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Apply for Colorado Learners Permit

Colorado Instruction Permit Application

The process of applying for a Colorado drivers permit is complicated by the fact that there are four different types of permit available, choosing the right one may be a little confusing at first. Three of the Colorado instruction permits - a drivers education permit, a driver awareness permit and a minor instruction permit - are available to applicants under 21 years of age. If you are applying for a Colorado learner's permit after your 21st birthday, you will be issued with a regular instruction permit. The application procedure required every Colorado driver permit applicant to take a vision exam and a knowledge test.

Graduated License Program

Three of the four available learner permits are part of the Colorado graduated driver's license program, which is a set of additional laws that govern the licensing process for everyone who wishes to obtain a drivers license before reaching the age of 18 years. The reason why there is a separate licensing process for minors lies in statistics for traffic accidents that somehow involve teenagers. According to these stats, teenage drivers are four times as likely to have an accident as an average older driver. Hence the DMV is taking steps to reduce the number of traffic accident that involve teenagers.

Under the program, a teenager can apply for one of the three available learners permit - a education permit, a driver awareness permit or a minor instruction permit. The type of the permit that you can apply for and permit requirements depend on your age.

Drivers Education Permit: 15 years - 15 years, 6 months

Those who wish to apply for a Colorado learners permit and are between 15 years and 15 years, 6 months can apply for a drivers education permit. Before you can apply for this type of permit, you must sign up for and complete one of the state-approved Colorado drivers education courses.

Once you complete a drivers education course, you are good to go ahead and visit the DMV to take a vision exam and a knowledge test. While at the DMV, you will have to file all of the required paperwork that prove your age and identity and you will need to present the affidavit of completion for a drivers education course. If all of the above permit requirements are met, you are granted a drivers education permit.

Driver Awareness Permit: 15 years, 6 months - 16 Years

If you are between 15 years, 6 months and 16 years, you can go ahead and apply for a driver awareness permit, however, prior to visiting your local DMV branch, you much complete a Drivers Awareness course. Don't confuse this with drivers education, it's a completely different class. While drivers education courses take 30 hour to complete, a driver awareness program should only take you about 6 to finish.

Once done with the program, go ahead and file your application for a Colorado driver awareness permit with the DMV. Just like any other permit applicant, you will need to take an eye test and a learners permit exam. If these tests are completed successfully, you receive your drivers awareness permit.

Minor Instruction Permit

A Colorado minor instruction permit can be issued to any applicant between 16 and 21 years of age. You are not required to take any educational program prior to submitting your application and you can visit the DMV and file your application whenever you feel confident enough to pass the Colorado permit test. If your paperwork checks out and you pass the permit test and a vision exam, you are issued with a minor instruction permit and can start your driving practice.

Instruction Permit

A regular instruction permit is reserved for everyone who wants to apply for a Colorado drivers license after their 21st birthday. Testing requirements are the same as for applicants of all other ages: you are required to take a vision exam and a learner permit test. You can file the paperwork for a regular instruction permit at any local DMV office that conducts permit testing, a list of such locations is available at the back of the Colorado drivers permit handbook.

Vision Requirements

Seeing well is one of the primary requirements set before every driver's permit applicant. You have to be able to see well ahead and have good peripheral vision that will allow you to be aware of the situation around your vehicle.

The following vision requirements must be met if you wish to apply for an unrestricted Colorado driver permit:

  • minimum vision acuity 20/40
  • peripheral vision of 120 degrees

If you are unable to meet these requirements, you will be referred to an eye care specialist for correction of the problem. The eye specialist will write up a report which will allow the DMV to determine the extent of the problem. In some cases, a restriction that will limit you to driving during daylight hours only may be placed onto your permit.

Those who choose to wear glasses or contact lenses during vision screening will be required to wear them at all times while operating under a learners permit.

DMV Permit Test

The knowledge test is a must for all first time Colorado instruction permit applicants. The test consist of multiple choice questions that are based on the information put forth in the drivers handbook and covers such topics as Colorado traffic school, road signs, driving under the influence and safe driving practices.

There are many ways for you to prepare for the Colorado permit test and those who have taken a drivers education class are at advantage in this situation, since driver ed classes do a great job of preparing you for the DMV permit test. Those who have not taken the class may read the drivers manual and take Colorado practice permit tests that are available free of charge. Don't make the mistake of using practice tests as your only study aid, they will not help you much this way.

Paperwork Requirements

You will need to present the following paperwork at the time when you submit your application for a Colorado drivers permit:

  • proof of age
  • proof of identity
  • proof of lawful presence
  • Social Security Number
  • proof of Colorado residency

If you are under 18 years of age at the time you submit your application, you must also have a parent or legal guardian sign an Affidavit of Liability. By signing the affidavit, the parent grants his consent to the minor being issued with a learners permit and assumes responsibility for damages that may result from minor's driving.

Teenagers applying for a drivers education permit or a driver awareness permit must also present an affidavit of completion of a drivers education course or a drivers awareness certificate.

Operating Under a Permit

One thing you should never forget is that your permit is not a full drivers license yet and you must observe all Colorado permit restrictions until you receive a driver license. Everyone applying for a drivers license before the 18th birthday are required to hold the permit for at least 12 months and complete no less than 50 hours of driving under supervision of a person who signed the affidavit of liability. At least 10 of these hours must be completed during nighttime.

In addition to meeting the requirements listed above, everyone who takes the Colorado driving test before reaching the age of 16 years, 6 months is required to complete at least six hours of drivers training with a professional driving instructor.

When all of these requirements are met, you can go ahead and obtain your first Colorado drivers license. If you are still under 18 years of age at this point, the license will be marked as the Minor Drivers License and some restrictions will apply.