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New Colorado Drivers License

Who needs a license?

Every new driver wishing to gain the privilege of operating a motor vehicle on the roads must apply for a license. There are many reasons to obtain a license in Colorado and the intended use for you license will make the difference in the license type you select. Colorado has many license types to choose from including:

  • Several learners permits are available depending on the driver’s age include a minor education permit, awareness permit and learners permit.
  • Minors under 21 that have completed the processes will receive a minor driver’s license.
  • The standard adult license is issued to those over 21 years of age that meet requirements. Adults may also choose to apply for a motorcycle endorsement if they wish to operate a motorcycle.
  • A commercial license is issued to those that intend to drive a vehicle as a source of income.

What are the requirements for getting a license?

In order to apply for a driver’s license successfully you must meet specific requirements which include:

  • Submitting proof of your age, identity and law presence in the US- this can include such documents as a birth certificate or valid US passport.
  • Provide a valid social security card.
  • Supply proof of a Colorado residence with such items as a utility bill or lease for an apartment.
  • All proofs must be original copies and show the new applicants full legal name. A complete list of approved documents can be found on the Smart Start Licensing website.

Applicants are also required to pass all of the license examinations including a vision, written and driving test. Applicants must also meet the required age to apply. Minors ages 15 years and above may begin the gradual licensing process but are required to also submit a parent consent affidavit if under 18 for each stage of the process.

What tests do I need to take to get a license?

Testing in the state of Colorado includes the following:

  • Driving Record and Physical Aptitude Analysis- the DMV will access current driving status and if any, a record before allowing a person to apply for a license. In addition, the DMV employee will visually determine if any physical disabilities exist that will require a medical examination and approval.
  • The vision test will determine if the applicant can safely see to drive.
  • A Basic written test is administered to all new applicants to test their driving aptitude.
  • Driving tests are given as the final stage of the licensing process and will evaluate if the applicant can safely control the vehicle and obey traffic laws.

Taking a driver’s education course

All minors must take drivers education if between the ages of 15 and 21 years old in order to receive a learner’s permit. It is mandatory to complete the driver’s license process. The classroom portion of testing may be completed online but six hours of instruction behind the wheel is required for the course to be considered completed. A certification of completion is required when applying for any level of learners permit.

Preparing for the written test

There are several steps all new applicants should take before taking any of the written tests. This should include:

  • Take an approved drivers education course if under 21
  • Obtain either a hard copy or digital download of the driver’s handbook and study the contents in detail
  • Receive the practice tests and cheat sheets located on The materials listed for your state will assure you pass the test with flying colors
  • Take practice tests to prepare for the testing process you will experience at the DMV.

For all basic tests, drivers must answer correctly 20 out of 25 questions in order to pass.
A test is administered at all stages of the licensing process from permits to the final adult license.

What to bring on test day

On the day of testing applicants must bring all required documents including the proof of identity, age and lawful presence, social security card and documents showing a residential address. In addition minors must provide an affidavit of guardianship signed by a parent taking responsibility for the driving minor if under the age of 21.

For completion of the driver’s license process applicants must also present the valid learners permit.

All appropriate fees will be paid at this time so bring the amount in a check, cash or money order. A Basic driver’s license fee of $21 applies to all new drivers.

Taking the written test

A Basic written test is administered to all new license and permit applicants and must be passed in order to proceed to the next stage. 25 multiple-choice questions will be generated based on the laws, rules and procedures for proper driving. Applicants must answer 20 of the test questions correctly in order to receive a passing score. Following the steps for preparation and studying hard will assure you pass the test on the first try. You will be administered the test after passing a vision test at the DMV. Use such study materials as the following wisely in order to pass:

  • Your driver’s education course workbook.
  • The Colorado State Drivers Handbook found online or at the DMV office.
  • Cheats sheets guaranteed to assist you in passing the test on your first try offered by
  • Practice tests for your particular state can also be found on

Taking the drivers test

The drivers test will be the final portion of the application process after all other requirements have been met and tests passed. It will test the applicant’s ability to proper maneuver a vehicle on main roads. Drivers must show that they possess a good knowledge of traffic laws and can properly obey them while behind the wheel.

Practicing with your learners permit is the best way to prepare for the maneuvering portion of testing. Use your study material to assure that you are familiar with all street signs and traffic laws before getting behind the wheel.

All fees must be paid before the test will be administered

Renewing your Colorado Drivers license

How do I renew my Colorado license?

In order to renew your license you must visit a local DMV office. Present your current license; retake a vision test with a passing score and pay the renewal fees of $21. In addition you must be fingerprinted and have your photograph taken. Renewal by mail and internet are available to non-commercial drivers over the age of 21 every other renewal year.

What tests do I need to take to renew

A vision test is required each time you renew your license. If your license has been suspended or expired for more than one year, you must retake the written and driving skills tests.

What is the cost to renew my license?

There is a basic $21 renewal fee for all non-commercial licenses:

  • Drivers over 21 must renew every five years
  • Under 21 renewals must be done on the driver’s 21rst birthday

Steps to renew your license

  • Visit your local DMV branch to renew unless you are eligible for online or mail renewal for this renewal time.
  • Present your current drivers license.
  • Retake the vision test. If you license has been expired over one year you must repeat the written and drivers testing as well.
  • Pay the renewal fee of $21.
  • Be fingerprinted and have a new photo taken.

Getting a Colorado Learners permit

Who needs a learners permit?

All new drivers in Colorado must first obtain a learners permit before applying for a license. You must be at least 15 ½ years old to apply for a permit. If under 21 you must present a certificate of completion for an approved driver’s education course in order to receive any drivers permit.

Requirements to getting a learners permit

There are several requirements that applicants must meet to obtain a learners permit in the state including:

  • Present proof of age, identity and law presence in the US, as well as a social security card.
  • A residence must be established using approved documents.
  • Minors under 21 must present an affidavit of liability signed by a parent taking responsibility for the minor during road practice.
  • All applicants are required to pass a vision test and basic written test with 20 out of 25 questions answered correctly.
  • The $14 instructional fee payable by cash, check or money is required to receive a permit.

Driving with a learners permit

All minors under the age of 18 must a hold a learners permit for at least 12 months before applying for a license. During this time they must complete at least 50 hours of behind the wheel practice with 10 hours during nighttime driving. A permit holder 21 years old and above does not have a required amount of time or driving practice hours but practice is recommended to pass the driving test.

Drivers may practice with a parent, step-parent, grandparent or legal guardian who must accompany them at all times while on the road. The driver must keep a log of the driving time signed by the licensed driver which will be submitting during the application process for a new license.

Practice traffic laws while on the road to assure you will pass the road test portion of the driver’s license application, as well as study your cheat sheets and drivers handbook to assure you know them. In addition you must be able to show you can control your vehicle and driving practice will assist you in preparing for this portion of testing.

Cost of a Colorado learners permit

The cost of a learners permit is $14 dollars payable by check, cash or money order

Steps to getting a Colorado Learners permit

  • Visit your local DMV branch during business hours to start the process
  • Present the clerk with the following documentation:

Minors will need an affidavit of parent liability and proof of completion of an approved driver’s education course. The course must include six hours of behind the wheel instruction.

All applicants must then present proof of age, identity and lawful presence as well as proof of residency and a social security card

  • Applicants will then be given a vision test and basic written test 20 out of 25 questions must be answered correctly on the written test to pass
  • Have your fingerprint taken to be on file and a photograph
  • Pay the $14 fee and receive your permit, valid for 3 years
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