If you’re 18 years old and would like to obtain a Texas driver’s license, you’ll have to meet certain Texas driver’s license requirements. The rules differ for how to get a driver’s license in Texas, depending on whether you’ve recently moved from out of state, have had a license in the past, or are applying for your first driver’s license. Here’s some information to help 18-year-olds learn how to get a license in Texas.
Six-Hour Adult Driving Course
In Texas, those ages 18 to 24 who are first-time applicants for a driver’s license must complete a Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)-approved six-hour adult driver education course.
The course covers a variety of safety information, including right-of-way rules, traffic control devices, traffic flows and the effects of drugs, alcohol, and distracted driving. The six-hour course requires you to pass a final written exam, but if you take an online version of the course, most will offer an online test that substitutes for the written exam. A certificate is issued once you complete the course and pass the exam. The course was instituted to support safe driving habits for younger drivers, particularly teens, whose car crash rates are among the highest.
“Teen car crashes are preventable and it’s important that we teach that there’s personal responsibility for our actions and attitudes and driving behaviors," said Jacob Smith, program manager for transportation safety with the National Safety Council. "Often times, this cannot be done by just driving with the parent. It has to be done through additional education,”
As part of your Texas driver’s license requirements, you will also need to watch an Impact Texas Drivers educational video about the dangers of distracted driving.
Those 18 to 24 years old who completed a teen driver education course will need to watch the free two-hour Impact Texas Teen Drivers (ITTD) video. For 18- to 24-year-olds who have completed the six-hour adult education course, you must watch the free one-hour Impact Texas Young Drivers (ITYD) informational video. After watching either video, you will receive a certificate of completion.
After You Finish the Course
Once you’ve completed your educational requirements, fill out the driver’s license application (Form DL-14A) before taking it, along with your educational certificates of completion, to a local DPS office to schedule a driver’s test. There, DPS will require proof of:
Texas residency, like your current year high school or college report card, paystub dated in the past 90 days, or W-2 tax form for the current year.
Identity, such as an identification card, past driver’s license from another state or country, or original permanent resident card.
Social Security number.
Evidence of vehicle registration (currently waived due to COVID-19 pandemic).
Proof of vehicle insurance.
If you don’t own a vehicle, you’ll sign a statement affirming you are not a vehicle owner.
Your residency requirements may be waived if you are:
Subject to the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) administered by the Attorney General of Texas.
A judge, or a spouse of a judge.
Active duty military personnel or a spouse or dependent of active military (may provide residency address outside of Texas).
Incarcerated in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility.
Temporary residents or foreign visitors will have different document requirements.
Exceptions, Other Requirements
If you’ve moved from out of state, are between 18 and 24 years old, and had a driver’s license in a previous state, you do not need to take the six-hour adult driver education course. You can simply apply for a Texas driver’s license and provide the above proofs of identity, residency, citizenship, and other information. You also don’t need to take the driver’s test.
Once at the DPS, you will also need to pay an application fee, provide thumbprints, have your picture taken, and pass a vision exam before taking the driving test. The current new or renewed driver license application fee is $25, which can be paid by cash, check, credit card, or money order.
You may complete the driver’s test at the DPS office or through an approved third-party provider. Check with DPS for which providers the agency has approved.