Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Connecticut
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1. Start Your Quote:
- 1) Choose Your License
- 2) Take a Driver's Education Course
- Pass the CT Written and Vision Tests
- Prepare for the Test
- Locate a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Office
- Test-Day Preparations
- Take the CT Written Test
- Hold Your CT Learner's Permit
- Get a Car
- Get Car Insurance
- Take the Driving Test
Whether you're a teenager ready to get behind the wheel or you just moved to the state, you must obtain a driver's license to legally operate a motor vehicle on Connecticut roads. The state offers the following types of licenses:
- Non-commercial (class D license for any vehicle that doesn't require a commercial license)
If you're a first-time driver younger than 18 years old, you must have a minimum of 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training and have completed 30 hours of classroom instruction before applying for a license. Also, your parent or legal guardian must complete a two-hour, teen driving law class.
If you're a licensed driver under the age of 18 who is new to Connecticut, special rules apply to your situation.
Younger than 18 ― You'll need to provide proof that you've completed a suitable driver's education class before applying for your license.
18 and older ― All first-time license applicants in this age range must complete an eight-hour course on safe driving before applying for their license. Even if you don't fall into this category, taking a safety class is a smart move. These classes promote safe driving practices that could possibly save your life ― or the life of someone else.
To obtain a learner's permit, you must pass a 25-question written test as well as a vision exam.
On the day of the test be ready to:
- Pass a vision test.
- Show your birth certificate or current U.S. passport.
- Provide another form of acceptable identification.
- Provide proof of Connecticut residence (utility bill, rental agreement, recently postmarked material, etc.).
- Give your Social Security number or have a letter from the Social Security Administration stating that you're ineligible for one.
- Provide a non-returnable, recent photo of yourself (no sunglasses or headwear).
- Show your completed medical certificate (only for those with disabilities).
- Complete the permit application form.
- Pay the required $40 testing fee.
- Pay the $19 learner's permit fee, if you pass the tests.
Written tests are available in several languages. Oral tests are provided in English.
You must hold your permit for a minimum of three months (90 days) before taking the road exam. Practice driving with either a certified driving instructor or a licensed driver who is older than 20 years old and has held a driver's license for a minimum of four or more consecutive years and has not been suspended in the last four years.
You must provide a car that's safe to operate in order to take the road exam. If you need to find such a car and are considering buying a used vehicle, it's smart to obtain a vehicle history report prior to purchasing the vehicle.
You can't drive without insurance coverage. If you're looking for a carrier, visit our Insurance Center to find the best rates.
Almost everyone needs to take ―and pass― the road test in order to gain their Connecticut driver's license. However, you may be able to skip the road (and written) test if all of the following apply:
- You're new to the state.
- You're over 17 years old.
- You have a current out-of-state license or one that expired less than 60 days ago.
The Sergeant examining your case has the final say on the matter.
Appointments are assigned for your road test by the DMV. Before taking the test, you must show the vehicle registration and your valid insurance card.
Once You Pass
You'll need to pay the appropriate license fee to get your license. Expiration dates vary according to birthdate.
If You Fail
You need to wait 14 days before being able to take the road test again; the wait period for the writing test is seven days. It costs $40 to take either test again.
If you're just visiting the United States and have a valid license from your country, you may drive up to a year while in Connecticut as long as you also obtain an International Driver Permit.
The permit, which basically translates your driver's license to make it understandable to U.S. officials, must be obtained through your home country. Be sure to keep both the permit and your driver's license with you whenever you're driving.
If you're a full-time student in the United States with a student visa, you may drive with a valid license issued from your country and the International Driver Permit. You can do this as long as you remain a full-time student, and your visa and license remain current.
Applying for a Connecticut License
You must be legally considered a resident of Connecticut in order to apply for a state driver's license.
However, if you have a current license issued in France, Canada, Germany, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands your license is treated as a U.S. out-of-state license.
If you're in this category, you don't need to take any tests to convert your license. But, you do need to apply for a license within 30 days of becoming a resident. To apply for a license, follow the rules outlined for drivers with out-of-state licenses. Be aware you will have to give up your home country license to the DMV after receiving your Connecticut license.
If you're not from any of the areas mentioned, you will need to follow these guidelines to obtain a license. Among other things, you'll need to verify your legal status within the country and residency in Connecticut, and provide your state insurance card as well as a photograph of yourself.
Then, you'll need to pass the vision, knowledge, and road tests. After you obtain a Connecticut license, you may retain your license from your home country.
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