Licensing & State Laws
Connecticut uses a multi-stage licensing process for teens. This system allows teens to gradually gain exposure to complex driving situations over an extended period of time.
At age 16, teens can apply for a learner’s permit in Connecticut. To do so, both teen and parent must visit a Department of Motor Vehicles Hub Office or schedule an appointment online. See walk-in testing hours for DMV Hub Offices. Make sure to have a certified copy of the teen’s birth certificate or a valid U.S. passport. A secondary form of identification is also required. Additional document requirements and fee information can be found on the Connecticut DMV website. Applicants must pass a written driver’s test and vision test. Teens can use the DMV’s online service to schedule a knowledge test and make payment.
Teens with learner’s permits may only drive when accompanied by one of the following:
- A licensed driving instructor giving instruction.
- A parent or guardian who has a driver’s license.
- A person who is providing instruction and is at least 20 years old, has held a driver’s license for four or more consecutive years and whose driver’s license has not been suspended during the prior four years.
Before they’re allowed to obtain a license, teens are required to meet these qualifications:
- Practice drive for at least 40 hours with a licensed driving instructor, parent or a legal guardian.
- Complete at least 22 hours of classroom training.
- Take an 8-hour safe driving class from a licensed Connecticut driving school or secondary school.
- Pass a road test.
Parents or legal guardians are also required to complete a 2-hour driving class on teen driving laws.
Full License – With First Six-Month Restrictions
16- and 17-year-old applicants who were instructed through a commercial or secondary school must wait 120 days after course completion before taking a road test. Home-trained applicants must wait 180 days. At the time of the road test, applicants must present their Connecticut learner’s permit and a valid registration and insurance card for the vehicle in which they will take the road test.
Teens who obtain driver’s licenses are allowed to drive but must follow certain restrictions during the first six months:
- They may not drive between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. (Some exceptions are granted.)
- They are prohibited from driving with any passengers except for a licensed driving instructor; their parent/guardian who has a valid driver’s license; or a supervising driver who is at least 20 years old, has held a driver’s license for four or more consecutive years and whose driver’s license has not been suspended during the previous four years.
Full License – With Second Six-Month Restrictions
During the second six months, the only additional passengers allowed in the vehicle are members of a driver’s immediate family.
Other First-Year License Restrictions
In addition, 16- and 17-year-old licensed drivers may NOT transport more passengers than the number of seatbelts in the vehicle; operate any vehicle that requires a public passenger transportation permit or a vanpool vehicle; use a cell phone, even if it’s hands-free or a mobile electronic device, while driving; or transport any passenger on a motorcycle for six months after the issuance of a motorcycle endorsement.
Teen drivers and all passengers are required by law to wear seat belts.
A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.
The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles is in charge of licensing for all drivers in Connecticut. The DMV conducts the written driver’s test, vision test and road test needed to get a driver’s license. It also provides study materials.
Remind your teen that police can and will enforce all requirements on seat belt use, drinking and driving, and other laws. Breaking the law can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties.
- If stopped by the police, teens should present a valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
- Whether stopped as a driver or passenger, teens should always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
- If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, teens should talk to their parents about it, because this can create a learning experience.