Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles

Map of USA with Colorado highlighted in light blueIn the state of Colorado, there are three different paths toward obtaining a driver’s license. Generally speaking, one may apply for a driver’s license earlier, if the applicant has finished more official classroom driver’s education. For instance, completing a 30-hour course allows you to apply for a Driver’s Education Permit, which can be completed as soon as the applicant turns 15.

If you want to wait six months, then you can apply for a Driver’s Awareness Permit by completing a 4-hour Driver Awareness Course. Choosing this route allows you to save some time but also to fall behind in overall time.

Six months after that, the Minor Instruction Permit becomes available, which does not have a classroom education requirement at all. All of these methods require one year of permit-driving before minors can apply for a license.

Driver’s Education Permit

If the applicant is between 15 and 15.5 years old, then they may apply for a driver’s education permit. This step toward receiving a driver’s license is designed to address the requirement that new drivers receive at least 50 hours of training under the supervision of an older driver.

Before anyone may apply for a driver’s education permit in the state of Colorado, individuals must complete the classroom portion of a driver’s education course. This course must be state-approved in order to be an authorized driver education vendor. While some of the courses available involve an additional driving component, there are plenty of online options, which will guide prospective drivers through the Colorado driving safety standards and laws. After completion of the education requirement, students will receive an Affidavit of Completion of a Driver Education Classroom Course form.

During the application process, the minor will identify one or more individuals who will supervise his or her training by filling out an Affidavit of Liability Guardianship. For those who are enrolled in a two-part driver’s education course, the driving instructor will be one of the adult supervisors indicated on this form.

After completion of the education requirement, applicants will be ready to go to the Division of Motor Vehicles and complete the written and vision tests. They must be sure to bring some valid forms of identification, in addition to the Affidavit of Completion of a Driver Education Classroom Course form. The Colorado Driver’s License website has a useful, interactive tool that will help prospective drivers locate all the documentation necessary for the state. Please find the webpage on the Colorado Official State Web Portal or bookmark the link for future reference.

The Driver’s Education Permit is valid for three years after it is issued.

Driver’s Awareness Permit

There are a few significant differences between the Driver’s Education and Driver’s Awareness Permits. Firstly, the Awareness Permit can be obtained only by persons between 15.5 and 16 years of age. Additionally, in order to receive an Awareness Permit, there is an option of completing a 4-hour Driver Awareness Course, as opposed to the 30-hour course required for the Education Permit. Lastly, the Awareness Permit must be held for at least 12 months before the minor may apply for a driver’s license.

Minor Instruction Permit

After turning 16, individuals may obtain a Minor Instruction Permit, without completion of any type of driver education or awareness programs. This type of permit may save some time; however, it must be held for a year before the minor can apply for a regular driver’s license.

Additional Useful Links

Find the Colorado Driver’s Handbook, with all the rules, regulations, laws, and procedures for driving and licensure in the state of Colorado at the Division of Motor Vehicles Website.

Looking for the DMV nearest you? Check out the Office Locator tool on the Colorado DMV website.