Special Licenses in MarylandPage Overview
Special Driver's Licenses in Maryland
Depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive and the driving profession you want to have, you may need to apply for a special license or endorsement with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).
On this page you'll find basic information about some of the license classes and endorsements available to you.
If you are looking for information about applying for a standard driver's license, please visit our pages on:
- Applying for a New License in Maryland (Drivers 18+).
- Applying for a New License in Maryland (Teen Drivers).
To operate a motor vehicle that accommodates 16 passengers or more, such as a bus or shuttle, you need a commercial driver's license (CDL).
The Maryland Commercial Driver's License Manual provides all the detail explaining the CDL classes necessary for each type of vehicle. Once you determine what CDL class you need, you can find further information:
School Bus Endorsement
In addition to a passenger endorsement, you also need a school bus endorsement on your CDL if you want to operate a school bus in Maryland.
Section 10: School Buses of the Commercial Driver's License Manual gives an in depth look at the safety procedures school bus drivers must follow, as well as testing information.
School bus drivers will generally need to:
- Become trained and certified.
- Pass a school bus written knowledge test.
- Pass a driving test in a school bus.
- Have a clean driving record.
- Pass a criminal background check.
For more information, please contact the MD MVA.
To operate a motor vehicle that accommodates fewer than 16 passengers, such as a taxi or limousine, you simply need a regular Class A Maryland driver's license. Any special training depends on your employer's requirements.
Some Maryland cities/counties may require taxi drivers to:
- Pay a permit/licensing fee.
- Have a clean criminal record.
- Have a clean driving record.
- Be medically certified.
For more information, please contact the Maryland DMV.
Generally, sport and off-road vehicles do not require you to hold a special driver's license or endorsement. However, some vehicles may require you to be a certain age or complete an operator's safety course. Below are some common examples.
For more information, please contact the Maryland MVA.
You must have a motorcycle endorsement or Class M Maryland driver's license to operate a motorcycle in the state. Before applying, consider the following:
- You must be at least 15 years and 9 months old to apply for a motorcycle learner's permit.
- If you're younger than 18 years old, you must first complete Maryland's Motorcycle Safety Program in addition to the traditional driver's education course.
- Testing requirements vary depending on your current driver's license class, but may include vision, written, skills, and a road sign and marker identification test.
For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in Maryland page.
Scooters and Mopeds
If your scooter or moped engine is over 50 ccs, it's considered a motorcycle and the same endorsement or license requirements apply. If it is 50 ccs or less, you need a moped permit or driver's license to operate it.
Off-road vehicles are those that you can't operate on public roadways. Such vehicles include all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, golf carts, and go-carts. Generally, you do not need to register these vehicles, nor do you need a MD driver's license or endorsement to operate any of them.
You can find more information about off-road vehicles in the Maryland Driver's Handbook.