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How to get a Commercial Driver’s License in Colorado

A Guide For What You Need To Get Your CDL

Updated September, 2020

If you want to drive commercial trucks, you will need to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). While the CDL classes are the same across the country, the process of getting them differs from state to state. Today, we wanted to talk about the process and requirements of getting your CDL in the state of Colorado.

In Colorado, the entire process of qualification, testing for, and issuance of a commercial driver’s license is governed by a set of state and federal regulations set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 


One big requirement for obtaining your CDL is age. The general requirement for getting a CDL is 21 years. However, in February 2019, the Colorado State House passed a bill that would reduce the eligible age requirement for drivers from 21 to 18 years. Most other states still maintain the former, which is also the required age for Hazmat endorsement. Students at United States Truck Driving School must be at least 18 years old to enroll in any CDL training program.

Learner’s Permit

Taking a learner’s permit course is (or should be) the first step to getting your Colorado CDL license. It’s not required, but it will help you prepare for the written exams. Once that is complete, make an appointment at your local DMV office. The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles requires you to bring the following paperwork to your appointment:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • Proof of your Social Security Number
  • Two documents establishing that you are a Colorado resident – dated no sooner than a year before your appointment, with your name and residential address
  • Your Medical Examiner’s Certification of physical fitness

Plan to submit a review of your driving record, and to take the written exams for the class license you’re applying for.

Road Test

Once you’ve passed the written exams, you’ll be issued your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). It is good for 180 days. If you have decided about attending a trucking school yet, now is the time. School is not a requirement, but the Colorado DMV website highly recommends it as preparation for your road test.

The first opportunity you will have to take your road test is two weeks after receiving your permit. While you can do it that quickly, we (and the Colorado DMV) advise you to wait until you are comfortable driving to do so.

When you are ready, make another appointment at your local DMV. A third party will conduct your driving test before your appointment and give you a test completion form to take with you when you go back to the DMV to get your license. Plan to drive the type of truck you are getting licensed for that day.

For the second DMV appointment, bring the following paperwork:

  • Your permit
  • Proof of your Social Security Number
  • Your Medical Examiner’s Certification
  • Test completion form you received at the end of your driving test

After that, you’re all done. Your license is good for the next four years, at which point you will need to renew it.

If you are serious about finding a trucking school to help you through the training process, give us a call at 303-848-8443. We have two campuses here in Colorado, and we would love to talk about what we can do for you.