Drivers Ed: Getting Your Learners Permit and License In Colorado

Getting a drivers license in Colorado is a bit of a different experience from other states to say the least.  It does not, however, have to be a difficult one. There’s so much to know and understand regarding what you can and can’t do at different age ranges to get your learners permit or drivers license.  I’ve created this site to break down state and Colorado DMV requirements to help you understand what you have to go from riding your bicycle to driving a car!

I’m going to break this all down by age requirements so you understand what you need to do. Remember, Colorado requires any minor must hold their learners permit for 1 year before they are eligible for a road test.

 How to Get Your Colorado Leaners Permit

15 Years Old to 15 ½:

At 15 to 15 ½  years old, you must complete a 30 hour drivers ed course [like one here ] to get your permit.  Quite honestly, it’s also the fastest way to get your license. You can get your permit as soon as you complete  your drivers ed course. The right school’s final exam will also count as your written permit test so you won’t have to take it at the DMV.

15 ½ to 16 Years Old:

Now if you’re 15 ½ you’re able to either take the 30 hour drivers ed course OR you can a 4 hour in-classroom Driver Awareness course to get your permit. The drawback to waiting to take the Driver Awareness course is you now will be at least 16 ½ possibly 17 before you can take a road test, because again you have to hold your learners permit for at least a year before you can get a license.

16 to 17 Years Old [but not over 18]:

You have to complete the written permit exam at DMV and hold your permit for a year or until you turn 18 [whichever comes first]

Depending on the route you go, you’ll bring the following with you to DMV to get your permit:

-Certificate of Completion from your Drivers Ed course or Drivers Awareness class

-Birth Certificate and Parent Affidavit of Identity

-Social Security card

– 2 Proof of Colorado address documents [water, power, credit card bills with parent’s name and address on them would be examples of this]

-$16.80 permit fee

How To Get Your Colorado Drivers License

Okay, so now if you’ve got your permit.  Remember you have to hold your permit for 12 months no matter how old you are before you can take a road test.  Here is what’s involved in getting your license by age.

16 to 17 Years Old [but not over 18]

Your teen needs to complete 50 hours of behind the wheel training which is documented on logs they’ll get when you receive your leaners permit. 10 hours have to be completed at night. 6 hours of driver training must be completed with a Behind-The-Wheel School. They’ll provide you with a Behind -The- Wheel training certificate that will also be one of your last requirements prior to a road test [sometimes called a drive test].

What to bring to the DMV for your Drive Test:

-Your valid learners permit

– Drive time log sheets with parent or guardian’s signature

-Behind-the-wheel school certificate of completion

-Social Security card

– 2 Proof of Colorado address documents

-Valid registration and insurance for the vehicle to be used in your drive test

OR

-3rd Party Drive Test Completion form [the state allows some authorized driving school to perform the drive test, ask your BTW school]

-$26 license fee

All in all, while there’s a lot to this, the above should help make sense of what’s required. I believe in an early start to drivers ed for 2 reasons. First, the 30 hour courses provide an in-depth education for your teen which will build a strong foundation in the rules of the road. A 4 hour awareness course will never make up for all the material covered.  Second, that early start with a drivers ed course at 15 will allow your teen more time to practice behind the wheel training without necessarily falling out of place with their peers. Procrastination can lead to teens that never get licensed.

For Colorado Drivers Ed, I recommend DriversEd.com

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