Getting Your Drivers License In Colorado: What To Expect During The Pandemic

From social encounters, grocery shopping, and the world of education, the way we live life has changed quite a bit from the way things were at the beginning of spring. We’ve had to make many adjustments during this current health crisis, and while many restrictions are still in place, communities are figuring out how to move forward while still prioritizing health and safety. 

Initially during the stay-at-home order, the DMV was shut down, and in-person drivers ed and driving lessons were put on hold. This left many families uncertain as to when their teenagers would be able to enroll in or resume driving lessons or take the drivers test to obtain their drivers licenses. 

While the DMV is open and driving schools are offering their traditional services again, the industry is still adapting to changes brought on by the pandemic, including the need for enhanced safety measures. If you’re a teenager hoping to learn how to drive and get your Colorado drivers license, here are a few things to keep in mind about what that process looks like during the pandemic.  

There Are Multiple Ways to Take Drivers Ed in Colorado 

Before Covid-19, the two main options for taking drivers ed were in-person classes and an online, self-paced platform; now students have the additional option of taking drivers ed live online through Zoom. Here is what each option involves:

  • In-person classes are back in session, but to enhance safety, fewer students are enrolled in the classes to allow for more distance between them.  
  • Taking self-paced online drivers ed is a convenient way for students to learn at their own pace. Many online packages still include in-person driving lessons that students can schedule at their convenience. 
  • For the duration of the pandemic, the state of Colorado has approved live online drivers ed classes for students to meet the 30-hour driver education requirement. These are held over Zoom, and they mimic the pace of in-person classes. The lessons are taught by expert instructors, and students learn alongside peers. This is a good option for students who prefer the engagement of the classroom but still want to maintain as much social distance from others as possible. 

Be Prepared for Enhanced Safety Measures for Driving Lessons, Driving Tests and In-Person Classes

In-person services have resumed, but safety is still the number one priority. Whether you’re going to a driving school for in-person classes, going to take your written permit test, or meeting an instructor for driving lessons or your drive test, make sure you’re informed on the proper protocols. Most driving schools will put similar safety measures into place, such as:

  • Wait to be called into the office
  • Wear a face mask (plus gloves at the instructor’s request) at all times when in a car with an instructor or when in the building.
  • Bring your own pencil. 
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
  • Cancel your appointment if you’re experiencing any symptoms, such as fever, cough, chills, loss of taste or smell, etc. 

Colorado Drive Tests Are Done Through Driving Schools, Not the DMV

During the stay-at-home orders, the DMV had to cancel 25,000 appointments, and it’s estimated that over 125,000 people would have needed the agency’s services during the short period it was shut down. 

Scrambling to meet the public’s needs, many services are available online, and the ones that require in-person visits, such as getting a new or initial license, require making an appointment. While the DMV is still issuing written permit tests, they are not yet administering drive tests. Instead, those who need to take their drive tests will need to schedule one through a Colorado driving school

There May Be a Waiting Period for Driving Tests and Driving Lessons 

Because in-person services were put on hold, many driving schools are balancing a backlog of students whose driving tests or driving lessons were postponed as well as an onslaught of new students eager to get behind the wheel. When scheduling your services, there may not be instant availability, so try not to be discouraged if you have to book your sessions a little further out than you’d prefer or if it takes a little longer to get through when you call. Just know that by making your appointment, you have already started the exciting journey to becoming a licensed driver!

The Industry Will Continue to Adapt

Since these are unprecedented times, the way things function tomorrow may not be the same as they do today. Life is slowly stabilizing, and we all hope that life will gradually begin to look similar to how it did before Covid-19. That being said, staying informed will help you make the best decisions and develop practical expectations. Colorado.gov is a great place to get the latest information, and you can also follow your driving school on social media for industry and company updates. 

Closing Up

Hopefully this information helps clarify what to expect when taking drivers ed or preparing to get your license during the health crisis. While some steps may look a little different or take a bit longer than usual, the excitement that comes with getting behind the wheel remains the same as it always has. 

Knowing how to drive is useful no matter what the state of the world looks like, and as the future looks uncertain in many ways, it can be reassuring to work towards the timeless milestone of becoming a licensed driver. 

Schedule Your Driving Lessons or Driving Test with DriveSafe Driving Schools!

DriveSafe Driving Schools has helped over 75,000 students become safe drivers, and this experience paired with our proven approach and enthusiasm for what we do has led us to become Colorado’s largest and most trusted driving school. 

Whether you’re looking for a comprehensive drivers ed program, driving lessons with our expert instructors, or to schedule the drive test needed to get your license, we can help. 

Browse our services, or get it touch with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you reach your goals!

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BEHIND THE WHEEL TRAINING

The behind the wheel experience includes:

  • A basic skills refresher (identifying and addressing any bad habits)
  • Defensive skills maneuvers
  • Parking lot skills – ability to safely navigate into tight spots by using mirrors without over-relying on new technologies
  • Any additional skills that are required for your organization (e.g., pulling trailers)

CLASSROOM SESSION

The classroom experience includes:

  • Safety driving principles
  • Defensive driving techniques (vehicle control and crash avoidance skills)
  • Driver attitude and responsibility
  • Distracted driving awareness
  • A refresher of the rules (most drivers have not been tested since they were 15)
  • A chance to introduce the rules that are “new” to experienced drivers

FLEET SAFETY PLAN

Your customized plan will:

  • Set expectations for your employees
  • Demonstrate your company’s commitment to a safe work environment
  • Reduce liability
  • Reflect your company’s priorities and particular requirements