Applying for a New CDL in Maine

Driving a commercial vehicle is a great way to make a living while cruising the open road. If you're interested in pursuing this line of work, however, you'll have to get a commercial driver's license (CDL).

The process is regulated nationally by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), but you'll also have to go through the licensing procedures run by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), which is a division of the ME Department of the Secretary of State (SOS).

Who Can Get a Maine CDL?

To be eligible for a commercial driver's license in ME, you will need to:

  • Already have a valid, non-CDL Maine license.
  • Be at least 16 years old.
    • Per federal regulations, drivers under 21 years old will not be able to:
      • Operate a bus.
      • Carry hazardous materials.
      • Drive commercial vehicles outside of Maine—called interstate driving.
  • Have proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency. Acceptable documents include:
    • A certified copy of a birth certificate.
    • U.S. passport.
    • A Permanent Resident Card.

ME Commercial Learner's Permits

Before you can get your full CDL in Maine, you'll have to get your commercial learner's permit (CLP).

While it's not required by either the FMCSA or ME BMV, enrolling in a commercial driving education course is a helpful way to ensure you do as well with the process as possible.

When you're ready to start, you'll need:

  • A completed Commercial Driver License Application (Form MVE-64T).
  • Proof of identification (2 documents):
    • 1 document must include your birthday.
      • Applicants under 23 years old must supply a copy of your birth certificate to satisfy this requirement.
    • 1 document must include your signature.
  • Payment for the required fees:
    • Testing fee: $35.
    • Endorsement fee (if applicable): $10 each.

Fees must be paid by check or money order, made payable to Secretary of State.

When you've gathered all of the proper materials from above, you'll need to mail them to the Maine BMV office:

Bureau of Motor Vehicles
CDL Section
State House Station #29
Augusta, ME 04333

After receiving your application, the ME BMV will respond to you with the date, time, and location of your written test.

ME CDL Written Tests

Once you've heard back from the ME Bureau of Motor Vehicles and have made it to the correct office location, it's time to earn your commercial learner's permit!

During your appointment, you will need to:

After you've aced all of your tests and provided the right information to the Maine BMV, you'll get your CLP, plus a skills test request card to help you complete the final step in the process.

CLP Restrictions in Maine

Driving with your CLP is a great way to practice for your commercial driver's license, but while you're doing so, you'll have to follow a slightly different set of rules.

National FMCSA regulations require all commercial learner's permit holders to:

  • Stick to public roads only.
  • Drive only while accompanied by a full CDL holder licensed to operate the same class of commercial vehicle.

You'll also have to practice with your CLP for a certain period of time before you'll be allowed to schedule your skills test to earn your full commercial driver's license.

The federal waiting period is 14 days, but this could be different for Maine residents. Contact someone at your local ME BMV office to ask about the CLP waiting period in Maine.

Maine Commercial Driver's License

You've made it through most of the process. Now, only one thing lies between you and your CDL: the skills exam.

Once the appropriate period of time has passed and you feel comfortable driving with your CLP, you can schedule your skills test with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, if it hasn't already been scheduled on your appointment notice you received for your written tests.

Mail the skills test request card you received after completing your written tests to the BMV at:

Bureau of Motor Vehicles
CDL Section
State House Station #29
Augusta, ME 04333

You'll once again hear back from the agency with the date, location, and time of your skills test.

Maine CDL Skills Test

Before you go to your skills exam, organize a way to take the test in the same class of vehicle you're applying to operate with your commercial driver's license. You'll also need a full CDL holder to accompany you to the testing site.

Bring with you to the BMV office:

  • A completed and signed appointment notice.
  • Your Maine commercial learner's permit (CLP).
  • The CDL of the driver accompanying you.
    • Must be for the same class of commercial vehicle the test is being taken in.
  • The valid registration card for the vehicle you're taking the test in.
    • Photocopies are only allowed if the vehicle is a rental.
    • The test vehicle must also have a valid inspection sticker.

When everything's set to go, you can take the exam, which consists of several parts, including the:

  • Pre-trip vehicle inspection.
  • Basic vehicle control test.
  • On-road driving exam.

If you can't make it to your scheduled skills exam, make sure to notify the Maine BMV. If you don't do so within 48 hours of your appointment, you'll be fined $30.

After successfully passing your skills exam, you'll just have to pay the appropriate fee, then you'll be officially issued your commercial driver's license. Congratulations!

CDL Fees in Maine

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles currently charges the following fees for CDLs and related services:

  • Written exam: $35.
  • Commercial driver's license:
    • Under 65 years old: $34.
      • Valid for 5 years.
    • 65 years old or older: $28.
      • Valid for 4 years.
  • Class C commercial driver's licenses:
    • Under 65 years old: $30.
      • Valid for 6 years.
    • 65 years old or older: $21.
      • Valid for 4 years.
  • Endorsements: $10 each.

CDL Medical Requirements

Every Maine CDL applicant is required to submit certain medical paperwork to prove they are physically fit for the job.

All applicants must submit a CDL Medical Self-Certification Form (Form MVE-64C), where you inform the state of the type of driving you expect to be doing with your commercial driver's license.

Depending on how you fill out the self-certification form, you may also have to submit a Medical Examiner's Certificate (Form MCSA-5876). To complete one, you must see a doctor that is approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Medical paperwork can be brought to the BMV in person, or:

  • E-mailed to:
  • Faxed to: (207) 624-9339.
  • Mailed to:
    • Bureau of Motor Vehicles
    • CDL Compliance Unit
    • 29 State House Station
    • Augusta, ME 04333

The FMCSA Q&A page is a great place to get more information on the subject.

Maine Military CDL Testing Waivers

If you're currently enlisted in the U.S. military or have recently left the service, you may be eligible to have your CDL skills test waived, due to a program created by the FMCSA and the ME Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

To qualify, you'll need to:

    • Be currently employed by the Armed Forces.
    • Have been discharged within 1 year of applying for the waiver.
  • Have at least 2 years of experience driving commercial vehicles for the military.

To apply, you'll need to complete an Application for Military Skills Test Waiver (Form CDL-SK TST WVR).

Bring the waiver with you when taking your written tests.

NOTE: Qualified applicants will still have to pass all written exams and pay all applicable fees.

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