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Commercial Driver Licenses

Persons must be at least 18 years of age and hold a driver license to apply for a commercial driver instruction permit or commercial driver license (CDL).  To apply for the instruction permit, applicants must provide a social security number, proof of physical address in Colorado, and proof of identity.  Applicants must also pass a medical examination and show a current DOT medical card, the CDL Information System and National Driver Register records checks, the required CDL knowledge tests, and Entry Level Driver Training from an approved school.  Commercial driver instruction permits are valid for 180 days and may be renewed once for an additional 180 days.

Persons may also test to receive CDL endorsements to operate double or triple trailers, passenger vehicles, tanker vehicles, vehicles hauling hazardous materials, school buses, or hazardous materials/tanker combination vehicles.  Persons holding a CDL instruction permit may only operate the class of vehicle shown on the permit when accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years of age and who holds a valid CDL of the same class of license or higher, with the required endorsements for the vehicle being operated.  Further information on CDLs can be found on the DMV's website, along with the CDL manual.

The table below summarizes the types of Commercial Driver Licenses.  

Types of Commercial Driver Licenses

lass A Combination Vehicles

Any motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight or combination vehicle weight rating equal to or greater than 26,001 pounds.  Most Class A vehicles are trucks such as tractor‑trailer or truck and trailer combinations.  Skills for operating a Class A vehicle include those required for operating a Class B or Class C vehicle.  Therefore, a driver holding a Class A license may also operate a Class B or Class C vehicle.

Class B Heavy Straight Vehicles

Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a GVWR not greater than 10,000 pounds.  Class B vehicles include straight trucks and large buses.  Skills for operating a Class B vehicle include those required for operating a Class C vehicle.  Therefore, a driver holding a Class B license may also operate a Class C vehicle.

Class C Small Vehicles

Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.  Class C vehicles also include any vehicle used to transport hazardous materials as defined by the federal hazardous material regulation.

Source: Section 42‑2‑401, et seq., C.R.S.


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