Colorado DMV Learner's Permit FAQ

  • Applying for Your CO License
  • Preparing for the CO Permit Test
  • Taking the CO Permit Test
  • Preparing for the CO Driving Test
  • Taking the CO Driving Test
  • Renewing Your CO License
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Applying for Your CO License: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements for getting started?

Colorado is one of many states that has a graduated driver’s license program (GDL). The state’s GDL program includes the following stages:

  • Driver’s education permit – eligible at 15 years old to 15 ½ years old
  • Driver’s awareness permit – eligible at 15 ½ years old to 16 years old
  • Minor learner’s permit – eligible at 16 years old to 21 years old
  • Driver’s license – eligible at 16 years old provided you have held the required permit for 12 months

What documents am I required to bring with me when applying for a license in Colorado?

For any of the state’s three permits:

  • Proof of identity. Here are acceptable documents.
  • Social Security Number
  • Completed Form DR 2460 (Affidavit of Liability And Guardianship)

For your Colorado Driver’s License:

  • Form DR 2324 (Drive Time Log Sheet)
  • Certificate showing completion of 6 hours of behind-the-wheel training with a driving instructor (only required for those younger than 16 ½ years old)
  • Social Security Number
  • Proof of Colorado residency. Here are acceptable documents.

Where do I file my CO driver’s license application?

In Colorado, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for issuing driver’s licenses. The department has offices located throughout the state.

How can I contact my local office?

For driver licensing information, call (303) 205-5600 or visit https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dmv/node/44446/.

Do I have to take a Driver’s Ed Course?

In Colorado, all prospective drivers between the ages of 15 and 15 ½ must complete a driver’s education course either in a classroom or online.

What if I am New to Colorado?

If you have an out-of-state license and are at least 16 years old, you will generally be allowed to transfer your license to a Colorado license without taking a written test or road test.

To transfer your license:

  • Visit your local DMV office
  • Surrender your out-of-state license
  • Show proof of Colorado residency
  • Show proof of lawful US presence
  • Pay a $26 fee

Have an out-of-state learner’s permit?

If you are 16 years old and have held your out-of-state learner’s permit for at least 1 year, you can take the driving test to obtain your CO driver’s license.

If you do not pass the test, Colorado will give you a Learner’s Permit with credit for the amount of time that you held your out-of-state permit.

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Preparing for the CO Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are commonly covered on the written test?

The written knowledge test in Colorado covers rules of the road, road signs and safe driving. Questions are taken directly from the state’s driver’s manual. Here are examples of the type of content you may be tested on:

  • The five most common mistakes when making turns are failing to signal, not signaling long enough, failing to search for hazards, turning from the wrong lane, and failing to turn properly.
  • When driving in rural areas, drivers should take particular care to watch for driveways, farm equipment, railroad crossings that might not be marked, and bridges that are narrow and poorly surfaced.

How is the test formatted?

The test is multiple-choice.

Are there a lot of “trick” questions on the written test?

Questions on the test are designed to thoroughly test your knowledge of Colorado’s driving laws not to trick you. Some questions will be harder to answer than others but if you study your driver’s manual carefully and take practice tests you should be able to pass.

How many questions are on the test and how many do I need to answer correctly to pass?

There are a total of 25 questions on the Colorado written test and you must get at least 80% correct to pass. That means you need to answer at least 20 questions correctly.

What are the best ways to prepare for the written test?

You should study the Colorado Driver’s Handbook extensively. One way to assess your understanding of Colorado’s driving laws and road signs is to take an online practice test.

Where can I get a free Colorado Driver’s Manual to study?

You can get a free manual right on this website.

How can I improve my odds for passing the first time I take the test?

Treat studying for the written test just like you would a big high school test – that is to say study every page in your driver’s handbook and ensure you have a good understanding of all the important concepts and information that are presented. To test your knowledge and see if you need to study more in certain areas, take online practice tests. We offer practice tests formatted like the real exam.

What should I do the night before the test?

Do a general review of the driver’s manual one more time and then take a practice test to ensure a high knowledge level. After passing the practice test, be sure to get plenty of rest and to give yourself plenty of time to get ready and make it to the DMV for your test. You don’t want to feel rushed and stressed when you sit for the exam – so plan ahead.

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Taking the CO Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment to take the written test?

If your local DMV office accepts appointments, it is recommended that you make one to save yourself the frustration of an extended wait time.

Where do I take the written test?

The test will be given at your local DMV office.

What do I need to bring when I sit for the written test?

  • Proof of identity Show. Here are acceptable documents.
  • Social Security Number
  • Completed Form DR 2460 (Affidavit of Liability And Guardianship)

In addition to passing the written test, you will also need to:

  • Pass a vision test
  • Pay a $9 Learner’s Permit fee

If you are under 16 ½ years old, you will also need to show a driver’s education completion certificate.

Who should accompany me to the written test?

You should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Do I need to pay a fee to take the written test?

You will need to pay a $9 Learner’s Permit fee.

What should I expect when I sit for the written test?

The test consists of 25 multiple choice questions. You can take your time answering the questions as there is no time limit. If you come to a difficult question, you may want to skip over it and then come back to it after you have answered easier questions. Remember, you must get at least 20 questions correct to pass. To get yourself familiar with the test format, take one of our practice tests.

What happens after I pass the written test?

You will receive your Learner’s Permit and can begin practicing driving. You must complete 50 hours of driving practice with at least 10 hours at night to qualify to receiver your license. If you are under 16 ½ years old, you must also complete 6 hours of driving with a driving instructor.

What happens if I fail the written test?

You can take the test again.

How soon can I retake the written test?

If you get more than 50% right you can take it again the same day.

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Preparing for the CO Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve passed the written permit test, what are the next steps?

