Colorado Law

How Does the Law Effect Potential Drivers?

Effective August 11, 2010, Colorado law for obtaining a “Minors Instruction Permit” is:

  • When you are 16 years old, you can simply apply for a “Minors Instruction Permit” at the DMV.
  • When you are 15 years, 6 months, you must take a 4-hour Driver Awareness Course (DDC-4), or you must complete a 30-hour Driver Education course (classroom, internet, or home study).
  • When you are 15 years old, you must complete a 30-hour Driver Education course (classroom, internet, or home study). All permits must be held for at least 1 year before applying for a “Minors License.”

As of August 11, 2010, any person under age 16 1/2 must complete 6 hours of "behind the wheel" training with a state approved driver education instructor, before applying for a license.

Minors must also keep and submit a log of at least 50 hours of driving experience, 10 of which must be night driving. The Driver Education instructor may sign off 6 hours.

License Restrictions as of July 1, 2005

Under 18 years old: you may not have any passengers under 21 until you have had your license for 6 months, and you may not have more than one (1) passenger under 21 until you have had your license for 1 year.

Exceptions are: 

  • If your parent or guardian is in the car with you, or 
  • If there is an adult passenger in the car, 21 or older, who is currently holding a valid license for at least 1 year 
  • If the passenger under 21 needs emergency medical assistance, or 
  • If the passengers under 21 are immediate family members. 

For more information, visit the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles website.

Entry Level I

15 years to 16 years of age

Learner's Permit - at 15 years of age if student is enrolled in a department approved driver's education program and has the signature of a parent/legal guardian.

16 years of age to 17 years 6 months
Driver's License - 16 years old is the earliest age at which a driver's license may be issued to a teenager who has successfully completed driver's education.

Entry Level II

15 years 6 months to 16 years 6 months of age

Learner's Permit - at 15 years 6 months of age if student has successfully completed an approved 4-hour prequalification driver awareness program and has parent/legal guardian signature.

16 years 6 months to 17 years 6 months
Driver's License - 16 years 6 months is the earliest age at which a driver's license may be issued to a teenager who has successfully completed an approved driver awareness course.

Entry Level III

16 years

Learner's Permit - at 16 years of age with parent/legal guardian signature, no driver education required.

17 years 
Driver's License - 17 years is the earliest age a driver's license may be issued to a teenager without driver's education.