Driver Ed FAQ
Find Helpful Information on a Variety of Colorado Driver Education Topics for Teens and Adults
Who can take your classes?
TopCops Driving School offers driver's ed courses and services for teens as young as 14 years and 6 months years old and adults in and around the Boulder and Denver areas. This includes (but is not limited to) students from the following school districts:
• Adams 12 Five Star Schools
• Boulder Valley School District
• Jefferson County School District
• Weld RE-5 School District
• Saint Vrain School District
• Brighton 27J School District
• Westminster Public Schools
• Mapleton School District
• Adams County School District 50
We have also taught students and adults from Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and even Cheyenne, Wyoming! Whether you're looking for driver's ed for your young teen, an au pair, or even a college student, or adult - TopCops Driving School can help!
In addition to offering in-person classes, TopCops also offers online and virtual class options, so students can take our 30-Hour Course from anywhere in Colorado!
What are the stages of Colorado's Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws?
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury for teenagers due to lack of experience behind the wheel. This is why a quality driver education program aligned with state regulations and requirements — like our program at TopCops — is essential. Colorado has implemented Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws to decrease the risk of teen accidents by introducing teenagers to driving in three progressing stages. These phases include:
1. Learner Stage - The supervised stage of learning for young drivers lasts 12 months.
2. Intermediate Stage - The restricted license stage of driving for young drivers lasts 12 months.
3. Full Privilege Stage - The unrestricted stage of driving.
Click here to visit Colorado's GDL Toolkit website for more information.
At what age can my teen start a driver education program?
Teens can start the 30-Hour Driver Education Course with TopCops at 14 years and six months of age. Following course completion, students can take the Written Permit Test. Once the student passes their written exam, we will enter the completion into the DMV Database and they can go to the DMV to get their Instruction Permit, students must be at minimum 15 years of age or older. FYI - The course completion certificate is valid for 180 days, so it must be taken to the DMV to receive their permit within that 180-day window.
What are the steps involved in my teen getting their drivers license?
TopCops offers all the courses, lessons, and tests required by the State of Colorado Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Program. For your teen to get their driver's license at 16, they must complete the following steps:
Step 1: Enroll and complete TopCops 30-Hour Driver Education Course. Your teen must be at least 14 years and six months of age.
Step 2: Take and pass the Written Permit Test (offered with our 30-hour course).
Step 3: Schedule an appointment to visit any State DMV to obtain the Instructional Permit, also referred to as Learner's Permit. Applicants must be at minimum 15 years of age or older to obtain the instructional permit. All teens must hold their permit for one full year from date of issue.
Step 4: Enroll and complete TopCops 6-Hour Behind-The-Wheel Driver Training within the first six months of holding the permit.
Step 5: Drive with a parent/guardian to log 50 hours of driving over 12 months with a permit. At least ten of those hours must be from driving at night.
Step 6: Enroll and pass the DMV Driver's Test with TopCops once your teen has held their permit for one year.
Step 7: Schedule an appointment to visit any State DMV location to obtain the teen's restricted license once they have held the permit for one full year from date of issue.
What do I need to bring to the DMV to get an Instruction Permit at 15?
Once you meet the requirements and are 15, you're ready to schedule an appointment with the DMV to apply for your Instruction Permit! Here's what you will need to bring:
• State-issued birth certificate or passport
• Know the minor's social security number (you do not need to bring the card)
• A parent/guardian that can sign the Affidavit of Liability and Guardianship (DR2460)
• Cash or check for the applicable fee
TopCops Driving School will enter the completion of the 30-hour course and the written permit test into the DMV system.
What are the restrictions for a newly licensed teen driver?
The rules of the road apply to drivers of all ages, but there are certain additional restrictions that all teen drivers need to know. Once your teen receives their license, they must abide by the following Colorado GDL laws:
• For the first six months after your license is issued, you cannot have any passengers under 21, unless a parent or another licensed adult driver is in the vehicle. After 6 months, you may have one passenger younger than 21. Siblings and passengers with medical emergencies are exceptions.
