Getting on the Streets


Carter Reiter, Reporter

Driving is an ultimate teenage milestone.  There is something about sitting in the driver’s seat that teens can’t resist.  To legally sit behind the wheel, however, teens must acquire their driver’s permit and license.

Colorado Law states that if a student 14 and six months old, but less than 15 and six months old, they are required to attend and complete a state approved 40-hour Driver Education Class, or take an approved Home Study Education Correspondence Course.  Depending on the student’s learning style, they can choose whether they would like: to sit in a classroom for eight hours a day for five days or complete an online course at home at their leisure.

“I got my permit online and I liked that I could go at my own speed and I could make progress whenever I wanted.  It wasn’t great that I couldn’t just get it done in a week and procrastinated a little,” said So. Payten Craig.

For students who are constantly busy and don’t have time, the online course may be the more efficient option.

“I completed the class over the summer and had thirty hours of learning, knowledge, driving and power,” said So. Meghan Watson.

Completing the class, on the other hand, is the same amount of learning in a more compact amount of time.  It allows no room for procrastination, which for many students is very beneficial.

Once complete, teens must go to the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) with their proof of identity and social security number.  They must pass a vision exam and a written permit test.  The test has 25 multiple choice questions and to pass, students cannot miss more than five questions.  An Affidavit of Liability Guardianship must be submitted and applicants should pay the nine dollar fee.

After they have acquired their permit, and are under eighteen years old, students must complete fifty hours of behind-the-wheel practice with at least ten hours completed at night.  New drivers can only drive with the the signer of their Affidavit of Liability or their driving instructor.

The next step is getting a driver’s license.  Kids have to have held their permit for one year and have to have completed the mentioned 50 hours of driving.  If they are 16

and a half or younger, kids must complete six hours of behind-the-wheel training with a driving instructor.  If older than 16 and a half, the six hours of behind-the-wheel driving is not required.  Even after getting their license teenagers cannot drive with more than one person under 21 years old.  Another requirement to legally get a driver’s license is that students must pass their Colorado DMV Road Test, provide their social security number, have proof of their Colorado residency, and pay a 25 dollar fee.

“I waited six months after my birthday to get my license because I didn’t have time to drive with Tim Cunningham. I might have learned a little bit more with Tim and I think it’s a worthy time commitment, but personally, I’m a fine driver.  The only downside was that I had to wait six more months for my license,” said Jr. Elli Trussel.

Again, the time commitments are a factor to which path students take on the road to getting their licenses.

Students earning their licenses is a step towards adulthood and independence.  Driving is a privilege and an important responsibility, but it is important to complete all the requirements before joining the other cars on the road.

“The most important responsibilities I have as a driver are to be safe on the road and respectful of others,” said Sr. Maddie Robertson.