Applying for a New Texas License (Drivers 18+)
Although teenagers in Texas have to go through a lengthy graduated drivers license (GDL) program, Texas residents over 18 actually have a much easier path in front of them. In just a few short steps, you can qualify for your full unrestricted license without waiting for years to go by as you are gradually granted greater driving privileges. Of course, you still have to demonstrate that you are competent behind the wheel and thoroughly understand the rules of driving on Texas roads. The process consists of completing an adult driver education course, passing a written exam and behind-the-wheel test, and providing the necessary documents and fees.
New Texas Residents
If you have been licensed in another state and recently moved to Texas, you have 90 days from the day you relocated to apply for a Texas drivers license. The road and knowledge tests can be waived if your current license is valid and unexpired, or even if you come from France, Canada, South Korea, or Germany. Military members in active service or who have been honorably discharged can also still use their expired licenses when applying for a new one, and bypass the written exam and road test.
Taking an Approved Drivers Education Course
One major requirement you will have to fulfill before you can get a license at any age in Texas is to complete a state-approved driver education course, either in person or online. The course will cover the most fundamental aspects of driving in Texas, and prepare you for the written and behind-the-wheel exams you will soon be taking to get your license. Studying the Texas Drivers Handbook in conjunction with taking the course is the most effective way to ensure you will be ready for all the challenges and responsibilities that driving brings.
Some courses even include the written exam at their conclusion, so taking them will waive them later on at the DPS. The test consists of questions about rules of the road in Texas, including the meanings of signs and markers, administrative requirements like auto insurance and vehicle registration, and the penalties for various traffic violations. It will also cover basic operation and maintenance of your vehicle.
Applying for a Texas Drivers License
To apply for a drivers license, you need to visit your local license office and present the following documents:
- Completed Application for Texas Driver License
- Proof of identity (such as a passport, citizenship card, birth certificate, Social Security card, etc.)
- Proof of Social Security number
- Proof of auto insurance (if you own the vehicle) or affidavit (if you don’t own the vehicle)
- Certificate of completion from your driver education course
- Drivers license processing fees
You now simply have to complete a supervised behind-the-wheel driving test. If you can demonstrate competency on the road under real conditions, you will be approved for your license and be given a temporary paper one to use until the real thing arrives in the mail in the next several days. You’ve earned this–so use it responsibly.