3 Steps to Obtain Your SB251 Driver’s License in Colorado

Update Regarding COVID-19

All State DMV facilities will be closed to public contact from Wednesday, March 18, 2020 until Monday, April 20, 2020. This means that:

  • If you had an appointment with the DMV during the closure period, your appointment will be canceled.
  • New applications for SB 251 licenses will not be processed during this time since there will be no in person appointments .
  • You can renew your SB 251 license online, including for drivers over 65 years of age and under 21.
  • Due to the number of questions the DMV is receiving, the phone wait time may be longer than usual.

More information about procedures during this closure is available on the DMV’s COVID-19 page.

In Partnership with the I-Drive Coalition

Overview  New!

In 2013, the Colorado State Legislature passed the Colorado Road and Community Safety Act (SB13-251). Under SB 251 all Colorado residents, no matter their immigration status, are eligible to apply for a Colorado license or state ID if they meet specific requirements. Later in 2018 SB18-108 was passed with allowed for online renewals and also allowed a valid Social Security Number to be used to access an SB251 license.

In 2019, SB 139 passed, which expanded the program by adding six new DMV offices in the state that will have the ability to issue the SB251 licenses. This guide will help you understand who can qualify for an SB 251 license and how they can apply.

Other names you may have seen this program called may include:

  • SB 251 Licenses
  • CO-RCSA 251
  • RCSA SB 251
  • Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented Individuals

The following guide breaks down the application process into three simple steps:

 

Requirements for SB 251 License 

In order to qualify for a driver’s license, permit, or ID in Colorado you will need all or a combination of the following:

  1. Identification from your country of origin. 
  2. Tax Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security number.
  3. Proof that you have been a Colorado resident for the 24 months preceding your appointment. 
  4. Complete and sign the Colorado Road and Community safety Act Affidavit 

The following table outlines the documents and additional requirements needed to obtain a drivers license in Colorado. Your list of requirements will be different depending on whether you are applying for the first time, are renewing your license, or are a minor wanting to obtain a driver’s permit.

Document Requirements New License License Renewal 15-15.5 year old Driving Permit 15.5-16 year old Driving Permit 16 - 21 year old Driving Permit
Photo ID (passport , consular ID, military ID) Bring your Colorado Driver's License
Tax Identification Number: SSN / ITIN Bring your Colorado Driver's License
Proof that you have lived in CO for 24 months before your appointment can be that of the minor or parent / guardian can be that of the minor or parent / guardian can be that of the minor or parent / guardian
Complete and sign the Colorado Road and Community safety Act Affidavit N/A N/A
30-hr driving course certificate N/A N/A ✅ or 4-hr driver awareness class completion Minor drivers aged 16 and above are not legally required to take any formal driving lessons.
Affidavit of Guardianship & Liability (if applicable) N/A N/A

Step 1: Gather Your Documents

Below you will find a description for each of the required documents needed to apply for a SB 251 license. Please reference the table above to determine your requirements. Click here to read additional requirements for minors.

 

Identification Document

You must provide one of the following documents from your home country that prove your full name, date of birth, date the document was issued, what country issued it, and your photograph. Note: If you are renewing, you will only need to present your previous license.  

  • A passport
  • A consular identification
  • A military identification document

These documents will be accepted 10 years from the listed expiration date. Documents without an expiration date will be accepted 10 years from the issuance date.

Contact the consulate of your home country to get information about obtaining an identification document.

ITIN or Social Security Number

An Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax processing number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to ensure that people pay taxes even if they do not have a Social Security number and regardless of their immigration status. To apply for an SB251 driver’s license you must provide either the original letter from the IRS with your Tax Identification Number (ITIN) or a social security card. Note: If you are renewing, you will only need to present your previous license. 

You can apply for an ITIN with the IRS check out their website for information on applying here.

To find a list of documents you can provide instead of a social security card click here.

Proof of residency in Colorado

There are two paths you can take to prove that you have lived in Colorado for 24 months before your DMV appointment.

