What is the difference between Interstate and Intrastate Commerce?

Interstate commerce means trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States—

  • Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States); or
  • Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or
  • Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.

Intrastate commerce (for a Colorado based company) means trade, traffic, or transportation which occurs entirely within Colorado.  

US DOT Numbers and Operating Authority

What is a Commercial Vehicle (CMV)?

There are two separate definitions for what a CMV is in Colorado depending on the type of commerce it is engaged in while in operation:

For Interstate Commerce, a commercial motor vehicle is defined as any self-propelled or towed vehicle that:

  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater; or
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
  • Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous and transported in a quantity requiring placarding.

AND is driven on public roadways used in commerce (i.e. used in the furtherance of a business or organization)

For Intrastate Commerce, a commercial motor vehicle is defined as any self-propelled or towed vehicle:

  • Bearing an Apportioned Plate
  • Having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of at least 16,001 lbs.; or
  • Having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of at least 16,001 lbs. and used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), unless the vehicle is a school bus (operated in accordance with C.R.S. 42-4-1904); or
  • Owned or Operated by a school district which does not have a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 lbs. or more so long as the school district does not receive remuneration other than reimbursement of the actual costs of operating the vehicle.
What is a USDOT Number?

A USDOT (United States Department of Transportation) Number is a carrier identification number assigned to a business or an individual operating in commerce.

When is a USDOT Number necessary?

A USDOT Number is required where any vehicle or combination of vehicle units are operated in intrastate or interstate commerce and meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle (see above)

How do I get a US DOT number?

All carriers (interstate or intrastate) operating commercial motor vehicles must register using the FMCSA website to complete an application via their online system.

How do I display a USDOT Number on my vehicle?

The USDOT Number should appear on both sides of the commercial vehicle with the company name.  The USDOT Number should be legible from 50 feet away in daylight hours. (most companies go with a minimum of 2” lettering, but a specific height is not specified). For intrastate carries within Colorado only - If a power unit of a towing combination is less than 16,0001 lbs. and you are operating commercially within the State of Colorado only, you can put this information on both sides of the towed unit.

How often am I required to “renew” or update my company information?

Carriers having USDOT#s are required to review and “update” their company information at least once every 24 months/2 years (biennially) according to the schedule found in FMCSR Part 390.19. Carriers should also update their carrier USDOT# information any time there are changes to the information they have provided in their application or recent update, like a change of address, point of contact, number of drivers/vehicles, etc.

Do I have to file a “Biennial Update” if there have been no changes to my carrier information?

Yes. All carriers having a USDOT# must file a biennial update every two years, regardless. Failure to do so could interfere with your authority to operate CMVs.

How can I make changes to my USDOT# record?

You can update your information online at http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov. You will need a PIN to update your information online. If you do not already have one, you can request one via the link on the safer website. ”

Vehicle Inspections, Reports and Tickets

I /My/Our driver received a roadside inspection and there are no violations. Should I/we still send a copy to your office?

If you have a roadside inspection with no violations, it is not necessary to return a signed copy of that report to our office. You should keep a copy in your company files, however. Copies of roadside inspections should be kept for at least one year after the date of the inspection.

My/Our vehicle was inspected and there are violations on the report. How long do I/we have to fix the violations and where do I/We send a copy of the report when it is done? Should copies of work orders or receipts be included?

How long you have to correct a violation depends upon whether the violation was an “Out-of-Service” (OOS) violation. An OOS violation must be corrected before the vehicle can be operated again. A non-OOS violation must be corrected prior to next dispatch. A copy of the report, bearing a company official’s and/or a mechanic’s signature must be returned to the enforcement agency identified in the report at the address provided. Most inspections completed in Colorado can be returned to the Colorado State Patrol Motor Carrier Safety Section at 15075 S. Golden Rd., Golden CO 80401 or faxed to our office at 303-273-1939. You do not need to send associated work orders or receipts along with the report.

I received a ticket with the roadside inspection and want to make payment. Do I send the payment on the ticket to the same office I send the inspection report to?

No. Payments on tickets (also known as Uniform Summons & Complaints) need to be mailed to the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Section.  It is important to retain a copy of the ticket & payment information for your records in case it gets lost in the mail.  The mailing address for tickets issued by the Colorado State Patrol is the Colorado Department of Revenue, Department A, Denver CO. 80243.  You can also take your payment to the main office for the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Section, at 1881 Pierce St., Lakewood CO 80214

What impact does a roadside inspection have on my/our company’s safety rating?

