Drivers Permits in Connecticut
Connecticut law requires minors who are 16 and 17 years old to get a learner's permit before applying for a driver's license. If you are in that category, you will need to hold your learner's permit for 180 days before you can take the test for your driver's license. (You only need to hold a learner's permit for 120 days, if you graduated from an approved driver's education course.)
A learner's permit, or driver's permit, allows you to practice driving, as long as a licensed driver accompanies you in the vehicle. The licensed driver must be 20 years or older and have held a driver's license for four consecutive years or more. You must carry the learner's permit with you when you drive.
To help guide you through the process of getting your learner's permit, the Connecticut DMV provides How to Obtain a Learner's Permit―an informational podcast―.
Your parent, legal guardian, or spouse (who is 18 years older) needs to accompany you to the test location to get your learner's permit. If an adult who is legally responsible for you cannot be present, you need to bring a notarized Certificate of Parental Consent.
To obtain a learner's permit, you must pass the written test. This test is administered at only four locations: Bridgeport, Waterbury, Willimantic and Wethersfield. Make a test appointment online.
You will need to show the following documents to apply for a learner's permit:
- A postmarked letter showing your home address. It cannot be more than three months' old. A post office box number is not accepted.
- Social Security number. If you do not have a Social Security number, you will need a letter from the Social Security Administration stating you are ineligible for one.
- Certified birth certificate (not issued by a hospital) or valid passport.
- A recent passport-size photograph without sunglasses or head covering.
- Application for a Learner's Permit, which you need to fill out and sign.
- Non-citizens also must show proof of U.S. legal status.
You must pass a vision exam and a written test to get a learner's permit. The testing fee is $40. If you pass both tests you'll need to pay an $19 learner's permit fee. If you pay by check you'll need separate checks for the two fees.
You can take the vision test with or without glasses or contact lenses, but you must have at least 20/40 vision in one eye to pass. Your peripheral vision―or ability to see from side to side without moving your head―is also measured.
The 25-question written test is based on information from the Connecticut Driver's Manual for New Drivers, so it is a good idea to get a copy and study in advance. You must get at least 20 questions right to pass. If you fail, you must wait seven days before retaking the exam, and you will need to pay the $40 knowledge testing fee again.
You can test your knowledge before the real exam by taking a practice test.
Parents can do their part to help teen drivers build skills. They are encouraged to read the DMV training guide, How Parents Can Help Their Teens Become Safe Drivers.
You can replace a lost, stolen, or damaged learner's permit at your local full-service DMV office. You will need to show two forms of ID and fill out an Application for Duplicate of Current Driver's License or Permit. The cost is $19 learner's permit fee for a new permit.
Each state has its own laws for teen drivers, and not all states recognize learner's permits. If you want to drive outside of Connecticut, contact the state you plan to visit to make sure your learner's permit is valid there.
Connecticut recognizes the learner's permits held by drivers from other states, but the permit-holder must be accompanied by a licensed driver 20 or older who has had a license for four years or more without interruption.
For more information about driver education requirements and options, restrictions on teen drivers, and drinking and driving consequences, refer to our Connecticut Teen Drivers.
Other Topics in This Section
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- Drivers Training Requirements: Do You Have to Enroll in Drivers Training?
- How to Choose a Drivers Training Program
- Who’s Required to Take Drivers Training
- Transferring a Learner Permit to a New State
- Teen Driver Safety: Seat Belt Use
- Graduating From a Drivers Permit to a Restricted Drivers License