  1. One way to prove you have lived in Colorado is to provide the following documents:

a. Your Colorado taxes from the immediately preceding year. The taxes you submit must be certified. You can request certified taxes by printing and submitting the form DR-7515. See Instructions in English and Instructions in Spanish
b. A document to prove your current address in Colorado from the current year . The date on the document must not be older than one year from the date of application. Check this document to see what types of mail that can be used to prove residency

2. Another way you can prove that you have lived in Colorado is to provide the following documents:

a. Proof that you have lived in Colorado for 24 months before your appointment with the DMV. You must provide one of each of the following and all documents must contain name, Colorado address, and dates of service.

      • A document from the current year, with your current Colorado address. The date on the document must be 0-11 months from the date of application. Check this document to see what types of mail that can be used to prove residency.
      • A second document to show Colorado residency from one year prior. The date on the document must be between 12 and 23 months prior to application.
      • A third document to show Colorado residency from two years prior. The date on the document must be between 24 and 30 months before your appointment.
        *Note: P.O. Boxes cannot be used as proof of residency

3. Complete and sign the Colorado Road and Community safety Act Affidavit

This document is your sworn statement that you are a resident of Colorado and that you have applied or will apply to adjust your status in the U.S. as soon as you are eligible.

Examples of residency documents that will not be accepted by the DMV:

  • Documents that include documents that give a date range, but not a specific issuance date
  • Documents without a date
  • Documents without an address
  • Documents not in the applying individual’s name
  • Documents with an issuance date that is outside of the date range specified in the previous section.

Translation of Documents

All documents presented to the DMV at the time of your appointment must be in English or translated into English and the original should also be presented. Translators must provide the following statement at the end of the translated documents and it must be typed or electronically printed on the same page as the translation, not on separate pieces of paper, or the translation will not be accepted by the Department. 

The translator statement must state the following: “I, _______________, affirm that the foregoing is a complete and accurate translation from (insert name foreign language) to the English language to the best of my ability. I further affirm that I am fully competent to translate from (insert name of foreign language) into the English language and that I am proficient in both languages.”

Step 2: Schedule a DMV Appointment

You must schedule an appointment ahead of time to apply for an SB 251 Driver’s license. Appointments are available 60 days out. Note: At this time we recommend that anyone with a prior deportation or criminal history seek counsel from an attorney before applying for a license or renewing.

 

How to Schedule a DMV Appointment

There are three ways you can schedule an appointment to apply for an SB251 license.

  1. You can call to schedule (303) 205-2335 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The DMV representative will speak in English. If you prefer to speak in your native language, make sure you have someone to interpret for you over the phone when calling.
  2. You can schedule an appointment Online (add visual guide on what to click)
  3. You can attend a workshop with a community group to get help with scheduling and prepping for a DMV appointment. Check out who is the closest community group to you here.

Note: It is illegal to sell appointments, all appointments are a free service provided by the government. You can report the selling of appointments to the Attorney General’s office here.

 

Where can I find a DMV office that issues this license?

DMV Offices currently offering SB251 services:

  • Aurora – 14391 E. 4th Ave. Aurora, CO 80011 – DIRECTIONS
  • Colorado Springs – 2447 N. Union Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO 80909 – DIRECTIONS
  • Grand Junction – 222 S. 6th St., Suite 111 Grand Junction, CO 81501 – DIRECTIONS
  • Lakewood Westgate – 3265 S. Wadsworth Blvd., #3A, Lakewood, CO 80227 – DIRECTIONS
  • Durango – 329-A S. Camino Del Rio Durango, CO 81303 – DIRECTIONS
  • Glenwood Springs – 51027 Hwy 6 & 24 Glenwood Springs, CO 81601 – DIRECTIONS
  • Lamar – 3505 S Main. Lamar, CO 81052 – DIRECTIONS
  • Montrose – 2305 S. Townsend Ave., Unit C, Montrose, CO 81401 – DIRECTIONS
  • Pueblo – 827 W. 4th St. Pueblo, CO 81003 – DIRECTIONS

Offices offering CO-RCSA services after July 1, 2020:

  • Alamosa – 715 6th St. Alamosa, CO 81101
  • Sterling – 714 W. Main St. Sterling, CO 80751

Step 3: Prepare for and Attend Your Appointment

The appointments for an SB 251 license are an hour long. During this time a DMV staff member will review the documents you bring to meet the requirements for the SB251 license. You can check that you have all the correct documents by reviewing this checklist, you can also pre-register and let the DMV know what documentation you will be bringing to speed up the process during the appointment.

