connecticut driver's license

Getting Your Connecticut Driver’s License: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Feb 02, 2024

Getting your Connecticut driver’s license requires you, regardless of your age, to complete the Graduated Driver’s License program to gain full driving privileges.

The GDL program includes a few steps:

  1. Learner’s Permit Phase
  2. Teen License Phase
  3. Full License

Step 1: Learner’s Permit

photo of a teen driver with an instructor
Lerner’s Permit Phase


The learner’s permit is the first step toward getting your adult driver’s license. In Connecticut, you’re able to get your permit as early as 16 years of age. If you would like to know more about this part of the licensing process, we recommend that you read our in-depth Connecticut learner’s permit guide.


  • Pass the knowledge exam. It tests you on important traffic rules and legislation, including road signs and Connecticut-specific rules. The knowledge exam consists of 25 questions, of which you need to answer at least 20 correctly. Use Zutobi to get dozens of practice tests, and make sure there’s no way you’ll fail.
  • Pass a vision test to ensure your visual acuity is at least 20/40.
  • Pay the necessary $19 application fee and $40 test fee (which includes vision and knowledge tests).

Permit Restrictions

  • Cannot travel from 11pm to 5am unless traveling for school, work, or religious activities.
  • Cannot drive with another passenger besides a licensed instructor or parent during the first 6 months.
  • Can drive with only immediate family members in the second 6 months.
  • Cannot use a cellphone or other electronic devices while operating.

Step 2: Connecticut Teen Driver’s License

photo of a teen driver with a parent in the car
Driving With Your Parent

As its name suggests, the teen Connecticut driver’s license is for teenagers 16 years or older looking to get their license. While you have a learner’s permit, there are a few things you must do before applying for your teen license.

Teen Drivers License Requirements

Complete Driver Training 

You have two options for completing driver training:

  1. High School or Commercial Driving School is a popular option for many teens. This will include 30 hours of classroom training as well as an 8-hour Safe Driving Practices course, with two hours of parent/guardian instruction.
  2. Home Training involves 22 hours of classroom training in addition to an 8-hour Safe Driving Practices Course and 2 hours with a parent/guardian.

Complete Behind-the-Wheel Training 

Whether you decide to go with a driving school or home training, you will need to complete 40 hours of behind-the-wheel practice.

If you need help practicing different driving techniques, use our behind-the-wheel videos. Made with the driving instructor, they demonstrate traffic rules, parking, lane changing, and much more. Get the app today and become a truly skilled driver.

Hold Permit for 120 or 180 Days 

If you are trained at a driving school, you will need to hold your permit for 120 days. Those who are home-trained will need to hold the permit for 180 days.

How to get a Teen Driver’s License in Connecticut

You will need to schedule and take a road test. The road test will examine your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle in the state of Connecticut.

You will be tested on your ability to perform core driving maneuvers such as three-point turns, maintaining a safe following distance, left/right turns, and more. Your test administrator will ultimately test you on your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle as well as your control and observance of road conditions.

What You’ll Need 

  • Learner’s Permit
  • Proof of completion of the driving course, driver training, and parental training (CS-1)
  • A vehicle for the road test with valid insurance and registration
  • $72 fee for your license (at the time of writing), payable by cash, check, or credit/debit card

Teen License Restrictions

You will face the following restrictions:

  • During the first 6 months, you can only drive with a parent or legal guardian or another adult over the age of 20.
  • For the second 6 months, you can drive with members of your immediate family.
  • You can’t drive between 11pm and 5am, except if going to school, work, or religious activity.
  • Must wear seatbelts and refrain from using electronic devices at all times.

Step 3: Adult Connecticut Driver’s License

If You Had Your Permit and Teen License

Once you turn 18, your license will automatically upgrade to a full, unrestricted adult driver’s license. You won’t need to undergo a separate application process for this transition.

If You’re a New Driver 

Step 1: Get the Adult Learner’s Permit

Apply for the Adult Learner’s Permit and hold it for at least 90 days. To obtain the permit, pass a vision and knowledge test, and complete an eight-hour Safe Driving Practices Course.

Step 2: Schedule and Pass the Road Test 

After meeting the permit holding period and other requirements, you can schedule your road test.

You’ll need to bring your learner’s permit, proof of completing the 8-hour safe driving course, and a properly registered and insured vehicle, along with the personal documents we mentioned above.

Step 3: Pay the Fee and Receive Your License

Upon passing the road test, there is a fee of $72.00 for the license. After successfully passing, you will receive a temporary card. Your permanent license will be mailed to you after successful completion of these tasks within 20 days.

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