How to Apply for a Drivers License in Colorado
New drivers licenses cannot be obtained online or by mail. Instead, you must apply for a new license in person at a local DMV. While there, you must pass a vision screening, a written exam and a skills test. To make sure that you are prepared, download our informative online drivers license guide. Our guide contains everything you need to know to complete this application easily and quickly. In it, you will get in-depth details on how to complete other important licensing transactions, such as updating personal information on your license, renewing your license and replacing a lost one.
2. In Person at the DMV
To obtain a new drivers license at the DMV, you must submit identification documents and pass mandatory tests. A birth certificate or passport can verify your name and age, and a utility bill can prove your state residency. Generally, you must pass a written knowledge exam and a road skills test. You must also fill out a drivers license application form and pay the applicable fees. However, you may not know which forms to complete or if you are already eligible to take your exams. Arriving at the DMV unprepared may result in long wait times and potential mistakes, which could mean having to redo the process.
Getting a Colorado drivers license is not a complicated process as long as you are prepared beforehand with all the information you need. In general, there are varying driver’s license requirements for motorists of different ages, with were set by the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) overseen by the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR).
Furthermore, the type of CO DMV license that you can obtain will vary depending on your age. For instance, motorists who are younger than 21 years of age will have to follow a few additional steps in order to earn a driver’s license, and will obtain an initial credential with certain attached restrictions. Conversely, if you are 21 years of age or older, you can qualify for a standard license without going through additional steps. To learn more about the steps and procedures involved in getting your first license, continue reading the sections below.
How to Apply for a Drivers License in Colorado as an Adult (18 or Older)
If you are 18 years of age or older, you are eligible to apply for a new drivers license as long as you meet the eligibility requirements. As such, you will be required to bring certain documentation with you, pass the required tests and pay any applicable fees. After those steps have been completed, you will be issued a new license for driving in Colorado.
In order to get a standard, non-restricted DMV drivers license in Colorado, you must be at least 18 years of age. Moreover, you must be able to submit documents that prove your full name, date of birth and legal presence in the United States.
Furthermore, you must be able to prove that you are a CO resident. Lastly, you must pass the appropriate DMV license tests. However, if you are older than 18 years of age but younger than 21 years of age, you will need to obtain a learner’s permit before you are eligible for a license with full privileges.
You must follow certain steps in order to obtain your first driver’s license in CO. First, you must apply for a learner’s permit if you are between 18 and 21 years of age. Then, you may apply for a license at any time after being issued a permit. When you apply for a driver’s license, be mindful of the following steps:
- Visit your nearest Colorado DMV office. Currently, you may not obtain a CO driver’s license online.
- Present your valid learner’s permit if you are between 18 and 21 years of age.
- Provide original or certified documents that establish your date of birth, full name and legal status in the U.S.
- Provide your Social Security card, or another official document verifying your Social Security Number (SSN).
- Provide two documents proving your Colorado residency, such as utility bills, credit card bills, bank statements, mortgage or rent contracts or postmarked first-class mail.
- Complete a road skills test at the DMV, or bring the ‘Drive Test Completion Form’ if your test was administered by a driver education instructor/school.
- Pay any applicable licensing fees.
Getting a Colorado Driver’s License as a New Resident
You must surrender your valid out-of-state driver license and obtain a driving credential issued by the Colorado DOR within 30 days of becoming a CO resident. To complete this transfer, you must meet the identity requirements set by the Department of Revenue, such as presenting two documents that prove your current physical address, proof of your Social Security Number and paperwork verifying your legal status in the U.S. Lastly, you will be required to pay the applicable fees for a new driver’s license.
How to Apply for a Drivers License in Colorado as a Teen (Younger Than 18)
If you are a motorist who is younger than 18 years of age, you can obtain a Colorado DMV license after holding a valid learner’s permit for at least 12 months. The license that you receive will be very similar to the credential that applicants older than 18 years of age can obtain, except that it will include a few restrictions.
Thus, important driver’s license information includes the fact that motorists who are younger than 18 years of age will face restrictions on their initial credentials. Among these limitations, you will not be authorized to drive between 12 a.m. and 5 a.m., unless you have held your license for at least one year or you are accompanied by a passenger who is 21 years of age or older and has held a valid license for at least a year.
Colorado Drivers License Eligibility Requirements for Teens (Younger Than 18)
As a minor, you must meet certain driver’s license eligibility requirements before you can get a driving credential with full privileges. These requirements include the fact that you must:
- Be between 16 and 18 years of age.
- Have held a valid instruction permit for at least 12 months.
Part of the process of how to get a driver’s license includes getting an instruction permit. An instruction permit, otherwise known as a learner’s permit, can be obtained as long as you are at least 15 years of age, but also younger than 21 years of age. Moreover, you will be required to pass a written knowledge test. If you are 15 years of age, you will also need to participate in a driver’s education course in order to obtain that permit.
Furthermore, in order to be eligible for a learner’s permit, you must provide acceptable identification and residency documentation, provide parental signatures on the Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship form and pay the applicable fees related to a DMV license.
Undergoing a driver’s education program is only a requirement if you apply for a driver’s license permit while being 15 years of age. If you are between the ages of 15 and 15-and-a-half years of age, you must complete a 30-hour driver education course. If you are between 15-and-a-half and 16 years of age, you can either complete a 30-hour driver education course or a four-hour driver awareness class. Once you reach 16 years of age, you will no longer be required to enroll in a driver’s education course for driver’s license purposes.
Steps for Getting a Driver’s License in Colorado as a Teen (Younger Than 18)
The steps involved in completing a CO driving license application as a minor are similar to the steps required when you are an adult, despite a few differences. To apply for a license while being younger than 18 years of age, you must:
- Visit your nearest Colorado DMV office.
- Present your valid instruction permit, also known as a learner’s permit.
- Provide original or certified copies of documents that establish your identity, verifying your birth date, full name and lawful presence in the U.S.
- Provide a document that verifies your Social Security Number (SSN), such as a Social Security card.
- Provide two documents proving your CO address, such as postmarked first-class mail utility bills, credit card bills, bank statements and mortgage or rent contracts.
- Complete a road skills exam at a DOR branch or bring a ‘drive test completion form’ if the test was administered by a driver education instructor/school.
- Pay the applicable DMV license
Colorado Driver’s License Costs
As long as you can prove your legal status in the U.S., the driver’s license costs in Colorado are as follows:
- Driver’s license – $28
- Instruction permit – $16.80
If you cannot prove your legal presence in the United States at the driver’s license services office, you must pay the following:
- Driver’s license – $33
- Instruction permit – $21
Note: These fees can be paid by cash, check, credit cards or money orders.