• After the first year, the teen driver may have as many passengers as they have seat belts.
• Teen drivers under age 18 are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving.
• For the first year as a licensed driver, teens must abide by curfew-no driving between midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Exceptions include driving to/from school/work (signed statement required), medical emergencies, and emancipated minors.
• By law, drivers and all passengers must wear seat belts. -And no sharing!
If these laws aren't followed, teens can be fined and may risk losing their license. Please visit the Colorado Department of Motor Vehicle website for more information on these teen driver restrictions. Look under Drivers Under 21 heading. "I'm under 18 and just got my license, what are the rules?"
What's new in Colorado traffic law for 2022?
House Bill 22-1028: Colorado's New 'Safety Stop' Law
For drivers, sharing the road with cyclists starts with understanding their rights. This past April, the Colorado Safety Stop was signed into law. The Safety Stop creates a safer way for people on bikes to cross at intersections when they have the right of way. The maneuver allows cyclists to:
• Treat stop signs as yield signs
• Treat stop lights as stop signs
The Safety Stop does not impact the current right-of-way whatsoever. Bicycles can proceed straight, right, or left at a reasonable speed of no more than 15 miles per hour only when the coast is clear. Keep an eye out for cyclists making these maneuvers.
Does TopCops sell Gift Certificates?
Yes! TopCops Driving School offers gift certificates for all of our driver education and defensive driver training services. For more information or to purchase a gift certificate, contact our office.
Does TopCops have a refund policy?
TopCops schedules officers in advance to be off-duty to provide quality driver education and instruction services. In the chance you need to cancel, TopCops will refund money for services (except for the Permit and Driving Test) not rendered minus a $100 processing fee or a $100 processing fee for the Online Classroom Platinum or Premier Packages. NO REFUNDS FOR ONLINE SELF PACED ONLY.
However, once you begin the service, such as attending one classroom portion, completing eight hours of the selp paced online classroom, or scheduling one Behind-The-Wheel driving lesson, we cannot offer a refund for sessions not completed. If you purchased a Platinum or Premier Package and cannot complete all of the steps, the remainder will be forfeited.
• The Zoom Virtual Classroom and Online Self-Paced 30-Hour Course are not interchangeable. There is a $150 transfer fee from one course to the other.
• The Driving Test is non-refundable.
• We cannot offer refunds after three months. And there are no refunds if we can provide the service, and it just does not work for your schedule.
• The agreement to deliver the defined training services expires 18 months after the enrollment date in Colorado.
30-Hour Driver Education Course
What is the course outline for the In-Person (or Zoom) 30-Hour Driver Education Course?
Our 30-Hour Driver Education Course curriculum covers all of Colorado's requirements through interactive lessons, discussions, games, lectures, and small group activities. We focus on building confidence through a positive approach to the responsibility of driving.
During day 1 we will have a 30-minute Parent Orientation in the morning and then cover signals and roadways markings, basic car control, and making safe driving decisions.
During day 2 we will cover managing risk and SIPDE, effects of driver conditions, alcohol/drugs and driving, and managing distractions.
During day 3 we will cover traffic laws, car control, traffic intersections, sharing the road, adverse driving conditions, and roadway emergencies.
During day 4 we will cover driving in city traffic, driving in rural areas, highway driving, maintaining a vehicle, and students will take the Written Permit Test.
What's the difference between the In-Person, Virtual LIVE Instruction through Zoom, and Online Self-Paced 30-Hour Course?
We offer the 30-Hour Course in three different formats to best meet the diverse needs of our students.
Option 1: In-Person Classroom
Students that choose to take the 30-Hour Course in-person will attend class at the YMCA in Lafayette following the predetermined four-day schedule. Class times start at 8:30 am and end at 4:30 pm. Students will learn from interactive lectures, discussions, and hands-on activities. Students will take the written permit test at the end of the fourth day, the last day of class.
