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
  • Your Social Security number and proof of lawful presence in the US
  • 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
  • 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 180 days, and are eligible for one 180 day renewal.
    • 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.

Other Information


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