Roadside inspections contribute greatly to a carrier’s and to a driver’s safety rating. Violations that are found could impact and increase your score, which could lead to a compliance review. Inspections having no violations can help to lower your score, improving the overall score. See the FAQ section on CSA Safety Scores and Records for more information.

Can I pay a traffic ticket over the phone?

No. The Motor Vehicle Section of the Colorado Department of Revenue does not accept payments over the phone.  If it is too late to mail your payment (more than 20 days), you can either:  Go in person to the Colorado Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Section at 1881 Pierce St., Lakewood, CO 80214; or  Contact the Ticket and Citation Section of the Colorado Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle Section at 303-205-5613 and discuss payment arrangements with a representative.  There is likely to be an extended hold time.  If that number is busy after repeated attempts, you may call the main number at 303-205-5600 and choose the option for ticket and citation information.

I need a copy of my Motor Vehicle Report (MVR). Where do I get it?

Certified or uncertified copies of your MVR can be requested through the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Section.  You can obtain uncertified copies through any full service Driver’s License office.  Certified copies can only be obtained through the main office at 1881 Pierce St., Lakewood, CO 80214.  The cost is $2.20 for an uncertified copy and $2.70 for a certified copy.

I/Our driver had a ticket and I/we just need to know if payment has been received. How can I/we find this out?

You will need to call the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Section, at 1881 Pierce St. in Lakewood, CO 80214. You can either call 303-205-5613 or 303-205-5600 and select the option for ticket and citation information.

I/Our driver received a summons to appear in court by I/we are from out of state. What can we do?

You will need to contact the county court identified in your summons to ask whether they can make accommodations or other arrangements regarding the summons to appear.  To determine the right county court, we will ask for either the name of the county you received the ticket in or the number that is entered into the “county” field on the summons.

I do not agree with the violation I received a ticket for. What can I do?

If you do not agree with a violation you received a ticket for and want to challenge it, you will need to go to court in the county where you received the ticket on the date indicated on the Uniform Summons and Complaint. If you have additional questions as to why you received the ticket, it may be helpful to talk with the law enforcement officer who issued it to you or your driver.

I do not agree with the violation I received on an Inspection Report (no ticket issued). What can I do?

You may challenge a violation you received on an inspection report by filing a Data Quality challenge (DataQ). Visit our page on DataQ Challenges for more information on completing this.

Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and Medical Certifications

When does a driver need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to legally operate a vehicle in Colorado?

A driver typically needs to have a CDL to operate any vehicle involved in commerce that:

  • Has either a GVWR or GCWR exceeding 26,000 lbs.;
  • Transports placarded quantities of hazardous materials, regardless of the GVWR or GCWR of the vehicle being operated; or
  • Is a vehicle that is or was originally designed to transport 16+ passengers, including the driver.
Do all vehicles having a GVWR or a GCWR over 26,000 lbs. require a CDL?

No. Several vehicles are exempt from requiring a CDL for their operation and may be driven without a CDL legally. These vehicles include: Recreation vehicles used for recreation purposes; Military vehicles driven by military personnel; Firefighting equipment; Emergency snowplowing vehicles during snow removal operations; and Farm vehicles when controlled and operated by a farmer within 150 air miles of a person’s farm.

Why do I need a DOT Physical Exam to apply for/maintain my CDL?

In the interests of public safety, commercial drivers are held to higher physical, mental and emotional standards than non-commercial drivers.  The FMCSA DOT physical examination is required to help ensure that a person is medically qualified to safely operate a commercial vehicle.  State and Federal law require that standards be met in order to qualify for a license to operate commercial vehicles professionally.

Do I need to provide a copy of my DOT Physical Exam to the State of Colorado every time I have a DOT Physical Exam?

Yes. All Colorado CDL holders must have a valid DOT medical certificate and must provide a copy of the DOT medical certificate to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) every time the DOT physical exam is renewed or updated.

I am unable to pass the DOT physical for a CDL and I need a medical waiver. Where do I get an application and who do I turn it in to?

Please see our medical waiver page on this site.

How old must a driver be to obtain a CDL in Colorado?

A person must be at least 18 years of age. At 18 years of age, the driver will be permitted to drive commercially only within the State of Colorado. The license will have a “K” restriction attached to it. This restricts the validity of this commercial license to the State of Colorado when it is being used to operate a commercial vehicle.

How old must a driver be to operate a non-farm commercial vehicle in interstate commerce?