Option 2: Virtual LIVE Instruction through Zoom
Students that choose to take the 30-Hour Course virtually through Zoom will receive an email before the start of class with the Zoom classroom login credentials. Like the in-person option, virtual classroom students will follow the predetermined four-day schedule, logging in at 8:30 am and logging out at 4:30 pm. Students will learn from interactive lectures, discussions, and activities that are being live-streamed from the in-person class. Students will take the written permit test at the end of the fourth day, the last day of class.
Option 3: Self-Paced Online Course
Students that choose to take the 30-Hour Course online at their own pace will receive an email with course activation instructions and login credentials within 24 hours of payment. Students have six months to complete the online course that starts from the first login. Students will learn from online course modules using 3D animations, images, and graphics. This course also comes with a narrative book. Upon course completion, students will take the written permit test through the DMV.
Please visit our Driver Ed Services page for more information on course details and driver education requirements.
Is the 30-Hour Driver Education Course mandatory?
The 30-Hour Driver Education Course is mandatory for teens who want to obtain their Minor Permit at 15 years old, putting them on track to receive their Colorado Driver's License at 16.
Teens between 15 years, six months to 16 years old can complete either the 30-Hour Driver Education Course or a 4-hour driver awareness program.
For teens who want to obtain their Minor Permit at 16 years old or older, the 30-Hour Course is not mandatory.
***Even though the 30-Hour Course may not be mandatory for your teen, it is still filled with incredibly valuable and potentially life-saving information and helps prepare students for a future of safe driving. In addition, completing the 30-Hour Course could also qualify your teen for a discount on their auto insurance. Contact your insurance agent for more information.
Does TopCops partner with local rec centers to offer teens the 30-Hour Driver Education Course?
Yes, TopCops partners with the YMCA of Northern Colorado to offer in-person 30-Hour Driver Education classes. Teach your teen to drive by the experts, Colorado Police Officers! The 30-Hour Driver Education Course is required by the State of Colorado. At TopCops Driving School - Operator #9630, your teen will learn the rules of the road exclusively from POST Academy Certified Driving Instructors, School Resource Officers, and Police Officers who have received honors as the best traffic investigators.
Approved by Colorado DMV, our curriculum focuses on the rules of driving through interactive lectures, group discussions, games, and small group activities. This course covers all state-mandated requirements and prepares students for the Written Permit Test. Students will learn about basic car maintenance, how to change a tire, what to expect and how to react during a traffic stop. TopCops also offers a Parent Orientation on the first day of the course to help you navigate this exciting milestone for your teen and learn how to be a home driving instructor.
Visit our Driver Ed Services page to learn more about this course, its offerings, and upcoming classes.
Can I take the 30-Hour Course virtually through Zoom if I live far away?
Yes, teens and adults from all over Colorado can take our 30-Hour Course virtually through Zoom. We've even taught students from Cheyenne, Wyoming!
Is my teen required to take 6 hours of behind-the-wheel to get their license?
If your teen wants to get their license at 16, then they must take six hours of Behind-The-Wheel (BTW) Driving Lessons. Otherwise, they must wait till they are at least 16 and a half years old to get their restricted driver's license.
No matter the decision, driving lessons with a certified driving instructor is highly recommended for learning drivers. Our BTW private driving lessons are one-on-one with your student and a Colorado Police Officer as the driving instructor. Each three-hour lesson will cover basic car control, road management, scanning, decision making, hazard management, and highway control. Lessons can also be tailored to the student's needs, such as specific routes and skills.
To learn more about our Behind-The-Wheel Driving Lessons visit our Driver Ed Services page.
When should my teen start behind-the-wheel driving lessons?
TopCops Driving School is designed so that the curriculum taught in the classroom will prepare your teen for their Behind-The-Wheel (BTW) Driving Lessons. We recommend students take their BTW Driving Lessons within the first 3-6 months of receiving their permit. This allows your teen to apply all of the knowledge they gained during the 30-hour course on the road with one of our certified driving instructors - who are also police officers! Starting these lessons early in the permit phase also allows our police officer driving instructors to teach your teen the best driving habits from the start.
