How to get a Connecticut Learner’s Permit & Driver’s License

Step-by-step instructions and all the DMV forms that a 16 or 17-year-old needs to get a Connecticut Driver’s License.

 
 
Getting a CT Learner’s Permit

 

Who Needs a Learner’s Permit?

All 16 and 17 year olds must first obtain a learner permit before practice driving.  People age 18 and over do not need a learner permit to practice driving.
 

How do I get a Learner’s Permit?

All 16 and 17 year olds must pass a 25 question knowledge test before they can obtain a learner permit.  Take some time and thoroughly study the Connecticut Driver’s Manual before you take this test.  All the material on the test is in that manual, including information on the restrictions for 16 and 17 year olds.
 
Here is the process for getting your Learner’s permit.
 

1.  Gather all necessary documents.

 

You will need the following when you go to the DMV for testing:
 
  • Non-laminated certified birth certificate with raised seal (hospital-issued are not acceptable) or valid passport
  • Address verification of applicant.
  • $40 fee for vision, knowledge and road tests
  • $18 fee for learner permit.  Refer to acceptable forms of payment.  If you are paying by check or money order, these must be made in 2 separate payments.
  • If parent/legal guardian will not be present at the DMV when their child is tested, a notarized Parental Consent (Form 2D) can be downloaded from the DMV website. Parents must include a copy of their operator license or ID card number. Legal guardians must include a copy of their certificate of legal guardianship.  If parent/legal guardian will be present, they must sign the learner permit application in the presence of a DMV agent/inspector giving their consent and showing their operator license or ID card.  Legal guardians must show certificate of legal guardianship.
 
NOTES ABOUT IDENTITY DOCUMENTS:
  • If your full legal name is different than that shown on your birth certificate or passport, you need to provide proof of your full legal name.  Proof can include original or certified copy of a court order, marriage or civil union certificate, marriage or civil union dissolution or certificate of adoption.
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must show proof of your legal status in this country.  Refer to List of Acceptable forms of Identification.
  • Proof of Connecticut residency – a piece of postmarked mail that has been delivered to your home address, dated within 90 days or official school transcript with your current Connecticut address.  (We cannot accept a Post Office box as proof of residency.)
  • Social Security Number – In accordance with the Social Security Act 42 U.S.C 666 (a) (13), you must record your social security number on the Application for a Non-Commercial Driver License (Form R-229).  If you are not eligible for a social security number, you must obtain a letter from the Social Security Administration stating your ineligibility. Bring this letter with you when you apply for your learner permit.
 

2.  Identify a DMV branch location and time to take the test.

 
Learner Permit knowledge testing is done at a full service branch office.  Check the walk-in testing hours in  advance.  Testing stops at 11a.m. on those days that the office closes early. Please see Holiday Hours for a complete list of office closings.
 
 

3.  Take the DMV written test.

 
When you arrive at the DMV office, enter your information at the sign-in kiosk .  You will be directed to  a DMV agent, who will administer the vision test and 25 question learner’s permit test.
 
  • Vision Test – Minimal vision is evaluated for at least 20/40 in the better eye with or without glasses or contact lenses.  Peripheral vision (sight to either side while looking straight ahead) must be 140 degrees or 100 degrees for people with vision in one eye.
 
  • Knowledge Test – In order to pass the 25 question learner permit knowledge test, you must answer 20 questions correctly.
 
If you pass both tests:
 
  • You pay the $18 photo learner permit fee
  • Your image and electronic signature are captured.
  • You obtain your photo learner’s permit.
 
If you fail the knowledge test, you must wait 7 days before re-taking the test.  You will need to bring all your required documentation and parent or legal guardian and pay the $40 test fee again.
 
If you fail the vision test, you need to visit an eye care professional and have your vision corrected before you can obtain a Learner’s Permit.
 

Are there any driving restrictions while I hold a  Learner’s Permit?

