Getting a Texas Learners Permit
Getting a learners permit is one of the first steps that teens and young adults take to becoming a licensed driver. A learners permit allows the student driver to legally drive with a licensed driver over the age of 21 in the passenger seat.
There are a number of steps that are taken to getting your learners permit in Texas, including starting Drivers Ed. If you know how the system works ahead of time, you can plan out your actions ahead of time, enroll in the right courses, fulfill all your driving requirements, and earn your driving privileges.
Drivers Ed in Texas
Texans can apply for their learners permits (or “learners licenses” as they are sometimes called) as young as 15 years old, but only if they have completed the classroom portion of a state-approved drivers education course. This consists of at least 32 hours of in-class instruction from an official instructor, and may even conclude with the written exam usually taken at the DPS before being approved for your learner’s permit. If you succeed in obtaining your learners license, you must have a licensed driver over age 21 in the front seat of the car at all times.
What to Bring to the DPS When You Apply
When you apply at the DPS for your permit, you’ll need to bring several forms and identifications with you, so it’s a good idea to know ahead of time what will be required. Make sure you bring the following to the DPs when you apply for your learners permit:
- A Texas driver education certificate to prove you have completed the necessary education
- A complete DL-14A (Application for Driver License) form, including parent or guardian’s signature
- Verification of enrollment and attendance in high school
- Two proofs of Texas residency
- Social Security card or other proof of Social Security number
Texas Learners Provisional License
At age 16, you can finally graduate up to having a provisional license if you have displayed good driving behavior, completed 30 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, had your permit for at least six months, and passed the driving test
A provisional license will allow you to finally drive by yourself. However, you still can’t drive between midnight and 5 a.m., drive with more than one passenger under 21 years old, and use a cell phone (even with a headset) except in the event of an emergency. These restrictions will be lifted after one year of good driving on your provisional license, or when you turn 18.
You can learn more about Texas learners permits and provisional licenses at the TxDPS website.
At 18, you will finally have a full drivers license without any restrictions or provisions. It can seem like a long wait up to this point, but the restrictions of the graduated driver texas license programs are in place for a reason. By easing young people into the world of driving, the streets are kept safer, lives are saved, and teens are given the chance to learn the complex maneuvers of driving at a healthy pace. Just be patient, and enjoy the ride.