How Long Is This Going to Take: Online Driver's Education in Colorado

taking drivers ed online and in bed

Online driver's education is becoming the most popular way to fast-track your driver's license. Driver education programs usually take place in classrooms, but instructors are now working around space and time constraints through their online offerings. But how long does it take to finish online driver's education? And what are the requirements?

Although a typical online driver's ed class requirements vary by state, a good benchmark is the State of Colorado, which requires 30 hours of training.

We spoke with the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles to get you some tips that can apply to drivers in any state. Colorado DMV Communications Specialist Derek Kuhn says that drivers across the U.S. face similar issues.

Here are five important things to remember about successfully finishing your driver's education classes: 

1. Pick the Right School

When choosing an online school, make sure it is accredited. There are a lot of scams out there that will appear secure, take your money, and then once you've finished the "course," you won't have the proper certificate to secure your driver's exam. Real, accredited driver education programs can provide you with the right certificate and typically take anywhere from 30 to 50 hours to complete depending on your state's regulations.

2. Study and Pay Attention

Paying attention is something drivers must do during their classes and on the road. "Distracted driving is a big issue for motorists throughout the U.S.," says Kuhn. "Distracted driving increases the likelihood of motor vehicle wrecks, which often have life-altering repercussions. We encourage all Colorado motorists to turn their phones on silent before operating a motor vehicle because the temptation to use it is lessened. Remember, that text message or notification you get can wait — it's not worth getting in a wreck."

While working on your online driver's education, it's important to keep in mind what you will do when you're behind the wheel. Follow the instructions, and if you must take sections over to fully understand your state's rules, do so.

3. Take Practice Exams

Many online driver's education programs offer built-in practice exams. Like any skill you're trying to master, the driver's exam is no different. Practice, practice, practice! The time you have to take your exam after finishing your online driver's ed varies by state, so make sure you check rules and regulations for timing.

4. Gather the Proper Documents

The biggest thing that can slow you down from driver's ed classes to your driver's exam at the DMV is forgetting your documents. You must prove residency, have a school ID, birth certificate, or some other form of identification in most states. Again, this will vary, but our experts say that this is the number one slow-down. If you want to keep your driver's ed and exam time to under 60 hours total, make sure to have all of your ducks (papers) in a row. 

5. Focus and Remember Your Training

When you finally get through your hours of training, pass your exam, and get on the road, there are a million things to remember. Kuhn advises drivers to always focus. "Drivers should remember to properly scan for pedestrians, bicyclists, and automobiles at all intersections. Scanning intersections is very important when driving because not doing so could lead to a collision," he says. "New drivers can develop good habits from the start of their driving career by putting the phone down and committing to reducing distractions when driving."