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How to Get a Colorado Driver's License

Getting your first Colorado driver's license is a big deal ... but it doesn't have to be a big hassle. Simplify the process by following these steps.

Step One: Get a Learner's Permit

In Colorado, getting on the road begins with getting your learner's permit. Everyone who applies for a permit in the state of Colorado will need to:

  • Pass a written exam.
  • Bring documents to verify their legal name, identity, date of birth, and lawful presence in the United States. A full list of acceptable documents is provided by the Colorado Department of Revenue.
  • Provide proof of their social security number, typically in the form of a social security card.
  • Supply two documents verifying their physical address, which can include school report cards, bank statements, or first-class mail.
  • Pay the $16.80 application fee.
  • Bring along a parent or legal guardian to sign an Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship.

There are also additional requirements depending on your age:

  • Drivers who are 15 to 15½ years old must complete a 30-hour driver's education course before they can apply for a Colorado permit. A list of approved schools is available online.
  • Drivers between 15½ and 16 years old must complete either a 30-hour driver's education course or a 4-hour driver awareness class before applying.
  • Drivers who are 16 and older don't require any formal education before applying for a permit.

Step Two: Apply for a Minor License

After you've had your permit for at least 12 months, it's time to apply for your Colorado driver's license. To get a Colorado driver's license, applicants under 18 must:

  • Submit log sheets showing that they have at least 50 hours of driving experience, including a minimum of 10 hours at night.
  • Provide proof that they've completed an approved behind-the-wheel training program (if they are under 16½).
  • Bring all the same documentation that was required when they applied for their permit, as well as their valid Colorado learner's permit.
  • Pay the $26 Colorado driver's license fee.
  • Pass a driving test.

In Colorado, you have two options when it comes to your driving test. You can either take your road skills test at the DMV or with an approved driver's education instructor. Drivers who opt to take the test with an approved instructor receive a "Drive Test Completion Form" if they pass the exam. They'll need to bring that to the DMV in order to get their Colorado driver's license.

Step Three: Get an Adult License

Minor licenses are valid until 20 days after a driver turns 21. At that time, you'll need to visit the DMV to get an adult license. Before then, however, minor license holders must be very careful to follow the state's rules regarding teen drivers. Breaking them could interfere with your ability to get an adult license. These rules include:

  • Staying off the road between midnight and 5 a.m. during the first year that you hold your minor license.
  • Carrying only passengers who are 21 and over during the first six months you hold your minor license.
  • Carrying no more than one passenger under 21 during the second six months you hold your minor license.
  • No talking on the phone or texting while driving.

Additional information on those rules, including a few exceptions, is available from the Colorado DMV. If you stick to them, and maintain a clean driving record as a minor, nothing will stand in your way of getting your Colorado driver's license!

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