A person must be at least 21 years of age to operate a non-farm commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

What do I need to have in order to apply for a CDL instruction permit in Colorado?

Before applying for a Colorado CDL instruction permit, you must first hold a valid Colorado Driver’s License. To receive the instruction permit, you must provide to the Colorado Department of Motor vehicle the following:

  • Acceptable identification and proof of lawful presence in the United States;
  • Something with your name and address (vehicle registration, checkbook, utility bill, etc.);
  • Proof of your Social Security Number and age (you must be at least 18 years of age);
  • A current DOT medical examination (not more than 24 months old);
  • A passing score on the required CDL knowledge test (administered at most full-service DMVs); and
  • Payment of the $14.00 instruction permit fee.
What do I do after I pass the required written test(s) and am issued a CDL instruction permit?

If you pass the required written test(s) and are issued an instruction permit, you will then need to complete the CDL driving skills test. There are three types of general skills that are tested in the CDL driving skills test: Pre-trip inspection; Basic vehicle control; and On-road driving. You must take these tests in the type/class of vehicle for which you wish to be licensed for.

Where can I get the study manual to take the CDL Exam?

The study guide can be found online at the Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicle website on the Forms and Publications page.

Where can I take the written CDL exam?

You can typically take the written CDL exam for a CDL permit at any “Full Service” Motor Vehicle location. You may want to call your local office ahead of time to make sure they administer the written CDL examination.  You can look up information for your local Motor Vehicle office online by going to the Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles website.

Where can I take the CDL driving skills test?

CDL skills tests in Colorado are administered through approved third party testers. You can find a list of these approved third party testers online through the Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles website.

What are the classes of CDLs and what are the differences between them?

CDLs come in three different classes:

  • Class A CDL: A Class A CDL Is required to drive any combination of commercial vehicles with a GCWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided that the GVWR of the towed vehicle unit is in excess of 10,000 lbs.
  • Class B CDL: A Class B CDL is required to drive any single commercial vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle that is not in excess of 10,000 lbs. GVWR.
  • Class C CDL: A Class C CDL is required to drive any single vehicle or combination of vehicles commercially that do not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but are either designed to
    • Transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver;\
    • Transport material that has been designated as a hazardous material under 49 USC 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR Part 172; or
    • Transport any quantity of any material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.
What types of Endorsements may a CDL driver need to obtain?

There are several endorsements that a CDL driver needs to consider in addition to the class of CDL they need to obtain. These endorsements are:

  • T” Endorsement: Endorsement to drive double/triple trailers.
  • “P” Endorsement: Endorsement to drive passenger vehicles like buses. Required when operating a vehicle designed by the manufacturer to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver. In Colorado, the passenger endorsement is divided into two classes, P1 and P2 according to the GVWR of the vehicle being operated.
  • “N” Endorsement: Endorsement to drive tank vehicles. Required for all CDL class vehicles that transport liquids in bulk containers of 1,000 gallons or more.
  • “H” Endorsement: Endorsement to transport hazardous materials that are required to be placarded under the federal regulations. Retesting is required at each renewal of a CDL with a HM endorsement and there are additional requirements imposed through the TSA.
  • “X” Endorsement: Endorsement that combines the Hazardous Materials and Tankers endorsements.
  • “S” Endorsement: Endorsement to drive pre-primary, primary or secondary school students from home to school, school to home, or to and from school sponsored events.
What types of restrictions may be placed on a CDL in Colorado?

There are three major restrictions- a “K” restriction, a “L” restriction or a “No/Trctr/Trlr restriction.

  • “K” Restriction: The “K” restriction is for those individuals that either are under 21 years of age or do not meet the DOT medical requirements but have a valid medical waiver issued by the Colorado State Patrol Motor Carrier Safety Section. The “K” restriction prohibits the holder of the CDL from:
    • Operating a commercial vehicle requiring a CDL outside the state of Colorado;
    • Transporting quantities of hazardous materials that require placarding under the federal regulations; or
    • Transporting any items of interstate commerce.
  • “L” Air Brake Restriction: The “L” restriction is placed on a CDL if the possessor of the CDL is not allowed to operate a vehicle equipped with air brakes. Applicants must pass both a written test and a drive test with a vehicle equipped with air brakes to remove this restriction.
  • “No/Trctr/Trlr Restriction: The “No/Trctr/Trlr” restriction prohibits the holder of that CDL from operating a tractor/semitrailer or truck/trailer unit where the towing vehicle has a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more and the towed unit has a GVWR of 10,001 lbs. or more. To remove this restriction, the driver must pass the CDL skills test in a Class A vehicle.
If my CDL expires, will I need to retake the written and skills test to renew it?