You can now begin practicing driving. When driving, you must not have any passengers other than a driving instructor, parent, guardian or licensed adult older than 21 years of age. Other restrictions include: you and all passengers must wear seatbelts and you cannot use your cell phone when driving.

You must complete 50 hours of driving practice with 10 of those hours coming at night. If you are under 16 ½ years old, you must also complete 6 hours of driving practice with a driving instructor.

How long after getting my Learner’s Permit can I apply for a license?

You must hold your Learner’s Permit for 12 months and complete 50 hours of driving practice plus six hours with an instructor to be eligible for your license. You must also be at least 16 years of age.

Can I drive anywhere in Colorado with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, provided you are accompanied by a parent, legal guardian, instructor or other licensed driver over the age of 21, you can drive on any Colorado public road or street.

Should I practice driving solely during the day?

No, you are also required to complete at least 10 hours of driving practice at night.

Does anyone have to be in the car with me when I’m driving with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you must be accompanied at all times by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

What should I do if I have a lost Colorado Learner’s Permit?

Go to your local DMV office to obtain a duplicate. Be sure to bring proper identification as you did when you applied for the permit in the first place.

How can I be sure I’m prepared to ace the driving test?

The best way to ensure you’ll pass is to practice driving as much as possible. You should also study the Driver’s Manual and be sure to apply the rules when you are driving.

Are there particular driving maneuvers I should practice?

Maneuvers commonly tested for on the driving test include 3-point turns, coming to a full stop, accelerating, driving in traffic, changing lanes, parking, driving defensively and more.

How can I simulate the driving test?

Talk to people who have taken the test in your area and practice the maneuvers they say are on the test, which will likely include a 3-point turn, parking, driving in traffic and more. It can also be beneficial to drive the test route, if possible, to familiarize yourself with the area.

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Taking the CO Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule my driving test?

Contact your local DMV office.

Where do I take the driving test?

Find the closest DMV office that administers driving tests.

What should I bring to the driving test?

Bring all of the following:

  • A vehicle
  • Vehicle registration
  • Proof of insurance
  • Learner’s Permit
  • Proof of completed behind-the-wheel driving practice

Who should bring me to the driving test?

If you are under 18 years of age, you should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What will I be asked to do on the driving test?

You will be asked to display driving competence by completing a course or series of maneuvers that may include turns, parking, defensive driving and more.

What are the most common reasons new drivers fail the driving test?

A lack of focus and concentration can be a killer. Pay attention to the road and to what you are doing instead of spending your looking out the corner of your eye at the examiner. If you make a small mistake, don’t let it bother you. Remain calm and focused. Remember, a little mistake isn’t going to cause you to fail but allowing that little mistake to affect your concentration and then lead to more errors can result in a failing score.

What are five mistakes I should be sure to avoid when taking the driving test?

  • Going over the speed limit
  • Not coming to a complete stop
  • Driving with improper hand position
  • Failing to check mirrors and look in your blind spot when changing lanes
  • Failing to signal for all turns

What happens if I fail the driving test?

You can retake the test.

When can I retake the driving test?

You can retake it as soon as the next available appointment time.

I’ve passed the road test, now what?

You will receive a temporary license that is good for 30 days and that will allow you to start driving immediately. You will then receive your regular license in the mail.

What restrictions come with a Colorado license?

If you are under 18 years of age, your full Colorado driver’s license includes the following restrictions:

No passengers under 21 years old for the first 6 months. Then only one passenger under 21 years old from that six month mark to the 12 month mark.

No driving between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. until you have had your license for one year – exceptions include having a parent or guardian with you, having a licensed driver age 21 or older with you, it’s an emergency or you have a signed statement from your school or employer

What are the insurance requirements for drivers in CO?

All Colorado drivers must have liability and no-fault insurance and must carry proof of that insurance with them when driving.

Colorado law has set the following minimum liability insurance requirements: $25,000 per person for bodily injury; $50,000 per accident for bodily injury; and $15,000 per accident for property damage.

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Renewing Your CO License: Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to renew my license or replace a lost/stolen license?

You can renew your license by any of the following methods: online, by mail

Where can I renew my Colorado driver’s license?

Renew your license at your local DMV office, by mail or online.

Will I be required to take a vision test when renewing my license?

Yes, you will be required to take a vision test.

The state’s minimum vision standard is 20/40 and if that limit is not met you will need to see a vision specialist for correction and recommendations at your expense. If the test shows that you need corrective lenses to meet the minimum standards, your license will show this restriction.


The Colorado DMV Permit Test — What You Need to Know

We understand you’re eager to get out there and explore the open road.  After all, a learners permit represents a new sense of freedom and independence.  But before you can get your learner’s permit in the Centennial State you are going to need to pass the mandatory permit test. The Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is responsible for administering the test and has offices throughout the state.  The permit test is a written test that contains a series of multiple-choice questions.  You will be tested on the rules of the road, Colorado traffic laws, safe driving practices, and various road and highway signs.

Improve Your Chances of Success With CO DMV Practice Permit Tests

With statistics revealing over half of all applicants fail the exam it’s important that you prepare yourself.  Nobody wants to take the permit test twice.  A failed permit test means not only leaving the DMV office empty-handed but will also need to come back and take the test all over again.  Who has time for that?

Start preparing now with our Colorado practice permit tests.  The practice tests are designed to simulate the format of the real exam while covering some of the very same topics.  We also recommend immersing yourself in the Colorado Drivers Handbook.  The Colorado DMV sources all of its permit test questions from the information found in the handbook so it’s essential that you master the material.  Start with the handbook and then test your knowledge with our practice tests.  Together, they will give you the best possible chance of passing the real thing.

What are you waiting for? Get started now!