The Marine Contractors Licensing Board

The Marine Contractors Licensing Board (MCLB) was established by Chapter 286 of the 2010 Laws of Maryland (Chapter 286). The Governor appointed seven individuals to serve on the MCLB for a term of three years. These members consist of: three licensed marine contractors; two at-large representatives; one representative from the Maryland Department of the Environment; and one representative from the Department of Natural Resources.

The MCLB is required to: develop and carry out the marine contractors licensing program, as it was established under Chapter 286; license and regulate individuals and entities that perform marine contractor services in the State; collect and account for fees associated with the licensing program; and keep a current record of all licensed individuals and entities.

How does a marine contractor obtain a Marine Contractors License? In order to obtain a Marine Contractors License, a person must submit a completed application to the MCLB. An application will be considered complete if the applicant demonstrates that: (1) the contractor has at least two years experience as a full-time marine contractor or similar contractor experience; (2) has passed the written marine contractor test administered by the MCLB; (3) has a federal tax identification number (if applicable); and (4) carries commercial general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. A Marine Contractors License is effective for two years. If a marine contractor is interested in renewing their license, they must complete 12 hours of MCLB-approved continuing education prior to the expiration of their license.

Who is required to obtain a Marine Contractors License? A Marine Contractors License is needed for any individual or entity that solicits or performs marine contractor services in the State of Maryland.

“Marine contractor services” means construction, demolition, installation, alteration, repair, or salvage activities located in, on, over, or under State or private tidal wetlands and includes: (1) dredging and filling; (2) the construction, demolition, installation, alteration, repair, or salvage of structures, including boathouses, boat or other personal watercraft lifts or ramps, slips, docks, floating platforms, moorings, piers, pier access structures, pilings, wetland observation platforms, wetland walkways, and wharfs; and (3) the construction, demolition, installation, alteration, repair, or salvage of stabilization and erosion control measures, including revetments, breakwaters, bulkheads, groins, jetties, stone sills, marsh establishments, and beach nourishment or other similar projects.

Who is not required to obtain a marine contractors license? There are two exceptions to the Marine Contractors License requirement.

(1) Employees of an agency of the federal government do not need to be licensed with the MCLB to perform marine contractor services while in the performance of their employment duties.
(2) Employees of an agency of the State of Maryland do not need to be licensed with the MCLB to perform marine contractor services while in the performance of their employment duties.

What is the meaning of “solicits or performs marine contractor services in the State of Maryland”? The MCLB considers "solicit to perform” to mean any contractors’ attempt to obtain, either directly or indirectly, a job from a customer or potential customer to perform marine contractor services. The MCLB does not consider “solicit to perform” to include responding to a request for a proposal or a bid solicitation issued by an agency of the federal, state, or local government or a general contractor. While a contractor or subcontractor needn't be licensed by the MCLB to respond to a bid solicitation, it would need to be licensed prior to performing any "marine contractor services", as defined in 17-101(f) of the Environment Article. Moreover, subcontractors may not perform marine contractor services under the license of a prime contractor. Only employees of a licensed entity may perform marine contractor services without being individually licensed themselves. See Md. Code Ann., Envir. § 17-301(a) ("...a person shall be licensed by the Board as a marine contractor or be employed by an individual or entity that is licensed as a marine contractor before the person may: (1) Perform marine contractor services..."). As subcontractors do not enjoy an employer/employee relationship with a prime contractor, a subcontractor must be independently licensed if it is to perform marine contractor services on behalf of a prime contractor.

Can a Maryland Home Improvement Commission License be used in place of a Marine Contractors License? No. All work in tidal waters must be performed by a licensed marine contractor.

I was a registered marine contractor and my registration expired December 31, 2016. Do I renew my registration? No. All marine contractor registrations expire on December 31, 2016. To perform marine contracting work after January 1, 2017, you must apply and become licensed in accordance with the procedures outlined above. Please be aware that if you perform or solicit to perform marine contractor services in the State without a Marine Contractors License after January 1, 2017, you will be in violation of Title 17 of the Environment Article and may be subject to the penalties provided for therein.

License Application Instructions: Licensing is a three-step process. The first step is to complete and submit the entity or individual license application form based on the information guide. The second step is to pay a study manual/test fee of ($75), and take the marine contractor license test. The third step is to pay the license fee once you pass the test. License fees are $600 for a two year license. However during the first license period the MCLB will be issuing licenses for either one year ($300 fees) or two years ($600) to stagger the license period.

Application Instructions:

Complete and submit the Marine Contractor License Application Form. Please refer to the Information Guide Below for help in filling out the form.

Marine Contractor License Application Form (Entity)

Marine Contractor License Application Form (Individual)

License Application Information Guide

Print the form from the link above or request a license application form by mail from the address below or contact the Board at 410-537-3249 or 1-800-633-6101, ext. 3249.

Mail the completed form to:

Marine Contractors Licensing Board
c/o Maryland Department of the Environment
1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 430
Baltimore, Maryland 21230


Please be advised that Licenses will not be considered complete until your fee has been received. Once all fees have been paid, then the license will be sent to the licensee.

What if I have additional questions? If you have questions about the licensing process or any other questions concerning the MCLB, please contact the MCLB by calling 410-537-3249, 1-800-633-6101 x. 3249 or by emailing MDE.MCLB@maryland.gov.



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