Whether you will need to retake the written and skills test to renew your CDL depends on how long the license has been expired.  If the license is expired for one year or less, there is no written or skills test.  A vision test will be required.   If the license is expired for over a year, BOTH the written and drive tests are required.

Ports Of Entry

Please visit our Port of Entry Website for complete information regarding Permits, Size, Weight and registration questions.

Hazardous Materials Information

Please visit our Hazardous Materials Website for complete information regarding the transportation, registration, and handling of hazardous materials.

Size and Weight Information

Please visit our Size and Weight Page located on this site.

Registrations (IFTA, IRP, and SMM)

Where can I get apportioned tags?

Apportioned tags can be obtained from the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Carrier Services Section. For more information, please contact the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Carrier Services Section at 303-205-5602.

Where do I get Special Mobile Machinery (SMM) registration?

Special Mobile Machinery (SMM) registrations are obtained from the County Clerk & Recorder’s office for the county in which the machinery will be used and domiciled in. SMM registrations should be obtained within 30 days of the SMM being brought into the State of Colorado, an individual’s ownership of the SMM OR before the machinery’s first use in Colorado. SMM is discussed in detail and defined within Title 42 of the Colorado Revised Statues (CRS). Generally speaking, SMM is machinery that is transported on Colorado highways whose primary purpose is not to be operated on a roadway as a vehicle.

What is IRP?

IRP is the International Registration Plan. IRP is a registration reciprocity agreement among the states of the United States and the provinces of Canada. IRP ensures the payment of license fees for each state or province an interstate commercial carrier conducts business through or within.

What does IRP require and what is the benefit of IRP?

IRP requires interstate commercial carriers to pay registration fees for the states or provinces where they will travel and conduct business. The amount paid for each state or province operated in by the carrier is determined by the total distance operated in all jurisdictions. IRP allows a carrier to submit a single application to a single base state for all jurisdictions in which the carrier operates. Without IRP, a carrier would have to submit to multiple registration requirements, filing multiple registration applications, one for each jurisdiction in which they would travel.

How much does IRP cost?

The cost of a carrier’s IRP varies and depends upon the type of vehicle, the GVW of the vehicle, the number of miles traveled and the number of jurisdictions the carrier will be traveling in. For more information about calculation of IRP cost, please contact the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Carrier Services Section at 303-205-5602.

I have an IRP and it has expired. How long do I have to renew my IRP? Is there a grace period like there is for my personal vehicle registration?

There is a grace period that permits the carrier the entire month following their IRP expiration date to renew their IRP.

Do I have to go to a physical office to make changes to or renew my IRP? Does the State of Colorado have an online option?

The State does have an online option. You can use “Revenue Online,” a service provided by the Colorado Department of Revenue to manage your IRP account. You can make payments, manage fleet and IRP applications and print temporary cab cards from this website. You are also able to view any payments and letters on your IRP account.

Who do I contact for additional information on IRP?

For additional assistance and information on IRP, you can call the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Carrier Services Section at 303-205-5602.

What is IFTA?

IFTA is the acronym for the International Fuel Tax Agreement. IFTA is a motor fuels excise tax agreement between the 48 continuous U.S. jurisdictions (states) and 10 Canadian provinces.

What is the purpose of IFTA?

IFTA is designed to promote the most efficient use of the North American highway system through uniform administration of the motor fuel taxation laws for commercial vehicles operating in the member jurisdictions.

How do I obtain an IFTA license?

To obtain an IFTA license, motor carriers should complete and submit an IFTA application, form DR7119. Form DR7119 can be downloaded from the Colorado Department of Revenue’s website. It is recommended that carriers register vehicles before applying for an IFTA license.

How do I renew my IFTA?

Colorado carriers are automatically renewed if all IFTA returns are filed, all taxes, penalties and interest have been paid and the carrier is in compliance with Colorado base jurisdiction laws. •Colorado carriers are notified in November if their account is not in compliance. Renewal licenses and decals are sent to compliant carriers in December. IFTA licenses will not be renewed and may be closed for carriers not in compliance by December 31st.

Who do I contact for additional information on IFTA?

For additional assistance and information on IFTA, you can call the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Carrier Services Section at 303-205-5602.

Compliance, Safety and Accountability (CSA)

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicles. To learn more about the program and how it affects you as a carrier or driver, log onto the CSA Website.