Applying for a Colorado CDL - Class C License w/ Hazardous Materials
The first step to getting your own Class C Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with Hazardous Materials endorsement in the state of Colorado is applying for a CDL Instruction Permit. Before deciding on a location too soon, it’s important to call ahead — some locations do not support examination procedures. To do so, prepare legal documentation and verification in the following forms:
- Your driver’s license (showing you’re 18 years or older).
- Proof of U.S. citizenship.
- Social Security Card.
- Medical certificate proving you’ve passed the Department of Transportation medical examination -no more than 24 months ago.
After you’ve shown the necessary documents, you’ll be allowed to take the general knowledge test . The test is multiple choices and everything you’d need to know can be found in the CDL Driver Manual. It’s recommended you pick one up beforehand at a DMV office. Pass your general knowledge test and pay the $14 fee to earn your CDL Instruction Permit. If you intend to operate certain types of commercial vehicles, then additional tests to earn endorsements must be taken. Types of endorsements include:
- P – Passenger (knowledge and skill test)
- S – School buses (knowledge and skill test)
- H – Hazardous materials (knowledge test)
- T – Double/Triple trailers (knowledge test)
- N – Tank vehicle (knowledge test)
If you’re going for your Hazardous materials (Hazmat) endorsement, then you’ll also need to apply for a background check from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). They’ll ask you for your CDL or CDL permit number, proof of legal status, and proof of identity. It’s also necessary to have your fingerprints taken at a fingerprint office. While the TSA and FBI run your background checks, you will be responsible for various costs and fees. The status of your background checks will arrive in the mail.
It should be noted that if you are found guilty of any of the following crimes, you will be ineligible to obtain a Hazardous materials endorsement:
See Dmv.org for the remaining items on the list.
Now that you’re about to head to driving school and halfway toward your CDL, it’s important to know what kind of license you want. There are separate classes of CDLs for which each state issues license. These classes are as follows:
- Class A : Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. and the ability to tow vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or more.
- Class B : Any vehicle with a GVWR of approximately 26,001 lbs. or more being used to tow a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 lbs. or less.
- Class C : The use of a single, or combination of, vehicle(s), not meeting the specifications of Class A or B that is considered to carry 16 or more passengers, or move hazardous materials.
You’re also required to self-certify your type of commercial vehicle with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections. Driving categories for self-certification are as follows:
- Non-excepted interstate
- Non-excepted intrastate
- Excepted interstate
- Excepted intrastate
If you so happen to choose Non-excepted interstate, then you must provide the Department of Public Safety with a federal issued medical certificate.
In order to pass your driving skills test, you’ll need to receive training. The best places to learn are private commercial driving schools, technical or vocational schools, community colleges, and keep in mind, motor carrier companies train their own employees. In school you’ll learn how to inspect vehicles, couple and uncouple tractors and trailers, and practice driving in a variety of different situations.
Now you’ll need to make an appointment for your driving test with one of many third-party companies – a list of available companies can be found online. Be sure to show up with your class of vehicle, i.e. Class C commercial vehicle. The test will be broken up into three parts:
- Pre-trip inspection: examiner will ask you to identify and explain importance of various components.
- On-road test: you’re taken along a pre-determined route where the examiner will access your proficiency in more advanced driving skills.
- Basic skills: you will be required to demonstrate the basics in the ability of maneuvering.
Once you’ve passed, you’ll be asked to relinquish your regular Colorado driver’s license as well as the CDL Instruction Permit. From there you’ll have your photo taken and pay the $35 fee to receive your Class C Colorado CDL.
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