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Buckle up for change: Colorado’s new driver education law takes effect next year

Jun 5, 2024, 5:23 PM | Updated: Jun 6, 2024, 6:30 am

Buckle up for change: Colorado’s new driver education law takes effect next year.

We don’t think anyone would disagree that our teens could benefit from additional drivers education. Well, the Colorado legislature agrees.

Starting in April 2026, drivers under the age of 18 will have to complete 30 hours of driver education before obtaining a learning permit. Drivers between 18 and 21 will have to complete a four-hour driver awareness program before getting their permit or license.

Originally, drivers between 15 and a half to 16 years old could be issued an instruction permit after a driver education course or a four-hour driver awareness course. Drivers under 15 and a half years old could obtain a permit after a driver education course, including 30 hours of driving instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel driving training with a driving instructor or, if applicable, 12 hours with an adult.

Now, the new law is changing the age and hours before young drivers can get a permit. Under the new law, the education course hours are expanding. For an instruction permit, drivers under 18 must:

  • Complete a 30-hour driver education course
  • At least six hours of behind-the-wheel driving training with a driving instructor or 12 hours of training from a guardian or responsible adult

The bill adds a requirement that a minor who is 18 years of age or older and under 21 years of age must successfully complete a four-hour prequalification driver awareness program.

Colorado's new driver education law takes effect next year

(Photo by Orlando/Getty Images)

You may be old enough to remember when we had drivers education in high school with “driving simulators.” Now of course you need to pay a private drivers education company to teach your teen.

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Buckle up for change: Colorado’s new driver education law takes effect next year