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Colorado Drivers License

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Colorado requires new drivers who are under age 21 to complete a graduated driver licensing program. The graduated licensing system helps to ensure the learner has been exposed to traffic laws and in theory knows how to safely drive on public roads. Adults over age 21 who have not been licensed before also must complete a 12-month training period before obtaining full driving privileges.

Find a Licensing Center

The Colorado DMV has several licensing centers located in every county. You can locate the one that is nearest to you with an online search and go to the DMV office for licensing services. The services include knowledge testing, road testing and vision testing.

Getting a License for the First Time

An adult driver over age 21 and has not been licensed before must obtain a learner’s permit and use it for 12 months while accompanied by a licensed adult driver. Teens must complete a graduated licensing system that ensures they have the chance to learn the rules of the road and how to operate a vehicle safely.

  • Colorado is an incredibly challenging state for motorists with its assortment of high mountain peaks and four seasons of driving weather. The state’s sometimes extreme driving conditions require a good training program to give teen drivers the best chance to become safe and competent adult drivers.
  • Teen drivers can obtain a learner’s permit and use it for at least 12 months when they are between 16 and 18 years of age. Teen drivers must complete Drive Time Log Sheets affirming they obtained at least 50 hours of supervised driving, including at least 10 hours after dark. A parent, guardian or licensed adult driver can sign the log sheets.
  • After completing 50 hours of driving with a learner’s permit, a teen driver can schedule a road test with an approved driver education school in Colorado. Successful completion enables a budding teen driver to obtain a restricted license that limits how much motorists under age 18 can drive. Generally, that means no driving between midnight and 5 a.m., except under special circumstances, like returning home from work.

Restricted drivers cannot carry passengers under age 21 unless they are siblings, until they hold a license for at least a year or turn 18 and earn full driving privileges.

Renewing Your License

Colorado motorists can renew their driver’s licenses online or at a DMV service center before the expiration date. Most drivers do so within 90 days of the license expiring. Driver’s licenses may be renewed online for up to a year after they have expired. Afterward, renewals only are done in person at a DMV office.

How Do I Change My Address if I Am Moving from Colorado?

When you move from Colorado to another state, you must go to that state’s respective licensing office and obtain a state-issued driver’s license or ID card. You can surrender a Colorado-issued driver’s license when you obtain a new license in the state to which you move. If you have a Colorado-issued license plate, you also will need to surrender that or mail it to the Colorado DMV.

Do You Need a REAL ID?

Colorado driver’s licenses and state-issued IDs have been REAL ID-compliant since 2012. That means a star in the upper right corner indicates the REAL ID is good for entry into federal facilities, like airports and courthouses. Those without a REAL ID can still fly on commercial flights and enter federal facilities if they have a U.S. Passport or other federally-issued identification.

Upgrade Your Probationary License

Drivers with probationary licenses can upgrade them after completing the requisite steps to earn full driving privileges. Any fines must be paid in full and a hearing must be scheduled to enable restricted drivers to regain full driving privileges.

Replace a Lost or Stolen License

Individuals can replace a lost or stolen Colorado driver’s license by going to a DMV office and paying the fee to obtain a duplicate license. If you are located out of state, you can submit a DR 2989 form to obtain a replacement via mail.

Last Verified:
Jul 5, 2023