Connecticut Learner's Permit and Driver’s License

GDL requirements

Full Privilege Minimum Age
Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)
Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)
4 with driver education
Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)
16 and 4 months
Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction
11 p.m. – 5 a.m.
Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)
1st 6 months no passengers other than a parent or driving instructor 2nd 6 months no passengers except for a parent, driving instructor, and immediate family.

How to Get a Connecticut Driver’s License

Connecticut has a Graduated Driver License program, or GDL, that will give you time to learn how to drive in a controlled way. There are three stages to this program, from no license to full license.

You can begin the Connecticut GDL program when you turn 16. You’ll have to complete at home or commercial driving instruction, as well as 40 hours of supervised driving for your restricted license. Avoid citations, pass a road test, and you’ll receive your full license when you turn 18.

The steps below have the details you’ll need to know to get your full, unrestricted Connecticut driver’s license.

Get your Connecticut learner’s permit

You can start the process to get your Connecticut driver’s license at 16 years old. To get ready for driving, you can download the Connecticut Driver’s Manual and start reading through it.

At your local Connecticut DMV location, you’ll need to fill out an application, bring in proof of identity, and pay a fee of $19.00 by a bank or personal check, payable to DMV, or credit card. American Express, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, and most debit cards with the Mastercard or Visa logo are accepted. You can download an app to help you study and also use the app to schedule your test.

You will need to take a vision test. If you need glasses be sure you’re wearing them to your appointment.

You will also have to pass a Connecticut DMV approved 25-question knowledge test. Before you take it, consider going through a few practice tests.

After you pass, you will be given an official paper which is your Connecticut driver’s permit. You’ll need to have that with you every time you’re behind the wheel.

You must have your permit for at least 6 months before you can apply for a regular CT license (only four months with driver education). During that time, you’ll need to have 40 hours of driving practice.

There are also limits to your permit: you may only drive when supervised, and you can have no passengers except for a licensed driving instructor, or licensed parents, or individual instructing the permit holder who is a licensed driver at least 20 years old (obtained and maintained a license for 4 years without any suspension in that period).

This is the point also where you’ll need to get CT DMV approved driving instruction. If you go to a commercial driving school or take driver’s education at your high school, you’ll need to complete 30 hours of classroom training. This includes a Safe Driving Practices course as well as two hours of parent/guardian training.  Find a driving school near you to get started.

If you choose home training, you’ll do 22 hours of classroom-type training and an 8-hour Safe Driving Practices course which must be taken at a commercial driving school or high school and includes a two-hour parent/guardian training class.

Regardless of where you do your classroom training, you’ll also need to complete 40 hours of practice driving. This practice driving can be completed at a commercial driving school, driver’s education course, or with a parent.

Once you have completed the classroom and driving training, you can apply for your Connecticut driver’s license. You must have your CT learner’s permit for at least 120 days (if you complete commercial driving school or a driver’s education course) or 180 days (if you do home training).

Once you’ve completed the required amount of instruction, you can apply for your Connecticut restricted driver’s license.

Get your Connecticut restricted license

Receiving your license requires that you’ve completed certain requirements. Those are reaching the age of 16 years and four months.

When you feel like you’re ready for your road test, you can schedule an appointment online.

You will be required to pass a driving test with a Connecticut DMV evaluator who will make sure you can perform basic driving tasks safely.

Before you take it, you should check out the Top 10 Automatic Fails on Driver Tests, so you’ll know what not to do on test day.

The application fee for your license is $84.00.

Your Connecticut license will be mailed to you and will have your photograph on it. They take your picture the day you pass your driving skills test. This license will come with the following restrictions:

  • All passengers must wear seatbelts regardless of age or be in an appropriate car seats or booster seats.
  • No cell phone use, no texting, no hands-free cell phone use, no use of any mobile electronic device.
  • No passengers, in the first six months of licensure, exceptions are the same as for learner’s permit period.
  • No passengers in the second six months of licensure, except for members of driver’s immediate family.

As you continue to learn how to operate a motor vehicle in different conditions, there are certain hours when you won’t be able to drive. Those are 11:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

Get your full unrestricted CT driver’s license

At a certain point, the state feels that you’ve been able to receive enough supervised driving experience that you can go out on your own. Therefore, once you reach 18, you can get your full license.

This means that previous restrictions are lifted. However, you will not receive an updated license until that one expires. After you renew your license, you will receive your full, unrestricted license in the mail.

Whether you’ve just finished your Connecticut graduated licensing process, or are just starting out, you might also want to consider a telematic companion application to better understand your driving habits, and how to improve them.

The best option is the DriverZ Virtual Coach. Download it today to sharpen your S.P.I.D.E.R.Senses™ to build the driving skills that will keep you safe for a lifetime, track your supervised driving hours, and access bespoke driver training based on your specific needs.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some other details which are good to know as you start out on your CT graduated licensing journey.

Does driving time with a professional instructor during CT DMV approved driver education count toward my hour requirements?

Time spent practice driving with a professional instructor counts toward the 40-hour certification requirement. Before an applicant who under 18 may take the driver’s test, parents or guardians must attend two hours of instruction regarding teen driving laws and related issues with such applicant. Anyone 18 years of age or older must hold an adult learner’s permit for three months before obtaining a driver’s license.

Can I drive in Connecticut with an out-of-state learner’s permit?

Yes, out-of-state drivers, that are at least 16 years of age, using learner’s permits are allowed to drive in Connecticut. However, you will have to follow all graduated licensing restrictions in place in Connecticut, as well as required by the issuing state.

Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles information

For comprehensive information on everything related to the Connecticut graduated licensing program, visit the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles You can also call the Connecticut DMV directly Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dial 1-860-263-5700 , if you’re in the Hartford area, or 1-800-842-8222 for anywhere else in Connecticut.

Prepare for your license journey by reviewing the Connecticut Driver’s Manual, and taking a few practice tests.