The Next Street

The Next Street: Your Guide to Driver’s Education

Getting your driver’s license is an exciting milestone in any teenager’s life. With this new freedom comes great responsibility, which is why driver’s education is so important. In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about getting started with driver’s ed and ultimately getting your license.

Key Takeaways:

  • Driver’s education is required for new drivers under 18 in Connecticut
  • You must be at least 16 years old to enroll in driver’s ed and get a learner’s permit
  • The learner’s permit allows you to drive with a licensed adult, followed by a 60 hour supervised driving requirement
  • On average, driver’s ed courses cost $200-800 in CT
  • After holding your permit for 4 months and meeting all requirements, you can take the license test
  • Passing the road test is the final step to getting your driver’s license!

Why Driver’s Ed Matters

Driver’s education provides crucial knowledge and skills for new drivers. Students learn:

  • Rules of the road – Understanding traffic laws, signs, signals, and markings.
  • Defensive driving techniques – How to drive safely under various road conditions.
  • Hazard perception – Recognizing and responding to dangerous situations.
  • Vehicle handling skills – Hands-on practice in real driving conditions.

Teens who complete driver’s ed have 50% fewer crashes within the first year of solo driving compared to those who only complete the state requirements. The more supervised practice you get, the better and safer you’ll be on the next street once you get your license.

Age Requirements for Driver’s Ed in Connecticut

In Connecticut, here are the age requirements related to driver’s licenses:

  • 15 years – Eligible to obtain a learner’s permit if enrolled in driver’s education.
  • 16 years – Eligible to get a learner’s permit after completing driver’s ed.
  • 16 years, 4 months – Eligible to take the road test to get your driver’s license.
  • 18 years – Required age to get a license if driver’s ed is not completed.

So ideally, you should start the process and enroll in driver’s ed as close to your 15th birthday as possible. This gives you plenty of time to complete the requirements before turning 18.

Enrolling in Driver’s Education

The first step for teenage drivers is finding and enrolling in a driver’s education program. In Connecticut, there are options for both commercial driving schools and high school programs:

Commercial Driving Schools

  • Flexible schedules – Afternoon, weekends, holidays
  • Focused training – 2-4 weeks of intensive classes
  • Behind-the-wheel practice – With school instructors
  • Cost – $200-800 course fee

Some popular commercial schools in CT include The Next Street, A+ Driving School, and AAA Driving School.

High School Driver’s Ed

  • Built into curriculum – Classes during school hours
  • Length – Semester or full school year courses
  • Cost – May be free or low cost through school

Check with your high school on availability and costs. Programs vary widely across school districts.

Once you enroll in a program, you’ll need to complete 30 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of behind-the-wheel lessons.

Driver’s Ed Time Requirements
Classroom instruction30 hours
Behind-the-wheel lessons8 hours

Getting Your Learner’s Permit

After completing driver’s education, the next step is getting your learner’s permit. Here’s how to get started:

  • Apply for permit – Submit paperwork and take knowledge test at DMV.
  • Bring documents – Proof of identity, age, residency. SS card and license fee.
  • Pass knowledge test – Computerized multiple choice test, study DMV handbook!
  • Get permit – Congrats! Now you can start supervised practice driving.

With your learner’s permit, you must always drive with a licensed adult age 20 or older in the front passenger seat. This allows you to get supervised practice, building your skills and confidence on the road.

60 Hours Supervised Driving Requirement

Once you have your permit, Connecticut requires 60 hours of practice driving with a licensed adult, including:

  • 10 hours at night
  • 15 hours under various weather and traffic conditions
  • 30 additional hours under supervision

Log your hours – Keep a detailed log to verify you completed the requirement. Some apps like DriversEdHub simplify logging.

This ensures you get extensive supervised practice across different conditions before testing for your license. The more hours you can accumulate, the better prepared you’ll be.

Road Test and Getting Your License

After holding your learner’s permit for 4 months and completing all requirements, you’ll be ready to take the road test to get your driver’s license!

  • Schedule road test – At DMV office, bring permit and proof of supervised hours.
  • Study and practice – Review road skills and test maneuvers beforehand.
  • Pass road test – Show your abilities during 20 min on-road test.
  • Get license – Congrats, you can now drive independently!

Passing the road test is a big accomplishment and frees you to drive solo. Continue practicing caution and safe habits you learned in driver’s ed as you gain experience on the next street and beyond!

How Much Does Driver’s Ed Cost in Connecticut?

The cost of driver’s education varies depending on whether you do a commercial driving school or high school program.

Commercial Driving Schools

For commercial driving schools, expect to pay:

  • $200-300 – Basic driver’s ed packages
  • $400-500 – Premium packages with extra lessons
  • $600-800 – Private instruction with flexible scheduling

Many commercial schools offer payment plans or early registration discounts to lower costs. Shop around for the best option for your budget and needs.

High School Driver’s Ed

If available through your high school, costs are often much lower:

  • Free – Included in public school curriculum, covered by taxes
  • $100-300 – Nominal course fee in some districts
  • $500+ – For private / parochial schools that offer it

Check if your high school has driver’s training before paying more at a commercial school. Taking it through school will likely be your cheapest option.

At the end of the day, investing upfront in quality driver’s education will give you lifesaving knowledge and skills that are well worth the cost as you start driving on the next street.

FAQs on Connecticut Driver’s Education

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about getting started with driver’s ed in Connecticut:

Do you have to take driver’s ed in CT?

Driver’s education is required for all new drivers under 18 years old. You must complete an approved program to get your license before turning 18.

How old do you have to be to start driver’s ed?

In CT, you can start classroom driver’s ed as early as 15 years old, but must be at least 16 to start behind-the-wheel lessons and get a learner’s permit.

Can I get my learner’s permit at 15 in CT?

Yes, 15 year olds in Connecticut can get a learner’s permit but must be enrolled in a driver’s education program first.

How long is the learner’s permit period?

You must hold a learner’s permit for 120 days before taking the license test. You must also complete 60 hours supervised driving during this time.

When can you take the road test in CT?

You are eligible for the license road test after holding your learner’s permit for 4 months (120 days minimum).

Following this guide will help you navigate the licensing process. With some time and practice, you’ll be cruising down the next street and enjoying your independence in no time!

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