You will have to take a written test on the rules of the road. The electronic test consists of 25 multiple choice questions and is available in English and Spanish. For additional languages, interpreters are permitted. The interpreter must be 16 years or older and have a valid drivers license.

You may take the test two times per appointment. There will be a $11.15 fee to take the test a second time. You may also opt to take the written test at a third party testing facility before your appointment with the DMV, in order to do so you must pre-register here.

You should review the Colorado Driver Handbook in preparation for your test. (Spanish)

To screen your vision, you will be asked to look into a machine and read lines of letters or numbers to the DMV representative. This screening determines whether your eyesight and peripheral vision meet the minimum standards established by the Colorado Department of Revenue to safely operate a motor vehicle. The DMV’s eye screening is basic and does not take the place of a professional evaluation, should one be required.

If you need to wear glasses or contact lenses to pass the vision screening, you must wear them when you drive, and your license will show this restriction.

At the time of your appointment you will take a driving test. For this test you must be able to provide a valid vehicle registration and proof of valid insurance for the vehicle. The vehicle will also need to pass a safety inspection to verify that items such as signal lights and brake lights are in working condition. You cannot use a translator for this test.

If you fail the test, you will be provided with a driver’s permit, which will allow you to retake the driving test at a Third-party testing facility. You will only be able to do the driving test in a Third-party testing facility if you fail the test in person at the DMV.

You should review the Colorado Driver Handbook in preparation for your test.

The fee for this SB 251 license is higher than the standard license fees. The extra cost goes toward sustaining this program.

  • Driver’s License: $33.00
  • Driving Permit: $21.00
  • ID Card: $13.00
  • Written Test Retake: $11.15

Receiving Your License

Once you successfully go through all the steps required to obtain an SB251the DMV will issue you a temporary driver license. You should receive your regular license in the mail, it usually takes 10-14 days. If you have not received it after 30 days, contact the DMV office where you applied for it or call 303-205-5948. An SB251 adult license is valid for three years and will expire on your birthday.

For Minors Ages 15-21: Driving Permit Requirements

A legal guardian will need to accompany the minor to the DMV. The guardian will need to have proof of legal guardianship (i.e. child’s birth certificate with their name as parent) as well as an identification document (i.e valid Colorado driver’s license).

