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Colorado Graduated Licensing Laws – What Every Parent Needs To Know

It’s an exciting, celebrated experience as a parent when your teen first starts driving without your guidance. Witnessing your teen take the necessary steps to accomplish such a profound goal is a milestone you’ll remember forever. That being said, it’s perfectly natural to feel both proud and hesitant, as you know firsthand what kind of unpredictable scenarios can occur while driving.

If your teen has taken driving lessons from a reliable Colorado driving school as well as spent a significant amount of time learning to drive under your watch, it’s probably safe to say that he/she has developed the skills necessary to become a safe driver. That being said, there are so many variables on the road, and even after taking drivers ed and spending ample hours of practice behind the wheel, new drivers will need to continue to mature and sharpen their skills with time and experience.

Colorado Graduated Licensing Laws Help Minimize Distractions

Once teen drivers pass their drivers license tests, they can drive on their own! Naturally, they are beyond eager to hit the road. They experience a new kind of freedom and can’t wait to show off to their friends. While this is totally normal behavior, we as parents want to keep our teenagers safe as they begin to push the envelope a bit.

The good news is that state laws help us out by making sure teens can slowly build up their skills with minimal distractions. Colorado has what is called “graduated licensing.”  What this does is protect our young teen drivers by slowly increasing distractions when first getting their drivers licenses. Teens are able to gradually build up their skills with minimal distractions to start, so that by the time the restrictions are lifted, they have better acclimated to driving on their own.

What Are Colorado’s Graduated Licensing Laws?

By taking the time to understand Colorado graduated licensing laws for teens, you can help make sure your new driver has time to build up his/her skills on the road without becoming side-tracked by peers, cell phones, or night-time hazards.

 At the end of the day, a law is a law, and our teens must operate within the bounds of Colorado’s traffic laws. Restrictions placed on teen drivers are as follows:


In the first 6 months, if driving without a parent or a licensed adult, a newly licensed teen driver may not have any passenger in the vehicle who is under 21 years of age unless the passenger is a sibling or it is a medical emergency. In the second 6 months of that first year of holding a drivers license, the teen driver may bring one passenger who is under the age of 21.


Newly licensed teen drivers cannot drive between midnight and 5am. There are some exceptions, such as driving to and from school or work (though written documentation is required), and medical emergencies.

The purpose of graduated licensing is to allow the new driver to gain experience with the new responsibility of driving. By slowly lifting the restrictions, the maturing teens can better gauge their abilities as they become more and more comfortable behind the wheel.

Our Colorado Driving School Is Fully Dedicated to Teaching Driver Safety

The graduated licensing laws are designed to help keep new drivers safe after they’ve worked hard to obtain their drivers licenses. While these laws are extremely helpful in fine-tuning a young driver’s skills, a large part of becoming a safe and cautious driver relies on developing a solid foundation when first learning how to navigate down the road.

This is why selecting the right drivers ed program is so critical in helping your teen grow into a safe driver. Safety is DriveSafe’s highest priority, which is why we are firmly established as Colorado’s largest and most trusted driving school.

If you have a young teen who is ready to start learning how to drive, we can help. From completing the required 30-hour class, passing the written permit test, taking in-car lessons to taking the drivers license exam, we can help your student every step of the way to becoming a safe and responsible driver.

Contact us today, or look through our teen drivers education services to find out how we can best accommodate you and your teen’s unique needs.

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