I was so excited to get my Colorado driver's license so that I could become a real Coloradan, but honestly, the experience was a bit traumatizing.

The Colorado DMV doesn't require those with a valid out-of-state driver's license to take a driving or written test, which is super nice, but don't let that allow you to believe transferring your driver's license will be a walk in the park.

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What You Need to Bring to Get Your Colorado Driver's License

In order to transfer your out-of-state driver's license to the state of Colorado you are going to need to prove the following:

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Residential Address

Bringing those two things doesn't seem that bad right? Well, there's actually a lot of bureaucratic tape to sort through within those requirements.

For proof of identity you will need one of the following:

  • An unexpired ENHANCED out-of-state driver license/ID card (Available only from MI, NY, MN, WA, VT)
  • An unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. passport card
  • An unexpired permanent resident card (I-551)
  • A certificate of naturalization/citizenship (Issued within 20 years)

OR....

  • A state- or county-certified U.S. Birth Certificate (City-issued birth certificates are accepted ONLY from the Boroughs of New York City and Washington, D.C.)
  • A consular report of birth abroad
  • A certificate of naturalization/citizenship (Issued 20+ years ago)
  • A certified U.S. adoption order (with birth information)

If you have to choose from the second list, you'll also need to bring one of these additional forms of identification:

  • An out-of-state driver license/instruction permit/ID card (Unexpired/expired less than 10 years)
  • A U.S. passport or U.S. passport card (Expired less than 10 years)
  • A military ID/Common Access Card (Unexpired/expired less than 10 years)
  • A VA card (issued within 20 years)
  • A Bureau of Indian Affairs or Tribal ID with photo (Issued within 20 years)
  • A Federal Bureau of Prisons or State Department of Corrections ID card
  • A parent or legal guardian with identity document and proof of guardianship (if under age 21)

I had to wait and order a new birth certificate from the State of Texas because the birth certificate I had was issued was from the county I was born in, which apparently is not good enough for the state of Colorado.

Taking Your Colorado Driver's License Photo

Taking your driver's license photo is always a big deal. This is the photo you'll be presenting as proof of identification, not to mention that you'll be stuck with this picture for years to come.

Of course, in preparation for taking my driver's license photo, I spent hours on my hair and makeup.

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Unfortunately, all that work was a complete waste.

For some reason, in the state of Colorado, your hair must be behind your shoulders for your photograph. Coming from Texas, they didn't have that rule, or they didn't enforce it at least.

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The clerk did tell me I was allowed to smile for my photo, which I didn't know was ever in question, but I guess that's nice to know?

I put on my best smile, watched the clerk snap the photo, and was excited to hear her say that the photo looked great. Again, this photo is staying with me for years, so I definitely wanted it to look good.

The clerk printed out my temporary ID and handed it to me, which I received in horror!

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This photo was TERRIBLE! I literally wanted to cry when I saw it. I understand that the clerks are busy and don't have time to snap a thousand photos until someone is happy, but can we at least get a second try?

My Colorado driver's license dreams were shattered. Seriously, looking at my driver's license photo is traumatizing.

How Long Does It Take For Your Colorado Driver's License to Arrive?

The clerk explained to me that it should take about a week for my license to arrive in the mail, but also stated that it could take up to 30 days.

Online the Colorado DMV states about the same:

"To provide greater security and align with REAL ID recommendations, all licenses, permits, and ID cards are mailed from a secure central location and usually arrive in 8-10 days, but may take up to 30 days to be delivered."

You can check on the status of your Colorado driver's license by visiting myDMV.Colorado.gov and clicking "Where is my driver's license/ IS?"

I received my driver's license in the mail 8 days after my visit to the DMV.

Good luck with transferring your out-of-state license, hopefully, you take a better picture than I did.

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