Colorado DMV Handbook and Regulations FAQ

If you’re thinking of applying for a Colorado driver’s license in the near future, then it’s definitely advised that you obtain a copy of the official Colorado state DMV handbook at your earliest convenience. However, you may also find these frequently asked questions with answers helpful in the meantime.
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How old do I need to be before I can apply for a Colorado state learner’s permit?
In the state of Colorado, you must be at least 15 years of age before you can apply for your learner’s permit. Please note that if you are 15-15 ½ years of age at the time of application, you must also submit an affidavit that shows completion of a state-recognized driver’s education course. (You can take such courses either through your high school or via an outside behind-the-wheel education program.) If you are between the ages of 15 ½ and 16, you need to submit a similar affidavit as proof that you’ve completed a 4-hour program meant to improve driver awareness. If you are aged 16-21, then you should be prepared to present your birth certificate, as well as at least one form of government recognized identification. All applicants should be prepared to pass not only a written driver’s knowledge test, but a vision test as well.
How many questions will there be on my Colorado state written knowledge test?
In Colorado, the written driver’s knowledge test includes 25 questions. You must answer a bare minimum of 20 of these questions correctly in order to receive a passing score. Should you fail to pass the test, you’ll need to wait one full day before taking it again. (Roughly 70% of all first-time applicants do fail the test.) The best way to ensure you’re thoroughly prepared for the test is to study and re-study the Colorado state DMV driver’s handbook. Many applicants also find it helpful to take several practice tests designed to recreate the actual experience you’ll have at the DMV.
What do I need to bring with me on test-taking day?
You will be expected to show proper proof of your legal identity, as well as proof of your current residence. Acceptable documents include state-issued ID, military ID, government-recognized passports or passport cards, and original birth certificates. You should also be prepared to provide your social security number. (If you are unsure as to whether or not a given option will be acceptable, you are advised to contact your nearest Colorado DMV field office and confirm.) You should also be prepared to pay the $14 application fee. Acceptable forms of payment include cash, money order, and check. Debit cards and credit cards are not acceptable forms of payment.
What if I’m a new resident of Colorado? What’s the procedure for transferring my driver’s license?
If you’re new to the state of Colorado and wish to transfer your existing valid driver’s license, you will most likely not be required to take a written test or a behind-the-wheel test in order to transfer your license. However, if there is any problem with your vision screening test or any questions are raised as to your physical aptitude, be aware that Colorado DMV employees have a responsibility to ask you to take a behind-the-wheel test. You will also be required to surrender your existing out-of-state license, as well as present proper documentation. You will need to show a government-recognized form of identification, proof of your lawful presence in the United States, and proof of your residency in Colorado.
What do I do if my license is lost, stolen, or destroyed?
If you are 21 years of age or older, you will be required to pay the standard renewal fee if you’re seeking a replacement license for these reasons. However, duplicate licenses are available to minor drivers, instruction permit holders, and those that hold commercial driver’s licenses. Just be prepared to present proper government-recognized identification and pay the applicable fees.
How do I change my name and/or address with the Colorado DMV?
If your legal name or address has changed, you are required by law to notify the Colorado DMV within 30 days of the change. If you’re changing your name, appear at a Colorado DMV field office in person and present proper documentation as record of the change. (Acceptable documents include divorce decrees, court orders, and marriage certificates.) You will then be required to renew your license, as well as pay any applicable renewal fees. If you are changing your address, simply show up in person at your nearest Colorado DMV field license or mail in an official self-service change of address postcard complete with your updated information. (You can obtain such a postcard at a DMV office or the Colorado DMV website.)
What are the penalties for DUI in the state of Colorado?
The Colorado state authorities take drinking and driving incredibly seriously. If you are found to be driving with a blood alcohol level or 0.05-0.07%, you are considered to be driving while impaired. If you are found to have a BAC of 0.08%, then you are considered to be driving while under the influence. Consequences for either offense can include hefty fines, required public service, or jail time.
What is the Colorado point system?
When you first start enjoying your driving privileges, you have a pristine driving record with no points stacked against you. However, if and when you commit violations, you’ll accumulate points against you that can affect your driver’s privileges. Accumulate enough points and you’ll also experience the consequences. They include but are not limited to fines and suspension of your driving privileges. You can rack up points under the Colorado point system by failing to settle judgments against you as the result of traffic violations, altering or otherwise defacing your license, failure to register your vehicle according to Colorado state law, and failure to provide evidence of insurance as requested by a law enforcement officer. Please note that points you’ve accumulated against you are not expunged when you apply for a new license or renew an existing one.
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