Licenses for undocumented Coloradans just became more accessible! As of June of 2023 all Colorado Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices are able to issue driver licenses to undocumented Coloradans. The name of the license commonly known as the SB 251 license has also been simplified to a name that is easier to recognize and remember: standard license.
To learn more and apply for a driver’s license, follow our guide below or visit the Colorado DMV page for standard licenses that is linked below . As a reminder, renewals can be completed online.
In 2013, the Colorado State Legislature passed the Colorado Road and Community Safety Act (SB13-251). Under this law all Colorado residents, no matter their immigration status, are eligible to apply for a Colorado license or state ID if they meet specific requirements. The I Drive Coalition worked hard to pass multiple amendments to ensure the accessibility and access to driver licenses and IDs for all.
In 2018 SB18-108 was passed which allowed for online renewals and also allowed a valid Social Security Number to be used to access a Standard 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.
The Standard License is for undocumented individuals and individuals with temporary lawful status. Other names you may have seen this program called may include:
The following guide breaks down the application process into three simple steps:
In order to qualify for a driver’s license, permit, or ID in Colorado you will need all or a combination of the following:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.”
You must schedule an appointment ahead of time to apply for a Standard Driver’s license. Appointments are available 60 days out.
Standard License applicants can also renew online. You are encouraged to complete your renewal online here. If you need support renewing online you can find contact information here for the closest community group to you.
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.
There are three ways you can schedule an appointment to apply for a Standard license.
As of June 1, 2023, all 36 DMV offices offer Standard License services. Click here to see a map of all offices and find the location closest to you
During your appointment for a Standard License or ID a DMV staff member will review the documents you bring to meet the requirements for the standard 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.
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.
Once you have passed your driving test at a driving school you will need to schedule another appointment with the DMV to upgrade your driver’s permit to a driver’s license. You can also upgrade your permit to a license online. Here are the instructions on how to upgrade your permit to a license online in English and Spanish.
The DMV will issue you a temporary driver’s license at the time of your appointment. You should receive your regular license in the mail in 10 to 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. A Standard adult license is valid for three years and will expire on your birthday.
The fee for this Standard license is higher than the Real-ID license fees. The extra cost goes toward sustaining this program.
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).
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.
Sheridan School District #2
4150 S Federal Blvd.,
Englewood, CO 80110
Grupo Esperanza de Colorado Springs
1287 Lake Plaza Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80906
Monthly workshops at: Lamar Community Building
610 S 6th St.
Lamar, CO 81052
For more information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or @lamar.unidos on Facebook
Monthly workshop information can be found at: alianzanorco.org or @AlianzaForImmigrantRights on Facebook
Grupo Mayas De Pueblo Colorado Department of Revenue
Monthly workshops at:
Pueblo History Museum
301 N Union Ave.,
For more information, contact: email@example.com or @grupomayaspuebloco on Facebook
SLV Immigrant Resource Center
225 6th St., Suite B
Alamosa, CO 81101
Mesa County Public Library District
443 North 6th St
Grand Junction, CO 81501
Hispanic Affairs Project
1010 S. Cascade Ave Suite A1
Montrose, CO 81401
Companeros: Four Corners Immigrant Resource Center
701 Camino del Rio, Suite 319
Durango, CO 81301
620 E. Main St.
Frisco, CO 80443
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.
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