Parent's Guide to Teen Driving - Part 1: Understanding Laws for Teen Drivers

The Sawaya Law Firm and Colorado Department of Transportation have teamed up to create a guide for teen drivers and parents – The Developing Good Driving Habits Handbook.

PART ONE – Understanding Laws for Teen Drivers

Before you even begin teaching your teen to drive, it’s important to go over Colorado’s restrictions for teen drivers, as well as any local ordinances that may apply. State laws include:

Passenger Restrictions

Teens with a driver’s permit must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or a licensed adult 21 or older in the front seat.

Teens with a driver’s license are subject to the following restrictions:

  • For the first six months, your teen cannot drive with passengers younger than 21, unless you or another licensed adult is in the vehicle.
  • For the next six months, your teen can drive unsupervised with only one passenger younger than 21.
  • The law provides exceptions for teens driving with siblings or passengers with medical
  • No more than one passenger can be in the front seat with your teen.
  • Teen drivers and passengers must always wear seatbelts.

Cellphone Restrictions

Colorado law prohibits teens younger than 18 from using a cellphone while driving. Penalties include fines and the loss of their license. (The only exception is emergency calls such as to law enforcement.)


Obviously, you will probably have your own curfews for your teen, but Colorado law (and some cities and counties) sets specific driving curfews as well. For the first year your teen has a license, state law mandates:

No driving between midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent, guardian, or instructor. The law includes exceptions for teens driving to or from school or work, along with medical emergencies.

Parent's Guide to Teen Driving

Download Your Copy Here.


Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.