  • Certificate of 30-hour driver education course completion
  • Written test completion form from driver education school, if applicable
  • An identification document:
    • A passport
    • A consular identification
    • A military identification document
  • Tax Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security Number.
  • Parent or legal guardian who can sign Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship (DR2460) form and/or Affidavit of Identity, if applicable
  • Proof from the parent or minor that they have lived in Colorado for 24 months before their appointment with the DMV.
    • They must provide one of each of the following and all documents must contain name, Colorado address, and dates of service.
      • A document from the current year, with your current Colorado address. The date on the document must be 0-11 months from the date of application. Check this document to see what types of mail that can be used to prove residency.
      • A second document to show Colorado residency from one year prior. The date on the document must be between 12 and 23 months prior to application.
      • A third document to show Colorado residency from two years prior. The date on the document must be between 24 and 30 months before your appointment.
        *Note: P.O. Boxes cannot be used as proof of residency
  • Certificate of 30-hour driver education course completion OR 4-hour driver awareness class completion.
  • Written test completion form from driver education school, if applicable
  • An identification document:
    • A passport
    • A consular identification
    • A military identification document
  • Tax Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security nNumber.
  • Parent or legal guardian who can sign Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship (DR2460) form and/or Affidavit of Identity, if applicable
  • Proof from the parent or minor that they have lived in Colorado for 24 months before their appointment with the DMV.
    • They must provide one of each of the following and all documents must contain name, Colorado address, and dates of service.
      • A document from the current year, with your current Colorado address. The date on the document must be 0-11 months from the date of application. Check this document to see what types of mail that can be used to prove residency.
      • A second document to show Colorado residency from one year prior. The date on the document must be between 12 and 23 months prior to application.
      • A third document to show Colorado residency from two years prior. The date on the document must be between 24 and 30 months before your appointment.
        *Note: P.O. Boxes cannot be used as proof of residency
  • Minor drivers aged 16 and above are not legally required to take any formal driving lessons.
  • An identification document:
    • A passport
    • A consular identification
    • A military identification document
  • Tax Identification Number (ITIN) or Social Security nNumber.
  • Parent or legal guardian who can sign Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship (DR2460) form and/or Affidavit of Identity, if applicable
  • Proof from the parent or minor that they have lived in Colorado for 24 months before their appointment with the DMV.
    • They must provide one of each of the following and all documents must contain name, Colorado address, and dates of service.
      • A document from the current year, with your current Colorado address. The date on the document must be 0-11 months from the date of application. Check this document to see what types of mail that can be used to prove residency.
      • A second document to show Colorado residency from one year prior. The date on the document must be between 12 and 23 months prior to application.
      • A third document to show Colorado residency from two years prior. The date on the document must be between 24 and 30 months before your appointment.
        *Note: P.O. Boxes cannot be used as proof of residency

Get In-person Help

The following community groups have partnered with the DMV to help community members obtain SB 251 driver’s licenses and ID cards. You can work with these groups to prepare your documents & schedule appointments. These nonprofits will not charge you for appointments.

Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition
Monthly workshops at: 2525 W. Alameda Ave.
Denver, CO 80219
DIRECTIONS

For information, contact: 303-922-3344 or visit coloradoimmigrant.org

Sheridan School District #2
4150 S Federal Blvd.,
Englewood, CO 80110
DIRECTIONS

For information, contact: 720-833-6867 or email dbarajasbravo@ssd2.org

Grupo Esperanza de Colorado Springs
1287 Lake Plaza Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
DIRECTIONS

For information, contact: 719-243-1442 or Castellanos.sh27@gmail.com

Lamar Unidos
Monthly workshops at: Lamar Community Building
610 S 6th St.
Lamar, CO 81052
DIRECTIONS

For more information, contact: lamarunidos@gmail.com or @lamar.unidos on Facebook

Alianza Norco
Monthly workshop information can be found at: alianzanorco.org or @AlianzaForImmigrantRights on Facebook

For information, contact: 970-703-3945 or email alianzanorco@gmail.com

Grupo Mayas De Pueblo Colorado Department of Revenue
Monthly workshops at:
Pueblo History Museum
301 N Union Ave.,
Pueblo, CO
DIRECTIONS

For more information, contact: grupomayasdepueblo@gmail.com or @grupomayaspuebloco on Facebook

SLV Immigrant Resource Center
225 6th St., Suite B
Alamosa, CO 81101
DIRECTIONS

719-587-5225 Ext 12
angelica@slvirc.org

Mesa County Public Library District
443 North 6th St
Grand Junction, CO 81501
DIRECTIONS

970-683-2433
egarza@mcpld.org

Hispanic Affairs Project
1010 S. Cascade Ave Suite A1
Montrose, CO 81401
DIRECTIONS

970-249-4115
elisa@hapgj.org

Companeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center
701 Camino del Rio, Suite 319
Durango, CO 81301
DIRECTIONS

970-375-9406
director@companeros.org

Mountain Dreamers
620 E. Main St.
Frisco, CO 80443
DIRECTIONS

970-485-3283
peterbakken@mountaindreamers.org

Neighborhood Navigators (Norma Gurrola)
Eagle County
970-331-1070
norma.gurrola@eagleschools.net, chikis138@live.com

Additional Resources

Disclosure

Although not a government entity, Informed Immigrant strives to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information about the SB 251 Colorado licenses and the Colorado DMV services.