Colorado (CO) Learner's Permit

Colorado Driver’s Permit Requirements

by Zutobi · Updated Jul 16, 2021

The first step to driving in Colorado is to get a driver’s permit. In this article, we’ll help break down the facts so you’ll know exactly what to do depending on your age and previous driving experience. 

Colorado’s driver permit program allows you to drive while the adult who signed the Affidavit of Liability is in the front seat with you. This adult must be over 21 years old and have a valid unrestricted driver’s license. 

The Different Permits in Colorado

The training required to progress from a permit to a license is dependant on your age when you start the process.

  • Driver Education Permit (Age 15- 15 ½)
  • Driver Awareness Permit (Age 15 ½ to 16)
  • Minor Instruction Permit (Age 16+)

For all ages, you will need to complete a Written Knowledge Test to get a permit. These tests are where we, at Zutobi, can help. Try our course or our free Colorado Practice Tests today to help prepare for your written exam.

Driver Education Permit (Age 15- 15 ½)

To qualify for a driver’s education permit if you are between 15- 15 ½, you must have passed an approved 30-hour driver’s education course within the last 6 months and provide proof. This permit expires three years after it is issued.

After receiving your permit, you can then progress to the full license if you:

  • Hold your driver education permit for at least 12 months
  • Complete and log 50 hours of supervised driving, ten of which must be at night.
  • Complete a mandatory behind-the-wheel training program (If you are under 16 1/2) when you apply).

Driver Awareness Permit (Age 15 ½ to 16)

If you are between 15 ½ to 16 when you apply for your driver awareness permit, you need to have completed the 30-hour driver’s education course within the last 6 months OR a 4-hour classroom driver awareness program. To qualify for the program, you must:

  • Be at least 15 ½
  • Have a parent or guardian sign an affidavit of liability
  • Pass the Colorado written knowledge test

Test your knowledge with our free practice test to see if you’re ready for your exam!

This permit is valid for three years after it is issued. To move to the minor license stage, you must hold the permit for 12 months and complete 50-hours of required practice on the log sheet. Ten of those hours must be completed at night. 

Colorado Minor Instruction Permit (Age 16+)

If you are over 16 when you apply for your learner’s permit, you do not need to take a driver’s education course to qualify, but a prep course is still highly recommended for success. The Colorado DMV still highly recommends that you complete some form of driver training. Our Colorado DMV prep course is built to give you the tools to become a safe driver and pass the necessary tests.

To progress to a license:

  • If you are under 18, you will need to hold the driver’s permit for 12 months and complete 50 hours of driving on your driver’s log, ten of which must be at night.
  • If you are over 18, you will have to apply for a permit in order to take your behind-the-wheel exam for a license. However, you are not required to hold your permit for a specific length of time or complete a driver’s log.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about getting your driver’s permit in the state of Colorado. If you need any help studying for your upcoming knowledge or driving exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with a summarized handbook, Colorado practice tests, and a gamified learning experience.

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