Looking to get your first driver’s license in Connecticut?
However, you might be a bit confused about the steps.
If so, you’ve come to the right place.
In this Connecticut driver’s license requirements guide, we’ll talk about ALL the steps in order. This way, you will know exactly what you need to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
We have it all here.
So let’s begin!
How to Get a Driver’s License in Connecticut
First things first — even if you start the process when you turn 16, you must understand that you won’t get an unrestricted license until you’re 18.
Sure, you can get behind the wheel when you’re 16 or 17, but there are some things that you won’t be able to do. Don’t worry — our guide details all that.
Now, you need to undergo two stages to get your Connecticut driver’s license:
- Learner’s permit
- Teen driver’s license
Let’s look at each stage one by one.
How to Get a Learner’s Permit in Connecticut
You can apply for your learner’s permit after your 16th birthday. Here’s how to do it:
- Set your schedule. Before anything else, go to the Connecticut DMV’s website and make an online appointment. Without one, they won’t entertain you if you go to a DMV office for a learner’s permit test.
- Pay the necessary fees. You’ll need to make your payments through DMV’s online portal. The testing fee is $40 and covers the vision, knowledge, and road tests.
- Prepare the necessary documents. Use the time before your DMV appointment to gather the required documents. See if you can check off the items on this list:
- A filled-out R-229 application form.
- A non-driver photo-ID issued in Connecticut, which you can use as proof of identity. If you don’t have this, you’ll have to prepare these acceptable forms of identification:
- Proof of identity. You must submit two forms, one of which must be a primary document. You can check the complete list of options here.
- Proof of Social Security number
- Proof of Connecticut residency. You must show two documents from different sources with your address, such as a bill and a bank statement.
- Proof of legal presence in the U.S. Only non-U.S.-born applicants need it and may show their U.S. passport or a Permanent Resident card.
- Proof of change of name (if applicable)
You must comply with numbers 1, 2, and 3 if you don’t have a Connecticut-issued non-driver photo ID. Four and five are only necessary if your situation calls for it.
- Proof of parental consent. If your parent or guardian cannot be at the testing center with you, you must present a Certificate of Parental Consent form.
- Pass the vision test. Don’t forget to bring your prescription glasses or your contact lenses if you need them.
- Pass the knowledge test. You need to get 20 questions out of the 25 multiple-choice items correctly. It’s best to prepare by reviewing the Connecticut DMV Handbook.
- Pay the permit fee. The fee is $19. You can pay using cash, card, check, or money order.
- Get your learner’s permit. It remains valid for 2 years or until you turn 18, whichever comes first. You can already drive with a learner’s permit. However, a 20-year-old or older licensed driver must always supervise you.
How to Get a Teen Driver’s License in Connecticut
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to get a teen driver’s license in Connecticut:
- Carry a valid learner’s permit.
- Complete a state-approved driver’s education course. It comprises of 2 parts:
- Classroom training. You can take it through a high school or a commercial driving school. You’ll complete 30 hours, including the 8-hour Safe Driving Practices course and 2 hours of parent or guardian training.
Another option is to go through home training. However, you must take the 8-hour Safe Driving course at a commercial driving school or a local high school.
- Behind-the-Wheel training. You must have at least 40 hours of driving practice through a commercial driving school, your local high school, or parent or guardian instruction. If you go for the last option, parents can use this form to record your driving hours.
Aspiring drivers who completed driver’s ed through a local high school or a commercial driving school must hold a permit for 120 days. Those who went through homeschooling can apply for a teen license after holding their permits for 180 days.
- Make an appointment for your road test. Go to the DMV website to schedule your road test online. You can choose to take your road test in one of the DMV Hubs, a commercial driving school, or a local high school.
- Submit the following documents for your road test:
- Your valid learner’s permit
- CS-1 Driver Education Certificate proving you’ve completed the 8-hour Safe Driving course from a licensed driving school. They’ll send an electronic copy directly to the DMV.
