Frequently Asked Questions

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Motor Carrier Safety

 

How do I find out what months the Colorado chain law require I have chains in my vehicle?

 

The Colorado chain law may be put into effect any time during the calendar year. The chain law goes into effect any time that the Colorado Department of Transportation determines that road conditions warrant the use of chains. The Colorado chain law does not require that chains be carried, however; it only requires the use of chains when the chain law is put into effect. If a driver does not have chains or does not want to put chains on during a period when the chain law is in effect, they should not use the roads until the chain law is no longer in effect. For more information about chain laws, view the Colorado Department of Transportation website.


What is a commercial vehicle?

 

A commercial vehicle is any vehicle used in the act of commerce (business) with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of over 10,000 pounds, OR a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of over 10,000 pounds.

 

For example: A business has a pickup truck with a GVWR of 8,800 pounds towing a trailer with a GVWR of 3,000 pounds has a COMBINED weight rating of 11,800 pounds. This would meet the criteria of a commercial vehicle.


How do I determine if I am a commercial motor carrier?

 

There are two things to consider:

 

1. Determine if you use a vehicle in the course of a business, including farming or ranching.

2. Then, determine the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being used. This information can typically be found on a sticker/silver plate located inside the driver’s side door of the vehicle.

OR

If a powered vehicle (i.e., truck or van) is used in combination with a towed unit (i.e., trailer) the Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is considered. This is calculated by ADDING the GVWR of the powered vehicle to the GVWR of the towed unit.

If the GVWR/GCWR of vehicle(s) used in business exceeds 10,000 lbs, it meets the definition of commercial vehicle, and therefore the company or individual is a commercial motor carrier.

 

Where can I get a copy of the regulations?

 

Copies of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations may be obtained from multiple resources. The regulations are available online at www.fmcsa.dot.gov, or can be purchased from the Colorado Motor Carriers Association.

 

Do I need a Commercial Drivers license (CDL) to operate a commercial motor vehicle?

 

Not necessarily. A CDL is not required for vehicles or combinations between 10,001 and 26,000 pounds, unless those vehicles are transporting placarded amounts Hazardous Material or are operating a vehicle designed to accommodate 15 or more passengers, For more information about CDL requirements, visit the Department of Revenue website.


How do I Apply for a Medical Waiver For My Vision or insulin-dependant Diabetes?

 

  • A properly completed Medical Waiver Application.
  • The original medical examination form (DOT physical form) completed pursuant to 391.43, indicating that the applicant is medically unqualified. (Reason: The Waiver Coordinator must verify that you passed the remainder of the physical.)
  • A copy of the applicant's official driving record from the Department of Revenue, listing accidents, driving arrests, license suspensions, revocations or denials, and all traffic convictions, except parking violations, within the last five years.
  • Copies of all valid medical waivers issued to the applicant by an local, state or federal agency.
  • A letter from the employing motor carrier stating the carrier understands, and is aware of the applicant's medical condition, and wants the applicant to continue his or her employment with the carrier. (This is ADDITION to the form in the Waiver packet that must ALSO be completed by the employer.)

 

Submit completed documents to: Colorado State Patrol - Motor Carrier Safety Section, 15075 South Golden Road, Golden, CO 80401. Based upon the documentation, the Medical Waiver Coordinator will determine whether or not a waiver may be issued.

 

Where can I find the Colorado Revised Statutes?

Colorado Revised Statutes an be found by clicking here

 

How do I determine if I am an 'intra-state' or an 'inter-state' carrier?

 

Intra-state carriers are those who operate solely within state boundaries.

 

Inter-state are those carriers who cross state lines, including those who continue transporting goods from outside the state. A carrier who never crosses state lines himself, but is continuing the transport of U.S. Mail would be an example of this would be an example of an INTERSTATE carrier.

 

Who do I contact for an oversize or overwidth permit?

 

All questions involving permits for oversize or overwidth loads should be directed to the Extra Legal Loads and LVC permits office of the Colorado Department of Transportation or call 303-757-9539.


What are the chain regulations for commercial vehicles?

 

For more information on Colorado's chain regulations for commercial vehicles, click here.
 

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