 
Yes.  While you have your Learner’s Permit, you must follow these laws:
 
  • Only a parent, legal guardian or qualified trainer can be a passenger when you are driving.
  • All passengers must use seat belts.
  • You cannot use cell phones (even hands-free) or other mobile electronic devices while driving.  This includes any hand-held computer or other device with a video display.
 
Now that you have your permit, you must undergo driver training before you can obtain a driver license.
 
Please note that your learner permit may not be valid in all states.  Please contact the state in which you plan to drive for verification.
 
 

Getting a CT Driver’s License

 

What options do I have to meet Connecticut’s Driver Licensing requirements?

 
You must take a class and complete 40 hours of behind-the-wheel practice to be eligible for a Driver’s License.
 
 
You have the following class options:
 
  • An 8-hour course (including two hours of parent/legal guardian training) and 22-hours of home study, or
 
  • 30-hour course  (including two hours of parent/legal guardian training)
 
40 hours of practice driving (behind-the-wheel) may be given by any combination of commercial/secondary/parent instruction.
 
Learner’s permit holders are eligible to apply for a driver’s license after they have held the permit for 180 days (six months).  However, If you received 30 hours of classroom training and 8 hours of behind-the-wheel practice driving with a Connecticut licensed commercial/secondary driving school, you are to be eligible to take the test after holding the permit for only 120 days.
 
 

Once I have completed completed my training, how do I apply for my Driver’s License?

Once you complete your training, you need to take pass a  road test and a Teen Final Exam to get your License.
 
You can take your road test at either a DMV office or a commercial school that offers this service.
 
 

Taking the Road Test at a DMV Office

 
To take your road test at a DMV Branch Office, follow these  steps:
 
1.  Make an appointment to take the road test by calling the DMV Phone Center. You do not have to return to the same office where the learner’s permit was issued.
 
2. Gather the following items:
  • Your photo learner permit.  (If you do not have it, you can obtain a replacement/duplicate permit by showing the appropriate identification and paying the duplicate fee.)
  • A completed Application for Driver License (Form R-229).  Your qualified trainer must sign the Application for Driver License (Form R-229) attesting that all driver education/practice driving requirements have been fulfilled.
  • A valid registration and proof of insurance for your test vehicle. The proof of insurance must be in the name of the registered owner of the vehicle. (If the vehicle is leased, proof of insurance may be in the name of the lessee).
  • License fee
 
3.   When you and your qualified trainer/parent/legal guardian arrive at the DMV, you will present the appropriate documents and your qualified trainer/parent/legal guardian signs the Application for Driver License (R-229) attesting to the fulfillment of all training requirements in the presence of a DMV agent.
 
Once you pass the road test. you’re eligible to take the Teen Final Exam. If you fail the road test, you must wait 14 days to be retested.
 
 

Taking the Road Test at a Commercial or Secondary School 

 
You will need the following:
 
  • Your photo learner’s permit
  • Completed Application for Driver License (Form R-229). Your qualified trainer must sign the Application for Driver License (Form R-229) verifying that all driver education/practice driving requirements have been fulfilled.
  • CS-1 Driver Education Certificate verifying completion of driver training.
 
Once you pass the road test, you must wait 48 hours before going to the DMV Office with your passed Road Test Evaluation Report to take the 25-question Teen Final Exam. If you fail the Road Test you must pay the test fee and wait at least 14 days to be retested.
 

Taking the Teen Final Exam

 
The Teen Final Exam consists of 25 questions, 20 of which must be answered correctly to pass.  All of the questions are based on the Connecticut Driver’s Manual.  The test includes questions about restrictions for 16 and 17 year old drivers.
 
The Teen Final Exam is given on a walk-in basis during testing hours.  Testing will stop at 11 a.m. on those days that the office closes early.  Please see Holiday Hours for a complete list of office closings.
 
When you go to the DMV to take your Teen Final Exam, you must bring the following items:
  • Your photo learner permit.
 
If you pass the exam, you will surrender your Learner’s Permit in exchange for your license.  If you fail the Teen Final Exam, you must pay the testing fee at the DMV Branch office and wait seven days to be re-tested on a walk-in basis.