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Minor Drivers

Affidavit of liability.  A minor driver application for an instruction permit must include an affidavit of liability, signed by the parent, stepparent, or grandparent.  If the minor driver is a foster child they may be exempt from providing the affidavit if they have insurance in their name.

Driver log.  Drivers under the age of 18 must hold a permit for at least one year before applying for a driver license.  In addition, minor drivers must submit a log sheet certifying that they have completed at least 50 hours of actual driving experience, including 10 hours driving at night.  The only driving that counts toward the required hours of the log sheet are those hours that were supervised by:

  • the person who signed the liability affidavit;
  • the person appointed by the person who signed the liability affidavit; or
  • the driver education instructor. 

Anyone older than 21 with a valid driver license who provided driver instruction may sign a foster child’s driver log.  Individuals include aunts, uncles, grandparents, mentors, faith leaders, and others if they provided driver instruction.

Driver education.  In Colorado, a driver education course is required for minors between 15 and 16 to obtain a minor's instruction permit.  The course must include a minimum of six hours behind‑the‑wheel driving training with a certified education instructor.  If no entity offers this type of training from a permanent location within 30 miles of the permit holder's address, or if the entity is open less than 20 hours a week, the minor driver may receive 12 hours of behind‑the‑wheel driving training from a parent, legal guardian, or an alternate permit supervisor instead.  Minor drivers under 16 have three available options for driver education:

  • At the age of 15, drivers can hold a minor instruction permit if enrolled in a driver education course, which is a 30‑hour program that includes six hours behind the wheel training with an instructor.  The permit is available to drivers at the earliest age of 15 years to 15½.  The permit must be held for 12 months before obtaining a driver license. 
  • A minor instruction permit can be obtained by drivers aged 15½ by completing an approved driving awareness program which is five hours or less.  The permit must be held for 12 months, which would allow a minor to obtain a license, at the earliest, at the age of 16½.  The four‑hour driving awareness classes are offered through instructors approved by the Department of Revenue (DOR).
  • If an underage driver chooses not to participate in a driver education or driving awareness course, the individual can obtain a temporary instruction permit at the age of 16, hold the permit for 12 months, and obtain a driver license at the age of 17.
  • Finally, driver education programs must be approved by DOR.  Visit DOR's website for a list of approved driver education schools.   

The table below summarizes the requirements for minor drivers to obtain a driver license.

Obtaining a Minor Driver License

Age*

Description

Earliest Age Possible to Obtain Driver License

15 to 15½

Minor instruction permit available to minors enrolled in a driver education course. 

16 years.  If driver education permit is obtained at 15 years, driver license can be obtained at 16 years of age.

15½ to 16

Minor instruction permit available to minors who complete a driver awareness program or substitute a driver education course.

16½ years.  If driver awareness permit is obtained at 15½ years, driver license can be obtained at 16½ years of age.

 

16 to 18

Temporary instruction permit available to all individuals in age group. 

17 years.  If instruction permit is obtained at 16 years, driver license can be obtained at 17 years of age.

Source: Section 42‑2‑101, et seq., C.R.S.
*Age groups represent the earliest age individuals can participate in educational programs.  Individuals older than the ages listed for each category may also enroll.

 

The DMV maintains information related to minor driver licenses on its website.  The Passenger and Curfew Laws for Minor Drivers section of this handbook explains these laws related to minor drivers on the road.