CDL General Information
You must have a valid Commercial Driver License (CDL) to operate
- Any commercial motor vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more
- Any commercial vehicle that is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver
- Any vehicle transporting hazardous material and is required to be placarded in accordance with 49 CFR Part 172, Subpart F
What do I Need to Obtain a CDL?
- Valid driver license from Colorado or another state or a commercial permit
- Current DOT medical card - find a FMCSA Certified Medical Examiner in your area
- Your Social Security number
- Commercial drive skills test completion form dated within 60 days (if turning your commercial instruction permit into a CDL)
- If you want to add a HAZMAT endorsement on your CDL, you will need to successfully pass the HAZMAT written exam and provide a current TSA background check every time you purchase a CDL
- Applicable fee
Classes of Commercial Licenses
- Class A - combination vehicles - consists of any combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds
- Class B - straight trucks and light combinations - consists of any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more or any such vehicle towing a vehicle which does not have a GVWR in excess of 10,000 pounds
- Class C - single vehicles less than 26,001 GVWR - consists of any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that do not meet the definition of a Class A or B commercial vehicle, but that transports 16 or more passengers (including the driver) OR is placarded for transportation of hazardous materials
Which vehicles are exempt from requiring a CDL?
- Recreational vehicles such as a motorhome
- Military vehicles driven by military personnel
- Firefighting equipment
- Emergency snow plows used during emergency snow removal operations
- Farm vehicles when controlled and operated by a farmer within 150 miles of the person’s farm
Commercial Learner's Permits
- Commercial Learner's Permits (CLP) are valid for 180 days, and are eligible for one renewal, which is also valid for 180 days.
- Please note: The results of the written CDL test are only valid for one year. If the results of your written test are over one year old, you will need to retake the written test, even if your CLP is valid.
- CLPs must be held for 14 calendar days before the CDL skills test can be taken.
- CDLs are valid for 4 years
- If you hold a CDL, you are licensed to drive both commercial vehicles in your class and below as well as regular vehicles
- Endorsements and the Requirements to Obtain Endorsements
- CDL Restrictions
For additional information, email DOR_cdlunit@state.co.us