I have a driver's license in another state where you can drive when you are 15. Can I use that license in Colorado if I haven't turned 16 yet, considering that you have to be 16 to get a license in Colorado?

  • 2
    Best thing to do is call them: colorado.gov/pacific/dmv/node/44446 Feb 28, 2018 at 2:52
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    Very few states will ignore their own age requirements when it comes to out-of-state licenses. I wouldn't chance it, even if their local DMV said it was fine. There's no guarantee an officer might have different information and you'd end up in a world of court hassles to clear up the issue.
    – animuson
    Feb 28, 2018 at 3:25

2 Answers 2


There is an law in Colorado (and every state) that pertains to out of state licenses. CRC 24-60-1106 says that:

The provisions of sections 42-1-102(81), 42-2-101(1), and 42-2-102(1)(d) and (1)(e), C.R.S., requiring residents of other states to secure an operator's license from this state shall not apply to persons licensed to drive by other states party to the driver license compact.  This state shall require a resident to secure an operator's license from the department of revenue and to surrender any outstanding license to drive issued by another state...

If you are becoming a resident, see (81) and not just passing through

"Resident" means any person who owns or operates any business in this state or any person who has resided within this state continuously for a period of ninety days or has obtained gainful employment within this state, whichever shall occur first.

then you must get a Colorado license, under CRS 42-2-101(1) ("no person shall drive any motor vehicle upon a highway in this state unless such person has been issued a currently valid driver's or minor driver's license or an instruction permit by the department under this article").

There are exceptions spelled out in 42-1-102, if you're in the military or are driving a tractor down the road. Exemption (1)(c) refers to

Any nonresident who is at least sixteen years of age and who has in his or her immediate possession a valid driver's license issued to such nonresident by his or her state or country of residence.

which does not include you.

The one provision that could allow you to drive with the out of state license is (same section)

(2) Any person who has in his or her possession a valid driver's license issued by such person's previous state of residence shall be exempt, for thirty days after becoming a resident of the state of Colorado, from obtaining a license, as provided in section 42-2-101.

Theoretically, you could drive on the out of state license for 30 days after becoming a resident, which automatically happens 90 days after you arrive there (120 days total, assuming you aren't employed). If the state patrol disagrees with your interpretation, you could sue the state and maybe get off the hook (the police don't get to make or define the meaning of the law, they just enforce it, so maybe the Supreme Court would uphold you position, if you get caught.

Since you have to be insured, the insurance company will be helpful in telling you whether you can drive in Colorado (e.g. if they rescind coverage because you moved to Colorado). If your insurance, DMV, and the State Patrol agree, that should give you a reasonable estimate of how legal it would be, but of course, you should also heed the advice of your attorney.

  • Good job finding the compact, which is in a completely different section of the law than the other driver's license laws. I would have missed it.
    – D M
    Feb 28, 2018 at 20:56

Yes. A valid U.S. State License from any State A is valid in any other State B. You are still responsible for driving in Colorado and I don't know what the rules are in your state, but they may have restrictions on licenses for under the age of 16. If those restrictions let you do it, as far as Colorado is concerned it should be legit. Not an actual lawyer.

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