The Colorado DMV recommends that your teen completes their BTW Driving Lessons within the first six months of completing the classroom portion so that the training remains consistent and flows from one segment to the next.
To learn more about our Behind-The-Wheel Driving Lessons, check out our Driver Ed Services page.
How do I get my teen's drive times scheduled?
To schedule your teen's driving lesson times, log into your Student's Account to reserve a time. Select a day of the week that appears in green that works for you, then click 'Register.' Your teen's driving lesson can take place at one of the following high schools: Fairview, Boulder, Monarch, Centaurus, and Broomfield.
What can my teen expect to learn during behind-the-wheel training?
Our Behind-The-Wheel driving lessons are conducted in an unmarked police car with an off-duty police officer instructor. These vehicles are equipped with a secondary brake and mirrors so that our driving instructor can take control of the car if necessary. At TopCops, your teen not only learns how to drive they also receive insights about how to handle emergency situations, road hazards, traffic stops, and other real-life situations that they can't get with any other instructor. The time your teen spends with a TopCops instructor is not just about the training; it is also about building safe and trusting relationships between cops and teens that are positive experiences.
Visit our Driver Education Services page to learn more about our Behind-The-Wheel Driving Lessons.
What is the cancellation policy for drive times?
TopCops charges a late cancellation fee of $95 for any cancellation made with less than 48-hour notice. Our police officers have regular schedules that they need to adhere to, so it is really difficult for us to make last-minute changes. This fee will be collected before the next lesson is scheduled. These are the following reasons that we would have to charge this cancellation fee:
• If you fail to show up for your scheduled lesson or class without calling to cancel at least 48 hours in advance.
• Forgetting to bring your contract, permit, or proof of vehicle insurance to your drive lesson.
• Showing up more than 15 minutes late for your lesson.
• If your permit lists glasses, you must have them to drive.
What is your weather policy?
We live in the beautiful state of Colorado with ever-changing weather, and we understand that students will need practice in all types of weather conditions and situations.
Regarding Behind-The-Wheel Driving Lessons, we will drive when the roads are wet; however, we will not drive when the roads are snow-packed or icy. We obtain real-time information from CDOT about road conditions and local weather forecasts to predict when we should or should not drive. If we deem it unsafe for your student and our instructor to be out on the road, we will cancel the driving lesson and let you know by email first and or phone as secondary options as soon as possible and will work with you to reschedule that drive time.
Keep in mind we do require the drives be completed within the first 6 months of holding the permit. If your drive is cancelled due to weather and you are following TopCops required scheduling timeline you will be able to reschedule this cancelled drive for a later time or the following month.
IF you chose to wait until the last month of permit term to finish the required six hours and a drive is cancelled due to weather, we will work with you to get rescheduled as soon as possible, however there is no guarantee it will be done in the same month it was cancelled.
Utilization of the wait list tool on the scheduling page and monitoring the schedule for new openings will help expedite the rescheduling process.
If your Drive Test is cancelled, we will get you rescheduled as soon as possible. Keep in mind a slide or slip on a drive test is an automatic FAIL in the state's eyes. TopCops does not believe in setting the testing party up for failure.
How can I let other drivers know that my teen is training in my vehicle?
TopCops has magnetic student driver signs that you can safely stick to the back of your vehicle to notify drivers behind you that your student driver is in training. These magnetic signs can be affixed to any metal area on the rear of your car. Take them out and use them when your teen is driving. They are re-usable (since they are magnetic) and can give you and your new driver an added layer of protection. Our TopCops magnetic student driver sign can be purchased for $20 at class (during the 30-Hour Driver Education Course) or at the Written Permit Test.
Why should my teen take the Driving Test with TopCops and not with the DMV?
The DMV no longer offers the Driving Test. Your teen will need to complete the Driving Test with an approved driver education school, like TopCops!
Our TopCops driving instructors are all trained to administer the Driving Test. They will create a calm atmosphere for your student to feel safe and at ease. Teens can concentrate on their skills and take the test with confidence. The Driving Test will be conducted in your vehicle at either Broomfield or Louisville at one of our Driving Test locations.
