Colorado Driver’s License Classifications (A Complete Guide)

Colorado Driver's License Classifications (A Complete Guide)

What class do you need for a regular driver’s license in Colorado?

Or, should you get class A, B, or C if you’re getting a CDL?

We’re here to help you answer those questions and more. 

Today, we’re going to give you a complete guide on the Colorado driver’s license classifications. Not only that, but we’ll also tell you how to get each type of license class. 

So are you ready?

Let’s begin!

Types of Driver’s License in Colorado

Here is a list of the types of driver’s licenses in Colorado:

  • Class R (non-commercial)
    • To operate private motor vehicles. This is your regular driver’s license.
  • Classe A (commercial)
    • To operate combination vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle(s) being towed should be more than 10,000 pounds
  • Class B (commercial)
    • To operate straight trucks and light combinations with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more for a single-vehicle. Plus, any such vehicle towing another vehicle with a GVWR less than 10,000 pounds
  • Class C (commercial)
    • To operate single vehicles less than 26,001 GVWR. Also used to operate vehicles designed for 16 passengers capacity (including the driver) OR vehicles placarded for transportation of hazardous materials.
  • Class M (non-commercial) 
    • To operate two or three-wheel motorcycles. Class M3 is added to operate three-wheel motorcycles only.

So there you have it. 

Those were all the driver’s license classes in Colorado. 

Now that you know which one to go for, here is how to get that license type. 

How to Get a Class R License in Colorado

Here are the steps to getting a Class R license in Colorado:

  1. If you are between 15 and 16 years old, you need to complete 30 hours of approved driver’s education. If you are above 16 years old, driver’s ed is no longer required
  1. Apply for your instruction permit at your local DMV office that issues permits. Make sure you bring your parent or legal guardian with you if you are younger than 18 years old
  1. Submit the required documents:
    1. Original copies of your proof of identity, date of birth, name, and legal presence
    2. Completed Affidavit of Completion of a Driver’s Education Course (if below 16)
    3. An Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship signed by your parent or legal guardian in front of a DMV employee
    4. Social Security Number
    5. Proof of residency
    6. Payment for the test fee of $21
  1. Take and pass the knowledge test
  1. Have your fingerprint and picture taken
  1. Pay the permit fee (check here for the updated fees). 
  1. Get your learner’s permit 
  1. Start practicing your supervised driving

After that, you can change your learner’s permit to a minor driver’s license. This is like a regular license except with some restrictions. 

Let’s look at these restrictions:

  • For the first 6 months, you cannot drive with anyone below 21 years old unless it is your sibling. 
  • If you are under 18 years old, you cannot use your cellphone or any wireless device while behind the wheel, unless it is an emergency
  • You cannot drive between 12 am to 5 am, unless your parent or legal guardian is there, you are driving to and from work or school (should have a signed statement from your work or school), or you are driving in a medical emergency 

But how do you get your minor driver’s license in Colorado? 

Here are the steps:

  1. Hold your learner’s permit for 12 months
  1. Complete 50 hours of driving, 10 of which should be done at night
  1. Complete 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training (if you are under 16½ years old)
  1. Apply for a minor driver’s license
  1. Submit the required documents:
    1. Your learner’s permit
    2. Proof of identity
    3. Proof of residency and legal presence
    4. Your Social Security Number
  1. Take and pass a vision test
  1. Take and pass the driving test
  1. Pay the license fee (check here for the updated fees)
  1. Receive your minor driver’s license 

Once you turn 21 years old, your minor driver’s license will expire. Once you renew it, the DMV will issue you a regular class R driver’s license. 

How to Get Classes A, B, and C in Colorado

Whether you’re getting a Class A, B, or C license, the steps are generally the same. The only difference is the type of test you will need to take. 

So now, in Colorado, you are required to hold a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) for 14 days before you are allowed to take the CDL skills test.

Here are the steps to getting a CLP in Colorado:

  1. Schedule your CDL written test (click here to schedule it online)
  1. Submit the required documents:
    1. Valid driver’s license
    2. Proof of identity and date of birth
    3. Proof of legal presence in the US
    4. Proof of Social Security card
    5. Proof of Colorado residency
    6. Current DOT medical examination and CDL self-certification form (Submit your DOT medical examination online here)
  1. Take and pass the CDL written test, along with other tests for your class and/or endorsement
  1. Pay the CLP fee (check here for the updated fees)
  1. Get your CLP
  1. Complete an Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDR) training

Once you have held your CLP for 14 days, you can now schedule a driving skills test with an approved CDL tester in Colorado.

So here are the complete steps to get your actual CDL in Colorado:

  1. Schedule an appointment for your CDL driving skills test
  1. Take and pass the CDL driving skills test
  1. Submit the required documents at a driver’s license office:
    1. Your valid CLP
    2. Your current DOT medical card
    3. Proof of Social Security Number
    4. Proof of residency in Colorado
    5. A valid CDL skills test completion form
  1. Pay the CDL fee (check here for the updated fees)
  1. Get your CDL 

How to Get a Class M License in Colorado

In Colorado, you cannot get a Class M license unless you already have a Class R license. 

In fact, the Class M license comes as an endorsement to the Class R license.

There are two ways to add an M endorsement to your license.

Option 1:

  • Pass the motorcycle written exam.
  • Purchase a motorcycle instruction permit.
  • Pass the motorcycle drive skills test.

Option 2:

  • Complete a Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) course.
  • Submit the original copy of your MOST license waiver card.

If you are a minor (under 18), you must purchase and hold a motorcycle instruction permit for 12 months before adding the motorcycle endorsement to your license. 

If you are not yet 16, you must be under the direct supervision of the MSF motorcycle instructor at all times while operating a motorcycle.

Wrap Up

So there you have it.

Your complete guide to Colorado driver’s license classifications. 

If you need a regular driver’s license to go to and from work or school, then you’ll want a Class R license. 

If you want to drive heavy combination trucks commercially, then you should get a Class A license. 

If are going to operate a single or combination truck that’s a bit lighter, then Class B is your guy. 

But if you want to drive passengers or carry hazardous materials, then Class C is what you need. 

As for motorcycles, you’ll need to include an M endorsement to your Class R license.

So now that you know all this, it will be easier for you to select the right license for you. 

We hope that this article has helped you a lot!

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