In our previous blog, we wrote about the importance a driver’s license can have upon the self-esteem and opportunities available in their owner’s’ lives; today, we’ll discuss the types of driver’s licenses available through Maryland’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
Non-commercial licenses are broken down into four categories: A, B, C, and M. Most people will be issued a license in Non-commercial Class C, which enables drivers to drive any non-commercial vehicle, excluding motorcycles, with a GVW (gross vehicle weight) less than 26,001 pounds. Meanwhile, Classes B and A allow for more vehicles to be driven in addition to those in C (which includes most common vehicles). Class B is reserved for vehicles over the 26,001 pound limit imposed upon Class C, and Class A covers everything in both classes B and C with the addition of tractors and motorcycle trailers. None of these grant access to motorcycle driving, however, which is reserved solely for Class M licenses.
It is worth noting that special provisions are granted to non-commercial license holders in Classes A and B that are driving what would be considered commercial or beyond-restriction vehicles in the event of emergency, for purposes of agriculture, work for the U.S. Department of Defense, and even recreation. All in all, it can seem confusing. For best service, it is recommended to take any questions regarding weight, commercial status, or other potential license restrictions to the Maryland Vehicle Administration (MVA); you can find a location or reach MVA representatives directly online here.
Typically, our driver’s ed classes assist non-commercial drivers looking to operate vehicles lesser than 26,001 pounds, such as most campers or RVs, that are therefore pursuing a Class C non-commercial driver’s license. Based upon your situation, you may pursue other license classes in addition or in place of the “standard” Class C.
Commercial driver’s licenses are categorized by a single primary distinction to non-commercial licenses in the form of a CDL (commercial driver’s license). Otherwise, commercial licenses function in a 3 class system (also called A, B, and C), that have many of the same restrictions as their non-commercial counterparts. Classes C and A focus more on towing restrictions, with Class B focusing instead on vehicle weight, and Class A unlocking far more vehicle types, including tractors and most trailers, as well as vehicles over 26,001 pounds. As with non-commercial licenses, most commercial licenses are issued in Class C, with B and A acting as supplementary when necessary. Interestingly, motorcycles are still an exception for those with a commercial license, even when towed in commercial Classes B and C, without a Class M non-commercial license.
There are other license types beyond weight capacity for certain cargo types, including a specialized HAZMAT endorsement, many of which require a more extensive background check and databasing.
Maryland’s Driver’s Ed
Your local Wheaton experts on the confusing limitations placed upon the various driver’s license classes and endorsements can be found at A2B Driving School, where driver’s ed is designed to get you the driver’s license you need to further your goals. Get in touch with us today for questions, concerns, or class schedules!