What Do I Need to Get a Colorado Drivers License?

colorado road sign

Hey Coloradans! Are you ready to get your driver's license? Congratulations! We checked in with Trooper Josh Lewis, Public Information Officer for the Colorado State Patrol to get you all the information you'll need to get out on the road.

Requirements for a Colorado Graduated Driver's License

"In Colorado, we have something called a graduated driver's license program," says Trooper Lewis. "Statistically, in states that employ a graduated program like we have in Colorado, the rates of dangerous driving behaviors and fatal crashes decrease substantially."

Trooper Lewis continues: "The graduated driver's license program includes restrictions on driving for young drivers, such as not being able to drive with passengers other than members of their own families, not being able to drive after midnight, and other similar restrictions. These are put in place until the driver gets a little older and more mature, and less prone to dangerous driving behaviors like distracted driving. These restrictions have proved time and time again to reduce accidents and save lives." 

Rules for Drivers Under 18 Years Old

  • No driving between midnight and 5:00 am, with a few exceptions for work and school needs. 

  • The first six months you have your license, you may not have passengers under 21 years of age, except for family members.

  • The second six months, you may have only one passenger under 21.

  • Your passengers are no longer restricted once you have been licensed for at least a year OR you turn 18 years old. 

  • The passenger age restrictions are lifted if you are involved in a medical emergency. 

  • You may not use a cell phone at all, even with a hands-free device, unless you are calling the police in an emergency. 

  • You and all of your passengers must wear seat belts at all times.

  • Drinking even a trace amount of alcohol is illegal and punishable by law. If you are caught drinking under the legal age limit, you may lose your license, even if you are not driving.

Steps to Take Before Applying for a Colorado Driver's License

There are different requirements for getting a Colorado driver's license, depending on your age. Let's break it down.

You'll need to do a few things before you apply for a driver's license. First, regardless of your age, if you haven't already taken a road skills test with a Colorado driver's ed school, you'll need to schedule on with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV). 

In addition, if you are under 18 years old, you will need to take a Colorado practice permit test and hold that permit for a minimum of 12 months. You must also complete 50 hours of supervised driving, including at least ten hours at night.

Finally, if you are under 16 years and 6 months of age, you must also complete behind-the-wheel training with an instructor from driver's ed. Colorado requires you to attend a DMV-approved driver's ed course.

What to Bring With You to the DMV

Of course, you know there's going to be paperwork! Before you head out to the DMV, be sure to gather the following documents:

  • Your instruction practice permit, if you are under 18 years old.

  • If you are an adult, bring proof of identification

  • Completed drive time log sheets signed by your parent or legal guardian. 

  • If you're under 16.5, bring your behind-the-wheel completion certificate.

  • Your Social Security card or other proof of your Social Security number.

  • If you are taking the road skills test at the DMV, bring your vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

  • If you completed your drive skills test with a Colorado driver's ed instructor, bring your drive test completion form.

  • Proof of your Colorado address.

  • Applicable fee.

We hope this information helps you to prepare to get your Colorado driver's license. Stay safe out there!