Putting Wheels on Your Teen Isn’t What It Used to Be: Colorado’s Driving Laws

For many parents and teens, getting a driver’s license may seem daunting, especially with several new requirements even to take the driving test that first began in 1999. To relieve some of your anxieties, here’s a comprehensive list of the steps you need to take in order to get a valid permit and license under the age of 21 in the state of Colorado.

How to Get a Colorado Instruction Permit

14 ½ to 15 ½ years old

  • Attend and complete a state-approved 30-hour Driver Education course.
  • Pass a written test once you are 15 years old.

15 ½ to less than 16 years old

  • Attend and complete an approved Pre-qualification four-hour Driver Awareness Program, OR attend and complete a State approved 30-hour Driver Education course.
  • Pass a written test.

16 years old or older

  • Pass a written test.

Teens with a permit must be accompanied by a driving instructor, parent, legal guardian, or licensed adult 21 years or older who has been authorized to do so by a parent or legal guardian.

For more information, click here.

How to Get a Colorado Driver’s Licence

16 to 17 years old

  • You must be at least 16 years or older to get a Colorado Driver’s License.
  • You must hold a valid permit for at least 12 months from the original date the Colorado. Instruction Permit was issued by the DMV
  • Complete drive log time sheet for 50 hours, with at least 10 night driving hours
  • Complete six hours of behind-the-wheel training with a driver education instructor, if under 16 ½  – here are some schools where you can do this.
  • Make sure you have the appropriate identification documents – Colorado ID card, unexpired US Passport, Permanent resident card, Certificate of naturalization with a photo (less than 20 yrs old), certificate of citizenship with photo, Birth Certificate / Consular Report of Birth Abroad, US Adoption Order with birth information, etc.
  • You must take and pass a driving test. If your driving test does not take place with a school, you must schedule a drive test appointment.

What you need to bring:

18+ years old

  • Make sure you have the appropriate identification document.s
  • You must take and pass a driving test. If your driving test does not take place with a school, you must schedule a drive test appointment.

What you need to bring:

For more information, click here

After You Get Your License

Restrictions for drivers under the age of 18 (exempt in emergencies, such as siblings and passengers with medical emergencies)

  • All teen drivers and passengers must wear individualized seat belt.s
  • You may not operate a motor vehicle between midnight and 5 am unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, in medical emergencies, or in driving to/from school/work (signed statement confirming this from school/work required).
  • For the first six months of owning a license, you cannot have any passengers under the age of 21, except for siblings, unless a parent or other licenced driver is in the vehicl.e
  • Between six months and one year of owning a license, you can only have one passenger under the age of 21.
  • You are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. Teens can be fined and may risk losing their license. Exceptions include emergency calls to the police or fire department.

For more information on the new restrictions, click here

For more information on where all these newfangled laws came from, click here

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