Connecticut Learner’s Permit: The New Driver Guide

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicle Services Division oversees the state’s graduated licensing program. This program helps first-time drivers learn driving basics through knowledge testing, behind-the-wheel practice, and real-world experience under the supervision of a licensed adult.

Connecticut’s GDL program begins at 16 years old taking the first-time driver through a series of permits and licensing. The teen will get and practice with a learner’s permit before upgrading to a provisional. The provisional license eventually becomes an unrestricted (adult) license with patience and practice.

Adults wanting to apply for their CT driver’s license can partake in this GDL program. Adults go through the program faster because of their age but some requirements of the program remain.

This post shares how you’ll get a license in Connecticut starting from a learner’s permit. It will then share the details of upgrading the permit into a provisional or unrestricted license.

You will visit a CT DMV when applying for your permit.

Getting a Learner’s Permit in Connecticut

The learner’s permit is available for those age 15 and residents of the state. Non-U.S. citizens can apply to get their learner’s permit, too, by providing legal documentation like a passport and have an I-94 stamp. Out-of-state, first-time drivers will follow this same process once they’ve established residency regardless if they have a learner’s permit from another state.

Connecticut has two learner’s permit categories based on age:

  • Ages 16 & 17
  • Ages 18 and up

The process varies by age, see below for the details.

First-time Drivers (Ages 16 & 17)

  1. Go to the DMV
  2. Complete an Application for Non-Commercial Learner Permit and/or Driver License (R-229)
  3. Complete a Certificate of Parent Consent (2D)
    1. If: A parent, guardian, or spouse does not go with you to the DMV
  4. Provide your personal information:
    1. Full name
      1. Birth certificate
      2. Passport
      3. ID card
    2. Social security number
    3. Proof of residency
      1. Bank statement
      2. W-2
    4. School enrollment
  5. Pay your fees:
    1. Permit: $19
    2. Testing fee: $40
  6. Ace your exams:
    1. Knowledge
    2. Vision
  7. Get your learner’s permit

First-time Drivers (18 and up)

Those 18 and older will get an adult learner’s permit. Adults hold this permit for 90 days before they take the road test except for active military members, teens having held a permit for 90 days prior, or those with a previous driver’s license.

  1. Go to the DMV
  2. Complete an Application for Non-Commercial Learner Permit and/or Driver License (R-229)
  3. Provide your personal information:
    1. Full name
    2. Birth certificate
    3. Passport
    4. ID card
    5. Social security number
    6. Proof of residency
      1. Bank statement
      2. W-2
    7. School enrollment
  4. Pay your fees:
    1. Permit: $19
    2. Testing fee: $40
  5. Ace your exams:
    1. Knowledge
    2. Vision
  6. Get your learner’s permit

You will take a knowledge test during the application. This 25-question test examines your ability to answer road safety questions. You will need to answer at least 20 correctly for a passing grade. We recommend reviewing your CT driver’s manual or use online practice tests from approved third-parties.

Pass these requirements and you can drive with a qualified parent, guardian, or driving trainer.

Driver’s Education (Requirement for Licensing)

A driver’s education course is required after your learner’s permit but before a driver’s license. These courses typically include 22-30 hours of classroom training and a few hours of parent/guardian training.

You will take a road test either 120 or 180 days after starting the driver’s education course.

Passing the driving course grants a Driver Education Certificate (CS-1) which you’ll show during your applications – giving you the right to take road tests at the DMV.

Upgrading to a Provisional License

Teens and new drivers able to follow the road rules, avoid traffic incidents, and pass the requirements of their learner’s permit may upgrade to a provisional license. This becomes available after they’ve completed the behind-the-wheel experience and completed their driver’s ed course.

Ready to upgrade? See our Connecticut Provisional License Guide.