For teens and parents, we know that learning to drive is an exciting opportunity and a big responsibility. We’re here to help. Our resources aim to ignite powerful conversations and establish ground rules to encourage safe driving.
Steps for learning how to drive in Connecticut
Step 1: Get a learner’s permit
- Study for the learner's permit knowledge test.
- Parents: Take a moment to review this helpful guide to communicate with your new teenage driver.
- Gather all the documents you need, including acceptable forms of identification.
- If you have a Connecticut-issued non-driver ID, you may exchange it without bringing all your identity documents to DMV.
- You may need to provide additional information if you are a non-U.S. citizen.
- Schedule a test appointment and make your payment.
- Bring a completed Application for Non-Commercial Learner’s Permit and/or Driver’s License (Form R-229) to your appointment.
- If your parent/legal guardian is not present at the time of the knowledge test, bring completed Certificate of Parental Consent (form 2-D).
- **For youths in Department of Children and Families (DCF) care that need a learner’s permit, a form 2-D must be presented and signed by a DCF manager authorized to sign the form 2-D.
- If you wear glasses or contact lenses, bring them to your appointment.
- Pass a vision test and a 25-question written knowledge test to get your permit. See languages offered for testing.
- If you fail the vision test, you can’t proceed to the knowledge test and will need to reschedule.
- Learner's permit testing is by appointment only at the following DMV offices: Bridgeport, Cheshire, Danbury, Hamden, Norwalk, Old Saybrook, Waterbury, Wethersfield, and Willimantic.
- $40 testing fee (includes vision, knowledge, and road test)
- $19 learner’s permit
Watch this video to help you prepare.
Step 2: Understand what training is required to get your learner’s permit
You can fulfill your training requirements through any of these options, or a combination of them.
|Commercial driving school||High school (secondary) driver education||Home training (must be given by a Qualified Trainer**)|
|30 hours of classroom training, which includes the safe driving practices course and two hours of parent training||30 hours of classroom training, which includes the safe driving practices course and two hours of parent training||22 hours of classroom type training, and an eight-hour safe driving practices course at a commercial/secondary school which includes two-hour parent/legal guardian training|
|40 hours practice driving*||40 hours practice driving*||40 hours practice driving*|
*40 hours of practice driving behind-the-wheel may be given by any combination of commercial/secondary/parent instruction. Learner's permit holders can apply for a driver's license after they have held the permit for at least 120 or 180 days.
**A Qualified Trainer, someone that’s eligible to train and sign a form under penalty of false statement attesting to your fulfillment of all driver education requirements: You must be 20 or older, have a driver’s license for at least four years with no suspensions during past four years, and can include spouse of married minor (under age 18) applicant, or parent, grandparent, foster parent, or legal guardian; or if you have no spouse, parent, grandparent, foster parent, or guardian who is qualified and available: stepparent, brother, sister, uncle or aunt, by blood or marriage.
Step 3: Pass the road test
Once you complete the driver training and hold your permit for at least 120 days (if completed commercial or secondary training) or 180 days (if completed training at home with a Qualified Trainer), you’re ready to take a road test—or “driving test.”
If your driving school offers the road test at their facility, they advise you of when you are eligible. Once you’re eligible, present the following documents to the DMV:
- Your learner's permit. If you do not present the permit, you will not be tested.
- A completed Application for Driver License (Form R-229). Your Qualified Trainer will need to sign the (Form R-229) verifying that you fulfilled all driver education/practice driving requirements.
- A EDEC Driver Education Certificate that verifies the completion of your driver training. (The EDEC form is issued by a Connecticut licensed driving school and sent to DMV after you successfully complete the course).
Once you pass the road test, you must wait 48 hours before you go to the DMV Office with your passed Road Test Evaluation Report.
If you fail the road test, you need to repay the $40 testing fee and wait at least 14 days to be retested.
- Out-of-state teens
- Extended curfew
- Teen FAQs
Drivers aged 16 and 17 who hold an out-of-state license
Please note: This service is only provided at a DMV hub office or at our Enfield office.
Step 1: Identification and address verification
Refer to license requirements for new residents.
Step 2: Driver training
Complete the eight-hour safe driving practices class at a commercial driving school or secondary school in Connecticut, including the two-hour parent/legal guardian training.
Step 3: Surrender your out-of-state license
When you surrender your out-of-state license and get a Connecticut driver license, provide this document:
- A certificate of completion of safe driving practices class (EDEC)
Then complete these actions:
- Pass a vision test. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, bring them to your appointment.
- Pass a road test (or “driving test”)
Please be aware of the passenger restrictions and other laws for newly licensed drivers aged 16 and 17 in Connecticut.
Important information about extended curfew
One exception allows driving after curfew to or from an activity such as a prom or away game, if the student doesn’t drive anywhere else. This exception does not apply to passenger restrictions. All laws regarding passenger restrictions remain in effect for drivers aged 16 and 17.
Proms – If your prom or post-prom party is hosted in a neighboring town, we recommend that you give police departments advance notice of the prom itinerary by the sponsoring school district, and/or carrying an official schedule of school-sponsored prom activities in your vehicle. This will help patrol officers to decide whether an exception to your curfew applies.
DMV-Travelers Teen Safe Driving Video Contest
Teen Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What's involved in obtaining a driver's license?
All new drivers must first obtain a learner's permit, then pass an on-the-road skills test.
How do I get a learner's permit?
Please see how to obtain a learner's permit.
I just turned 18. Do I still have to get a learner's permit?
Yes, learner's permits are required for all new drivers before you can upgrade to a driver’s license.
Can I walk into a DMV office at any time and take my learner's permit knowledge test?
No. Learner's permit tests are by appointment only and you must use DMV's online service to schedule your knowledge test and prepay. Make an appointment now.
How do I schedule an appointment for my road test?
You must first pass the learner's permit knowledge test before scheduling your on-the-road skills test, or “driving test.” Once you pass the knowledge test, you may schedule your on-the-road skills test.
How do I obtain a Driver's Manual?
The Connecticut Driver's Manual can be found online.
Does the DMV offer any sample knowledge tests to study for my test?
Yes. Download the DMV mobile app to your smartphone or tablet to take the practice tests.
What if I fail my on-the-road skills test?
If you fail the road test you must wait a minimum of two weeks (14 days) before taking the road test again and must pay another $40 testing fee.
Can I use my permit to drive in another state?
A Connecticut learner's permit is valid in Connecticut and may be recognized in another state. Please check with the jurisdiction that you will driving in to determine their laws with respect to other permits.
Can I use my out-of-state permit in Connecticut?
If you are at least age 16 and are not a resident of this state, you may drive here with your out-of-state permit adhering to the same restrictions that have been placed on your permit and following Connecticut's restrictions for learner's permits. You must be under the instruction of a licensed driver who has held a license for at least four years.
Can a teenager register a vehicle in Connecticut?
Yes, with parental consent (Form 2-D). See more information on minors registering a vehicle.
I lost my permit. How do I get a duplicate?
The same requirements for replacing a lost or destroyed driver’s license apply to learner’s permits, except the fee is $19.
What is the legal age to obtain a learner's permit or driver's license in Connecticut?
The legal age is 16 years old for both a learner's permit and a driver's license.
My parents or legal guardian wants to teach me to drive at home. What is involved?
Please see home-training requirements. Parents should also read a training guide for those teaching teens to drive, How Parents Can Help Their Teens Become Safe Drivers (PDF).
What is required to obtain a motorcycle license?
Please see our requirements for obtaining a motorcycle endorsement.
Do you need a driver's license to drive a moped?
Yes, you must have a valid driver's license.