Once you register for your teen's Driving Test appointment, we will reserve a time slot with you. The Driving Test fee is non-refundable; however, please contact our office 72 hours before your test date if you need to reschedule your teen's test. If your teen needs to re-take their test, you will need to purchase a re-test by calling the office.
What does my teen need to bring to their Driving Test?
Once the Behind-The-Wheel Driving Lessons are complete, 50 hours of supervised driving has been logged, and the permit has been held for at least one year from the date of issue (unless the student is 18+ years of age), your student can take the Driving Test. Below is a list of what to bring to the Driving Test:
• Your vehicle (sanitized and free of debris)
• Current registration for your vehicle
• Proof of insurance for your vehicle
• Primary email (for email verification from DMV)
• If you have a license restriction, such as glasses or interlock, you must bring your interlock vehicle or wear glasses for the test, or we will not be able to perform the test.
*Please Note* Without these items, we will have to cancel the driving test and charge a $50 rescheduling fee.
Visit our Driving Test page for more information on the requirements, items to bring, and how to prepare.
What do we do after my teen passes their Drive Test?
Once your teen passes the Drive Test, they are ready to get their driver's license! You no longer need to visit a DMV office; upgrading your teen's instruction permit to a driver's license can now all be done online. Visit Colorado DMV to learn more about the new online process.
In addition to upgrading your permit to a driver's license online, we recommend contacting your auto insurance company to ensure your newly licensed teen driver is covered under your auto policy.
Defensive Driving Instruction
What are the requirements to take the Defensive Driving Course?
To take our Defensive Driving Instruction course, students must have their driver's license and a vehicle to use during the one-on-one defensive driver training.
When should I take the Defensive Driving Instruction course?
Our Defensive Driving Course can be taken any time after the student receives their driver's license.
For newly licensed drivers, we recommend taking the course as soon as possible. This allows us to build upon their recent driver education experience and help them develop a strong understanding of driving defensively before they develop any bad habits behind the wheel.
How is your Defensive Driving Instruction different from Behind-The-Wheel training?
Unlike our Behind-The-Wheel Training, our Defensive Driving Course is an advanced driver training for licensed drivers.
During the one-on-one defensive driver training, our Police Officer Driving Instructors will teach students a wide variety of defensive maneuvers and help them better understand their vehicle's safety features and how to utilize them effectively.
What does the Defensive Driving Instruction Course cover?
Our Defensive Driving Instruction offers tremendous value and a potentially life-saving training experience. During the two-hour lesson, students will learn:
• The difference between offensive and defensive driving.
• How to utilize their vehicle's safety features.
• How to deal with road rage and escape route protection.
• What to do when stopped by police or when you're in an accident.
• How to safely share the road with motorcycles, wide load equipment, and construction crews.
• When it's okay to use emergency lanes and safe stopping positions.
• The differences between rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, and four-wheel drive.
• How to drive in inclement weather and hydroplane control.
• How to utilize their vehicle's anti-lock brakes.
• How to maneuver around obstacles safely.
• How to prevent overcorrecting and skid control.
• Target pointing in backing - using all mirrors and camera.
For more information on our Defensive Driving Instruction, visit our Defensive Driving page on our website.
Can adults take the Defensive Driving Course?
Yes! Anyone with a valid driver's license can take the Defensive Driving Instruction course.
How do I schedule the Defensive Drive?
Does the Defensive Driving Course qualify for Colorado court-mandated traffic school?
Yes, our Defensive Driving Instruction qualifies for Colorado court-mandated traffic school. Unlike online traffic school options, students learn how to be a safe, defensive driver through a comprehensive one-on-one driving lesson with one of our Police Officer Driving Instructors. Upon completion, students will receive a completion certificate.
Before enrolling, we recommend contacting the court first to confirm eligibility requirements and permission to take TopCops Driving School's Defensive Driving Instruction for your Colorado traffic violation.
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