What to Practice Before the Colorado Driving Test

orange cone in parking lot for road test

The state of Colorado requires drivers to pass a written test and a driving test under some circumstances. Minors who are 16 to 16.5 years old must have behind-the-wheel driver's training with a driver education instructor and have a driver's permit for at least 12 months before they can get a Colorado driver's license. 

You can choose to take the Colorado driving test with a driving school or schedule an appointment to take the driving test with a Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle (CDMV) examiner. If you plan to drive with the examiner, you'll have to schedule the test in advance on the Colorado DMV website

Pay Special Attention to Your Tires Before the Test

Richard Reina, product training director at CARiD.com, has 30 years of experience in the automotive industry and is well-versed in car maintenance and ownership topics. Because the examiner will inspect your vehicle before you hit the road on your test, she has some advice for young drivers before they head to the DMV.

"Tires should be assessed for tread depth," she said. "Insert a penny, Lincoln's head first, into your tire's tread. If all of his head is visible, that means your treads are significantly worn down, and your tires should be replaced. Also, if you notice visible cracks, bubbles, or splits in the sidewalls of any of your tires, that's a red flag that it's time for new tires."

"It's always a good idea to check your tire pressure when seasons change," she also noted.  "Your vehicle's recommended PSI is typically printed on the driver's door jamb."

What to Bring to Your Colorado Driving Test

Bring these things with you to the driver license office for your Colorado driving test:

  • Instruction permit.

  • Proof of driving lessons.

  • Your Social Security card.

  • Proof of residency dated within the past year (bank statement, report card, postmarked first-class mail, pre-printed pay stub, etc.).

  • $28 to pay the driver license fee (cash, check, or credit card).

The examiner will ask to see your proof of registration and proof of insurance, so be sure to bring those documents with you to the test as well. 

Practice These Driving Skills Before Test Day

Before the driving test, it's essential to practice a few driving skills. Use turn signals, make a come to a complete stop at every stoplight and stop sign, and stay at or under the speed limit at all times. 

Drivers are scored by the examiner on how well they:

  • Stop at intersections.

  • Complete lane changes in traffic.

  • Merge to and from traffic.

  • Complete left and right turns.

  • Safely cross intersections.

  • General driving behavior.

Here are some additional tips to help you do well on the test:

  • Hold the steering wheel at 10 and 2 or 9 and 3.

  • Keep a safe distance from vehicles in front of you.

  • Keep pace with the cars around you without exceeding the speed limit.

  • Look over your shoulder when changing lanes.

  • Keep front wheels behind crosswalk lines when stopping.

While you may feel nervous before taking the driving test, keep in mind that the examiner riding along with you on test day administers hundreds of tests each year. They are looking for specific dangerous behaviors or driving habits that show a lack of experience. 

It may help to review the Colorado practice permit test and Colorado practice driving test to brush up on critical skills. Practicing basic driving maneuvers will also help increase your confidence and build the essential skills to help you pass the test.