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 heavier
  • 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 learner's permit
  • Current DOT medical card - find a FMCSA Certified Medical Examiner in your area
  • If you are transferring from another state, identification documents are required. 
  • Successful commercial drive skills test showing completed in Commercial Skills Test Information Management System (CSTIMS) (Testing company updates the system)
  • Must complete Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) at an approved school. Learn more about ELDT here. 
  • If you want to add a HAZMAT endorsement on your CDL, you will need to take an Entry-Level Driver Training course (if adding the endorsement for the first time), successfully pass the HAZMAT written exam and provide a current TSA background check every time you purchase a CDL. See the TSA Website for more information.
  • 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 service members
  • 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 one year, and are not eligible for renewal.
    • Please note: The results of the written CDL knowledge test(s) are only valid for one issuance of a CLP. Once your CLP is issued, if you need a CLP with a different class or endorsement, you will need to re-take all required exams. Please take care to apply for the CLP that you need. Learn more here. 
  • CLPs must be held for 14 calendar days before the CDL skills test can be taken at an approved third-party testing facility.

Other Information

For additional information, email DOR_cdlunit@state.co.us