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.

REAL ID Licenses in Colorado

The Colorado DMV issues federally-compliant REAL ID permits and driver’s licenses. REAL IDs allow you to use your license for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings. For details on REAL IDs, see the DHS' guide and FAQs.

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.

CO Learner's Permit Types & 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.

Below, we’ve outlined the requirements for each type of permit, including application steps and documents.

These requirements meet state and federal guidelines for obtaining a REAL ID-compliant permit or license. Your Colorado REAL ID permit will feature a star in the top corner and allow you to complete tasks such as enter federal buildings and board commercial domestic flights without showing additional identification.

Taking the Written Colorado Permit Test

No appointment is required for the written permit test; however, the DMV highly recommends making one online in advance to ensure your best chance of everything going smoothly and on time.

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

  • Road signs.
  • Driving under the influence.
  • Colorado driving laws.
  • Safety rules.
Ace Your Exam... Prepare with a Practice Test!

To help you prepare for the written exam, we recommend using a comprehensive online practice test to get familiar with what you can expect. These tests have been proven to assist people with passing the exam on their first attempt!

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.


DR 2324
Drive Time Log Sheet
Use this form to track supervised driving hours for teen drivers, required by the DMV to earn a Colorado driver's license.
DR 2460
Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship
Form used to verify liability and guardianship for a minor learning how to drive. Must be signed before a CO Division of Motor Vehicles agent OR notary public.
DMV.ORG BBB Business Review