Commercial Driver FAQs in Colorado

How do I apply for a commercial driver license (CDL) in Colorado?

Obtaining a CDL is a rather rigorous endeavor that involves intensive study and testing, both written and behind-the-wheel. For a comprehensive discussion of each step in the process, see Applying for a New CDL on this site.

How much does a CDL cost in Colorado and how long can I use it before I need to renew it?

The fee is $17.08 and the license is valid for 4 years. If you have a hazardous materials (hazmat) endorsement, you will need to get a new background check with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) when you renew your CDL and endorsement. See Applying for a New CDL for more info.

I just moved to Colorado and have a CDL from another state. Is it transferable?

As long as the out-of-state license is current you can trade it in for the Colorado version.

I just graduated high school and want to get a job with a trucking company. Can I get a CDL?

Yes, but only if you are 18 years old . The one limitation, though, for drivers under 21 years old is that the CDL issued is only for intrastate driving. So, if you apply to trucking companies, make sure they have "Colorado-only" routes.

Can I take the CDL driving test at a driver license office?

No. Motor vehicle offices in Colorado no longer provide testing services. Instead, the state certifies various third-party businesses to proffer the exam. Check out the   updated list of testing companies.

Is the Colorado CDL valid in every state?

If you at least 21 years old and have a valid Colorado CDL, it is valid when driving a commercial vehicle through other states.

If Colorado suspends my CDL, can't I just go to another state and apply for another one?

No. States are all linked through a single database. So, if you attempt to apply in another state, the suspension will automatically show on your record and you will be denied progressing further in the process.

What are the CDL classes in Colorado?

There are three CDL classes and they are the same in every state of the U.S.: A, B, and C. Class is also defined in three ways: by having a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, by the moving of hazardous materials, or by the transport 16 or more passengers.

  • Class A: GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more and the ability to tow more than 10,000 lbs.
  • Class B: GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more but towing capacity equal to or under 10,000 lbs.
  • Class C: A vehicle intended to carry 16 passengers or more, or hazardous waste.

Are CDL classes interchangeable?

Although you will need to check proper endorsements, generally, if you have a Class A CDL you can also operate vehicles of a lower class (B, C). If you have a B Class you can drive vehicles in the lower C Class. If you possess a C Class, well, you can drive a C Class.

I need a background check and fingerprinting for my hazmat endorsement. Can I do that at any driver license office?

No. This is the territory of the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA). The background check can be done online, but you will need to go directly to a local TSA office to provide your prints. Call (877) 429-7746 for locations. The service will set you back $86.50.

I am seeing my doctor for the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical, but I cannot find the form I need anywhere. Do I even need it?

Most physicians, especially if they are through the company you are getting the CDL for, have a copy of the DOT form.

For further information about CDLs, please see Applying for a New CDL, Renewing Your CDL, Replacing a Lost CDL, and Commercial Driver Education on this site.

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