How Old Do You Have to Be to Take Driver's Ed in Colorado?

teen driving a bmw

Do you have a teenager who is itching to get behind the wheel? It's time to bone up on all of the Colorado driver's ed options that are available to your family. 

If your teen is ambitious and you want them to be able to have a driver's license by the age of 16, they should start drivers ed by 14.5 years old. But is that the youngest age at which a child is allowed to start drivers ed in Colorado? Not necessarily.

"It depends on the individual entities," says Trooper John Lewis, Public Information Officer for the Colorado State Patrol. "Some companies will offer driver's ed earlier. As long as you are on private property, you can start learning to drive before you're old enough to get a permit, which I believe is age 15." 

Why Take Driver's Ed?

Every now and then, someone asks us why it's so important to take this course. Well, if you want a driver's license, the state requires you to take driver's ed. Colorado requires all young people under the age of 21 to obtain a practice permit and hold it for one year before applying for a driver's license. In order to take the Colorado practice permit test, you must first complete driver's ed.

And to be honest, even if driver's ed weren't required by law, we'd still say that it's a smart idea. Not only do these courses help teens feel more confident on the road, they teach many important lessons that your child will need to pass the Colorado practice permit test. Your teen will learn to recognize road signs and their meaning, understand traffic laws, and practice defensive driving techniques that will keep them safe behind the wheel.  

What's Next After My Child Takes Driver's Ed?

Drivers licensing requirements in Colorado vary depending on the teen's age when they start the process. Many teenagers want to get their driver's license right around their 16th birthday. If that's the case for your teen, you'll need to start the process early, at around age 14.5. The first step is Colorado drivers ed

Here are the steps:

  1. Take a 30-hour driver's education course. Colorado requires this course for anyone under the age of 15.5 seeking an instruction (practice) permit. At 15.5, students are allowed to take a four-hour driver awareness program instead. 

  2. Apply for a practice permit and take the written test. 

  3. Log 50 hours of driving time over the course of 12 months. 

  4. Get six hours of behind the wheel training. (This is optional if you are 16.5 or older.)

  5. Apply for a driver's license one full year after obtaining your permit.

We hope this helps you on your quest to offer the best drivers education and training to your teen. With your help, we can help teens build the confidence and skills that they need to stay safe on the road.