How to get a driver's license, Texas
In Texas, if you are between 18 and 24 years of age and you want to apply a drivers license, you are required to complete driver education training. Texas law and the Department of Public Safety require you complete a 6-Hour adult driver ed course. Fortunately, you can complete this course in the comfort of your own home when you sign up to take your course online. Below you will find detailed information about how to get a driver's license in Texas.
1. Enroll in a Drivers Ed Course
Whether you choose to complete a classroom course or an online adult drivers education course, make sure the provider you choose is approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR).
Your online Texas adult drivers ed course will give you the knowledge and skills you need to pass your driving exam at the DPS, and prepare you for the challenges you'll face behind the wheel. Topics covered will include:
- Safe driving techniques
- Traffic signs and signals
- Proper emergency vehicle procedure
- Proper use of safety restraints
- The dangers and consequences of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Please note: While new drivers in Texas under the age of 18 are required to apply for a Learner License, once you pass your 18th birthday, this is no longer a required step toward getting your driver license.
A couple of common questions we are asked is how to get a drivers license in Texas? Can I get my license at 18 without a permit in Texas? The answer is yes!
2. Texas Drivers License Requirements for Test Day
Once you've completed your TDLR-approved 6-hour drivers education course, and completed the ITYD process, you're ready to head to your local DPS office and take your Texas drivers license test. You'll need to make an appointment ahead of time, which you can do at the Texas DPS website. Depending on your area, you may need to make your appointment several weeks to months ahead of time. Don't wait until the last minute.
You'll need to be at least an hour early for your appointment so that you can go through processing. If you don't show up early, you risk losing your appointment while you wait in line to be processed.
The following is a list of documents you need to take with you to the DPS:
- Your adult drivers education certificate of completion to prove you have fulfilled this requirement.
- Documents confirming your identity including: a Social Security card, proof of U.S. citizenship such as a birth certificate, passport or green card, as well as proof of your Texas residency.
- A completed drivers license application form.
- Your $25 drivers license fee.
3. Taking Your Drivers Exam
If you hope to leave the DPS with your drivers license, you'll need to be prepared to pass the following tests the day of your appointment:
- The written drivers license exam
- A vision test
- A behind-the-wheel driving test
The written exam consists of 30 questions. However, if you completed your adult drivers education course online, you're in luck! The final exam included in your online course counts as your DPS written exam, so you can skip right to the vision and behind-the-wheel tests.
If you do need to take the written test, you should know that all of the questions are taken directly from the Texas Drivers Handbook. Your adult drivers education course is a valuable tool in preparing for this test as it covers all the important information you'll need to know.
You'll need a score of 70% on your written DPS exam to pass. If you fail, you can take the test 2 more times within the same year. If you pass, you can move on to the driving test.
To take your behind-the-wheel test, you'll need to provide a vehicle for the test, along with its proof of liability insurance and valid registration. It's a good idea to spend some time practicing with a licensed adult before you take the behind-the-wheel test. Though driver training is not required for new drivers age 18-24, it's highly advisable.
New Texas Residents: If you just moved to town and hold a valid drivers license from another U.S. state or territory, or from a country where Texas has a license reciprocity agreement (Canada, France, South Korea, or Germany), then you are not required to take the written or behind-the-wheel driving tests. Residents from countries other than the four listed above will be required to take both tests.
Please note: While new drivers in Texas under the age of 18 are required to apply for a Texas learners permit, once you pass your 18th birthday this is no longer a required step toward getting your license.
4. Hitting the Road
- You passed your written exam: check!
- You passed your vision test: check!
- You passed your behind-the-wheel test: check!
Congratulations, you're almost there! Before you leave the DPS office, you'll submit a thumbprint and have your photo taken. You'll be provided with a temporary Texas drivers license that gives you the legal freedom to hit the road on your own - so, that’s how you get a Texas drivers license. Your brand new drivers license will arrive in the mail within 2-3 weeks.