How many driving hours do I need to get my license in Colorado?

Getting your driver’s license is an exciting milestone for teenagers and adults in Colorado. Knowing the driving hour requirements and steps to getting your license will help you complete this process smoothly.

How Many Supervised Driving Hours Are Required in Colorado?

Colorado requires 50 hours of supervised driving practice before you can apply for your driver’s license. These 50 hours must include:

  • 10 hours at night
  • 10 hours in inclement weather
  • 10 hours in rural or mountain driving conditions

The remaining 20 hours can be completed in any driving conditions. You must complete all 50 hours over the course of at least six months.

Can I Get My Learner’s Permit Online in Colorado?

Yes, you can complete the application for your learner’s permit entirely online in Colorado. To apply for your permit online, you will need to:

  1. Set up an account on Colorado’s myDMV website
  2. Provide your identity documents
  3. Pay the $26 learner’s permit fee
  4. Pass the required vision and knowledge tests

Once issued, the learner’s permit is valid for 3 years. You must be at least 15 years old to apply for your learner’s permit in Colorado.

What Are the Driving Restrictions with a Learner’s Permit?

While driving with a learner’s permit in Colorado, you must abide by certain restrictions. These include:

  • A parent, guardian or licensed driver 21 years or older must be seated in the front passenger seat
  • You may drive between 5am-12am
  • Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt
  • No cell phone use, including hands-free devices

You will have a “Learner” sticker affixed to your license plate to identify your vehicle for law enforcement.

Is Driver’s Education Required for My License?

Driver’s education is not required to get a license in Colorado. However, completing an approved driver’s ed course can be beneficial for several reasons:

  • Learn the rules of the road and safe driving skills from certified instructors
  • Earn insurance discounts by completing the course
  • Satisfy some of the 50 required driving hours
  • Become comfortable behind the wheel before the license test

If under 18 years old, completing driver’s education can shorten the learner’s permit holding period from 12 months to 6 months in Colorado.

How Do I Log My Supervised Driving Hours?

You must log your supervised driving hours in Colorado using the official Practice Log. This log lists the 50 hour requirements and includes columns to record:

  • Date of driving
  • Start/end times
  • Driving conditions
  • Total hours driven
  • Supervisor’s signature

The log sheets must be completed fully and accurately. Some parents find it helpful to maintain a separate detailed log to reconcile with the official log sheets.

What is the License Application Process?

Once you turn 16 and complete the 50 practice driving hours, you can apply for your Colorado driver’s license. Here are the main steps:

  1. Complete the license application online or in person
  2. Provide documents proving your identity, social security number, address
  3. Pass the required vision screening
  4. Pay the $26 license fee
  5. Pass a driving skills test

The driving skills test will assess your ability to control the vehicle, obey traffic laws, and drive safely. Many choose to do some practice driving at the test site days prior to become familiar with the routes.

How Can I Get a Driving Permit Without My Parents?

If you are under 18 in Colorado and your parents or legal guardian refuses to sign your permit application, you still have options, including:

  • Emancipated Minors – Must obtain a court order declaring your emancipation
  • Married Minors – Provide a copy of your marriage license
  • Legal Guardianship – Apply with new legal guardian if parents surrender or have guardianship terminated
  • Proof of Financial Independence – Documents proving you live independently from parents

Without a qualified cosigner, you likely will need to complete a driver’s education course as part of your application.

How Soon Can I Get My License After Passing the Test?

In Colorado, you should receive your new driver’s license in the mail within 10 days after successfully passing the road test. You will be issued a temporary paper license to use until the permanent card arrives.

If you do not receive your new license within 3 weeks, contact the DMV. Once issued, the license is valid until you turn 21 years old.


Earning your driver’s license in Colorado requires dedicating 50 hours to practice driving under supervision. This includes mandatory nighttime, inclement weather, and mountain/rural driving. Logging hours, completing approved driver’s ed courses, and passing required tests will set you on the road to driving independence.

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