDL endorsements permit Maine drivers to carry certain types of material or operate certain types of vehicles, like school buses or tanks. The following six endorsements are available for ME commercial licenses:
- P – Passenger Endorsement (requiring additional skills and knowledge tests)
- S – School Bus Endorsement (requiring additional skills and knowledge tests)
- T – Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement (requiring an additional knowledge test)
- N – Tanker Endorsement (requiring an additional knowledge test)
- H – Hazmat Endorsement (requiring an additional knowledge test)
- X – Tank Carrying Hazardous Material Endorsement (requiring an additional knowledge test)
Interstate vs. Intrastate Commercial Drivers Licenses in Maine
The intrastate CDL is required by commercial drivers in Maine who will be staying within the state’s borders and transporting local goods. All other drivers require the interstate CDL, allowing them to cross state lines and carry goods and passengers originating from anywhere.
Commercial Driving License Fees in Maine
The CDL license cost for any specific driver depends on the class of license and endorsements for which the driver is applying. In addition to the CDL permit cost, ME drivers can expect to pay any of the following fees for their license:
- Class C and motorcycle permit written examination: $35
- Class A, B and C commercial driver’s license examination: $70
- Each endorsement: $20
- Class C (younger than age 65; six-year validity): $30
- Class C (age 65 or older; four-year validity): $21
- Commercial license (younger than age 65; five-year validity): $34
- Commercial license (age 65 or older; four-year validity): $28
- Converting a Class C license from another state: $35 application fee, plus $30 license fee
- Converting a motorcycle license: $35 application fee
- Converting commercial driver’s license: $70 application fee, plus $34 licensing fee and any endorsement fees