- An insured and registered vehicle, along with supporting documents (registration certificate and insurance card).
- Your out-of-country license, if you have one from another country. An approved translator must translate it to English if it’s in another language.
- For applicants younger than 18, your qualified trainer must be present or submit a form stating that you met all the requirements for driver education.
- Pass the road test. If you do not pass your road test, you must wait for 14 days and pay another fee before attempting again.
If you completed your road test through a commercial or high school, you have to wait 48 hours before you can give the DMV your passed Road Test Evaluation Report.
- Get your teen driver’s license. You must pay the $84 fee for a new license, which you’ll receive via mail within 20 days. For now, you’ll be given a temporary card.
- Upgrade your teen license to an unrestricted license. Once you turn 18 years old, your teen license restrictions will be removed and it will become a full, unrestricted license.
You are now an officially licensed driver in Connecticut without any restrictions!
Connecticut Driving Restrictions
What are the restrictions on a teen driver’s license?
If you are not yet 18 years old, you cannot drive between 11 pm to 5 am. The only exceptions are if you are traveling for the following reasons:
- School-sanctioned activities
- Religious activities
- Medical emergencies
- Acting as a designated driver in the Safe Ride Program
You cannot have any passengers while driving your vehicle for 6 months after receiving your teen license. The only exceptions are:
- You’re with a licensed driving instructor
- You’re with your parents or legal guardian. One of them must have a valid driver’s license.
- You’re with someone at least 20 years old and has had his license for 4 years, without any suspensions.
From the 7th to the 12th month, the only additional passengers you can have are immediate family members.
When you turn 18, the DMV automatically lifts these restrictions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still got some questions? Then let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions.
Can you get your driver’s license online in CT?
You can upgrade your learner’s permit to a teen driver’s license online after passing your road test. You’ll still need to gather the necessary documents and pay the license fee, but you can do all that from the comfort of your home.
How long does it take to get your license in Connecticut?
The entire process can take 6 and a half months to around 8 months. The variable is the driver’s education course.
Connecticut law states that students can only attend one class during school days and two on non-school days. Classroom training and behind-the-wheel instruction can take up to 8 weeks if you do it during the school year. However, if you do it during summer, you can be done in 2 weeks.
What is the Connecticut driving test like?
The DMV road test evaluates the following:
- Whether your car is safe to use on the road
- Whether you appropriately did all the necessary actions when preparing to drive (adjusting your seat and mirrors, using your seatbelt, etc.)
- Whether you demonstrated basic driving skills like parking, turning, and backing up
- Whether you’re familiar with road signs and appropriately responded to them
How long is the Connecticut road test?
Expect to be behind the wheel for about 15 to 20 minutes. The driving inspector will be with you the entire time inside the vehicle.
How do I prepare for the Connecticut driving test?
You need to hold your permit for at least 120 or 180 days before qualifying for a road test, so use your time wisely. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the vehicle you intend to use.
Put in the practice hours of driving and make sure that you begin each trip with your pre-trip setup (adjusting your seat, mirrors, and seatbelt). This is so it becomes a habit.
Practice basic driving maneuvers, such as turning, braking, and accelerating in different environments. If you’re willing, try driving in various weather conditions.
On the day itself, make sure you arrive early. It’ll give you time to settle down if you’re anxious and get into the right headspace.
What can I expect from the Connecticut permit test?
The knowledge test contains 25 questions revolving around road signs and Connecticut traffic laws. You must score 80% (20 correct items) or higher to pass. All questions are multiple-choice.
The Wrap Up
And there you go! Everything you need to know about the Connecticut driver’s license requirements.
Remember, work on your learner’s permit first. Once you have it, use the next 4 to 6 months to get used to being behind the wheel.
When eligible for a teen license, complete a driver’s education course and prepare for the road test.
It’s a lot of work, but we’re sure you can do it.