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Truck drivers in Maryland must pass ‘modernized’ CDL skills test starting next week


Transportation officials in Maryland will install an updated commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills starting in just a few days.

As of August 22, all Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) branch offices statewide and at partner testing sites will implement “a new, modernized commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills test.”

The new skills test will reduce the number of items on the “pre-trip inspection” component of the test from more than 100 to around 50 items that “a driver would typically experience on the job.”

Additionally, in the “basic control component” of the test, applicants will be tested on the following four maneuvers:

  1. Forward Stop to demonstrate an applicant’s ability to judge the front of the vehicle.
  2. Straight-Line Backing to demonstrate the applicant’s ability to back the vehicle in a straight line.
  3. Forward Offset Tracking to demonstrate an applicant’s ability to maneuver the vehicle around other objects while moving forward.
  4. Reverse Offset Backing to demonstrate an applicant’s ability to offset reverse and park the vehicle.

“Technology has evolved and improved since the last time the CDL test was reviewed,” said MDOT MVA Administrator Chrissy Nizer, who also serves as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “The new test evaluates an applicant’s knowledge based on updated vehicle features, and focuses on key skills needed to safety operate a commercial vehicle. The modernized test is another way the MDOT MVA is enhancing its services for CDL applicants while prioritizing safety.”

According to a news release from MDOT MVA, the updated CDL skills test comes after Maryland was one of three states to participate in a pilot program through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) this past year. FMCSA has given MDOT MVA permission to expand the use of this new test statewide.

CDL applicants taking the test on or after August 22 are encouraged to view the updated CDL Field Test Manual.


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