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Colorado Driver’s License Requirements (A Complete 2022 Guide)

Colorado Driver's License Requirements (A Complete Guide)

Looking for a complete guide on how to get a driver’s license in Colorado?

Then you’ve come to the right place. 

Here, we’re going to give you ALL the Colorado driver’s license requirements. We won’t leave out any detail, so you don’t have to be confused about anything. 

Plus, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions. 

So buckle up and let’s go! 

How to Get a Driver’s License in Colorado 

In Colorado, you can start working towards your driver’s license at the young age of 15. 

If so, then you must go through the CO Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) Law. This program will help you slowly gain driving experience and avoid dangerous driving situations. 

Now, the program has 3 stages. 

  • Junior Learner Permit or Instruction Permit
  • Minor Driver’s License
  • Full Driver’s License

To go through each stage, you have to fulfill the requirements. So let’s look at them one by one. 

How to Get A Junior Learner Permit in Colorado

Here are the steps to getting a junior learner permit in Colorado:

  1. Complete a driver’s ed from an approved school (click here for approved providers in Colorado). Now, what you study will depend on your age:
    1. If you are 15 or 15½ years old, you must study 30 hours of driver’s education. 
    2. If you are 15½ or 16 years old, you must study 30 hours of driver’s education OR study 4 hours of Driver Awareness Program.
    3. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you are NOT required to take driver’s ed. That said, it is highly encouraged so you can pass the knowledge exam on your first try
  1. Apply for a junior learner’s permit at a DMV office that issues new permits OR online. For a shorter wait time, you can schedule an appointment online
  1. Bring and submit the required documents:
    1. Proof of identity
    2. 2 proofs of residency
    3. Proof of Social Security Number (if not a US citizen or permanent resident)
    4. Affidavit of Completion of a Driver’s Education Course (DR2956) if applicable. This will be provided by your approved school.
    5. Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship (DR2460) if under 18 years old. This must be signed by your parent or legal guardian in front of a DMV employee or a notary public. 

Click here for a checklist of what documents to bring

  1. Take and pass the written knowledge test. You can take this at the DMV office or through your approved school (whether online or in a classroom). If you do the latter, make sure to bring and submit your written test completion form to the DMV. 
  1. Have your picture and fingerprints taken 
  1. Pay the permit fee of $18.52
  1. Receive your junior learner’s permit

With this permit, you’ll be allowed to practice your driving. However, you can only drive if there is a licensed driver at least 21 years old in the front seat. 

Also, this permit is valid for 3 years. 

How to Get A Minor Driver’s License in Colorado

If you want a bit more freedom with your driving, then you can upgrade to a minor driver’s license. 

Here’s how you can do that:

  1. Hold your learner permit for at least 12 months
  1. Complete 50 hours of supervised driving, 10 hours should be done at night. 
  1. Complete 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training. This is only required if you are anywhere between 16 to 16½ years old.  Anyone older than that can decide whether they want to take the training or not.
  1.  Apply for a minor driver’s license at a DMV office that issues new licenses OR online 
  1. Bring and submit the required documents:
    1. Proof of identity
    2. 2 proofs of residency
    3. Proof of Social Security Number (if not a US citizen or permanent resident)
    4. Drive time log sheets signed by your parent or legal guardian. This is to show proof that you completed 50 hours of supervised driving.
    5. Certificate of Completion for the 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training (if applicable)
    6. Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship (DR2460) signed by your parent or legal guardian in front of a DMV employee or notary public.
    7. Your junior learner’s permit
  1. Take and pass a vision test
  1. Take and pass the driving skills test. At the moment, DMV offices are not offering this test, so you must take it at an approved driving school (click here for a list of driving schools in the state)
  1. Submit your Drive Test Completion Form to the DMV 
  1. Pay the license fee of $30.87
  1.  Receive your minor driver’s license  

As we said, this license gives you more freedom. However, there are still restrictions, such as:

  • For the first 6 months, you cannot have a passenger under 21 years old unless it is your siblings. 
  • For the next 6 months, you can drive with 1 passenger under 21 years old who is not your sibling.
  • You cannot use a cellphone or any other device (whether handheld or hands-free) while driving unless it is for an emergency.
  • You cannot drive between 12 am to 5 am, unless you are with a licensed driver at least 21 years old, you are driving to/from work or school, it is an emergency, or you are an emancipated minor. 

Now, if you have held your minor driver’s license for 1 year or you turn 18 years old (whichever comes first), all these restrictions will be removed. 

Minor driver’s licenses expire on your 21st birthday. 

How to Get a Full Driver’s License in Colorado 

If you hold a minor driver’s license, then you need to renew it before your 21st birthday. Once renewed, it will automatically become a full driver’s license. 

Yes, there are no extra requirements for this. 

But what if you are just getting started on your driver’s license and you’re already 18 years old or even older?

Well, you should follow these steps:

  1. Apply for a driver’s license at a DMV office that issues new permits OR online. You can also schedule an appointment online
  1. Bring and submit the required documents:
    1. Proof of identity
    2. 2 proofs of residency
    3. Proof of Social Security Number (if not a US citizen or permanent resident)

Click here for a checklist of what documents to bring

  1. Take and pass a vision test
  1. Take and pass the written knowledge test. If you decided to take driver’s ed, you can take this test from your approved provider and submit your Written Test Completion Form. 
  1. Have your picture and fingerprints taken
  1. Pay the permit fee of $18.52
  1. Get your learner permit and practice supervised driving. If you are older than 21, you no longer need to hold your permit for a minimum time. You can take the driving skills test whenever you are ready. 
  1.  Take and pass the driving skills test. Again, the DMV does not offer this test at the moment. You can take it from an approved school on this list. Just make sure to submit your Drive Test Completion Form to the DMV.
  1. Pay the license fee of $30.87
  1. Receive your full CO driver’s license 

And there you have it! You are now a fully licensed driver in Colorado. 

Congrats!

Frequently Asked Questions

As promised, we’re going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about driver’s licenses in Colorado. 

So let’s go!

Can you apply for a Colorado driver’s license online?

Yes! Simply visit the Colorado myDMV to start your application. 

It will only take 10 to 20 minutes. Plus, you’ll only need a valid email address and a printer (optional).

How long does it take to get your driver’s license in Colorado?

After your complete all the Colorado driver’s license requirements, you will be handed a paper copy of your driver’s license. You can use this temporarily while waiting for your new driver’s license to be mailed to you. 

You will usually have to wait for 8 to 10 business days. That said, it may also take up to 30 business days to be delivered. 

If you have not received your new license and it has been more than 30 days, please check your status using Colorado DMV’s online service.

When does my driver’s license expire in Colorado?

Your CO driver’s license is valid for 5 years. 

How long is the Colorado road test?

Since road tests are held by authorized schools, the duration will depend. Usually, however, it takes around 20 to 25 minutes long. Plus, it could take an extra 10 to 15 minutes to validate your permit and complete other paperwork required. 

Conclusion

There you have it – your complete guide to the Colorado driver’s license requirements.

So now that you know what needs to be done, why wait?

Consider the requirements for your age and get started right away.

Good luck!

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