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  • Drivers Permits in Colorado

    Colorado Learner’s Permits

    In Colorado, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires you to first obtain a learner’s permit before getting your driver’s license, if you’re under 21 years old.

    Depending on your age, there are different learner’s/instruction permits you must apply for. You may also be required to complete a driver’s education course.

    Continue reading to learn more about Colorado learner's permits and how to obtain your first driver’s license.

    New to Colorado?

    If you’ve recently moved to Colorado from another state, you have 30 days to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license.

    If you have an out-of-state learner’s permit, contact the Colorado DMV directly to check if you can transfer it for a CO instruction permit.

    If you’re 16 years old or older and you have a valid out-of-state driver’s license in your possession, you may be able to obtain a CO driver’s license without taking the written or driving tests.

    For more information, see visit our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Colorado page.

    Colorado Learner’s Permit Requirements

    In Colorado the type of permit you can apply for differs depending on your age:

    • 15 years old to 15 1/2 years old: Driver education learner's permit.
    • 15 1/2 years old to 16 years old: Driver awareness learner's permit.
    • 16 years old to 21 years old: Minor learner's permit.

    Continue reading below to find out how to apply for each type of permit.

    Driver Education Learner's Permit

    If you’re between the ages of 15 years old to 15 1/2 years old, you’ll need to apply for a driver education learner's permit, which will be valid for 3 years.

    Before you can apply, you must complete the classroom component of a Driver’s Ed program (must have been completed in the last 6 months). For more information, see our Driver’s Ed in Colorado page.

    Once you’ve completed this part of Driver’s Ed, apply for your driver education permit at your local CO DMV office. You must:

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    Driver Awareness Permit

    If you’re between the ages of 15 1/2 years old to 16 years old, you’ll need to apply for a driver awareness permit, valid for 3 years.

    To be eligible for this learner's permit, you must first complete one of the following:

    • Driver’s Ed.
    • Pre-qualification driver awareness program (4 hours).
      OR
    • Classroom study course (30 hours).
      • Can be completed online.

    For more information, visit our Driver’s Ed in Colorado page.

    When you’re read to apply for your learner's permit, visit a Colorado DMV office and:

    Taking the Written Colorado Permit Test

    No appointment is needed for the written permit test; however, it is important to note that you should arrive.

    The questions in the test are based on information taken from the Colorado Driver Handbook and includes topics such as:

    • Road signs.
    • Driving under the influence.
    • Colorado driving laws.
    • Safety rules.

    Colorado Learner's Permit Driving Restrictions

    If you’re under 18 years old, your driver’s permit only allows you to drive while supervised by a licensed driver who is 21 years old or older.

    You supervisor can be:

    If you need any further clarification, please contact the Division of Motor Vehicles hotline at (303) 205-5600.

    Behind-the-Wheel Driving Requirements

    Regardless of the type of driver’s permit you have, if you’re under 18 years old, you must complete 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice with at least 10 hours completed at night.

    These hours can ONLY be completed while supervised by:

    You must log your driving hours on a Drive Time Log Sheet (Form DR 2324).

    Next Step: Colorado Driver’s License

    You can get your CO driver’s license once you have:

    • Held your Colorado learner's permit for 1 year.
    • Completed your behind-the-wheel driving requirements (see above).
    • Pass the driving test.

    For more information, see our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Colorado page.

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