Colorado lawmakers change education requirements for young drivers

DENVER (KDVR) – Colorado just adopted a new law requiring more driver education for minors before they hit the road.

House Bill 24-1021, the Minor Motor Vehicle Driver Education Standards bill, was passed and signed into law in mid-May. In short, it will increase the hours of education before drivers under the age of 18 can be issued an instruction permit.

Originally, drivers between the ages of 15.5 and 16 could be issued an instruction permit after a four-hour driver’s education course or driver awareness course. Drivers under 15 and a half years of age could obtain a permit after a driver’s education course, which includes 30 hours of driving instruction and six hours of driving behind the wheel with a driving instructor or, where applicable, 12 hours with an adult.

Now, a new law is changing the age and hours before young drivers can get a permit. According to the new law, the hours of education courses are being expanded. To obtain an instruction permit, drivers under 18 years of age must:

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

The bill adds the 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.

The bill also controls instructors.

“A person who has been convicted of certain violent or sexual offenses for providing behind-the-wheel driving instruction to minors and at-risk adults,” according to the bill summary.

Under the new law, commercial driving instructors must be fingerprinted to verify they have not committed a disqualifying crime.

While this bill was signed into law, it will not see changes until April 1, 2026, when the bill will go into effect.