If you are under the age of 18, you must complete the TX driver’s education course. You can start the classroom phase of the driver’s education course at 14 years old, but you can’t apply for your TX learner’s permit until you are at least 15 years old.
There are four types of driver education you can select when you are taking this course, and they are as follows:
- A traditional driver’s education course that is offered by a certified driver training school
- An online driver’s education course that is offered by a certified driver training school
- Parent-taught driver’s education (PTDE)
- Driver education offered in public school
There are two phases of licensing for all teens before they are allowed to graduate to a full driver’s license, which is known as the Graduated Driver’s License Program.
Phase 1 – Learner’s License
- Entry-level restricted Texas driver’s license that allows you to practice driving with a licensed adult before you graduate to the next level.
- You must be between 15 and 17 years old
- You must have completed the first 6 hours of the driver’s education classroom instruction IF you are using the concurrent method or all 32 classroom hours of classroom instruction IF you are using the block method
- You are required to provide evidence that you:
- Obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent, or are a student enrolled in a public, private, or home school, and attend school for at least 90% of the time in the fall or spring semester preceding the date of application, or you are currently enrolled in a program that prepares you to pass the high school equivalency exam.
- You must have been enrolled for the previous 45 days from the date of applying for your learner’s license; or if you are applying during the summer and are still enrolled in school, your last report card for the most recent school year is acceptable, provided it has your name, list of absences, and a complete listing of grades.
- You are required to have a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old in the front passenger seat when you’re driving
- You must attain this license for at least 6 months unless you turn 18
- You are restricted from using a cell phone and other wireless communication devices, including a hands-free device, except in the case of an emergency
- If your license is suspended at any time while you hold a TEXAS learner’s license, the initial 6-month period increases by the number of days of the suspension. (This is to make sure you attain a valid TX learner’s license for a full 6 months)
- Your learner’s license will expire on your 18 birthday
Applying for Your Learner’s License
To apply for your learner’s permit in Texas, you need to visit a driver’s license office and provide proof of the following:
- U.S. citizenship or evidence of lawful presence in the U.S. if you’re not a U.S. citizen
- Proof of Texas residency
- Proof of identity
- Proof of social security number
- Evidence of Texas vehicle registration for each vehicle you own (new residents who are surrendering an out-of-state driver’s license only)
- Proof of insurance for each vehicle you own
- Texas Driver’s Education Certificate that proves classroom completion
- Certified driver’s training school (DE-964)
- Parent-taught driver’s education – (DE-964)
- Public school driver’s education – (DE-964E)
This does not apply to new residents who are 18 years of age or older and surrendering an out-of-state driver’s license.
- Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE form) that is issued by a school or a high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
- VOE requires a signature (a stamped or computer-generated signature of a school official is acceptable and valid for 30 days from issuance, or 90 days from issuance between the months of June through August, or a current report card for the most recent school year.)
If you don’t own a vehicle, you must sign a statement confirming this.
Once you gather the required documents and completed the required courses, you need to complete the following steps:
- Complete the driver’s license application BEFORE arriving at your local office (you can also obtain this form at a TEXAS driver’s license office.)
- Schedule an appointment at a driver’s license office (bring a parent or legal guardian. If you are bringing a parent or legal guardian, you are required to bring a certified court order that demonstrates guardianship)
Phase 2 – Provisional Driver’s License
- You are required to attain your valid TX learner’s license for at least 6 months UNLESS you have reached 18 years of age
- You must be 16 or 17 years old
- You must have completed the behind-the-wheel portion of driver’s education, which includes:
- 7 hours of in-car observation sitting beside the instructor, watching the instructor demonstrate certain points of instruction
- 7 hours of in-car observation driving and demonstrating to the instructor that you have learned the points of instruction
- 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice, of which at least 10 hours must be at night with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age in the vehicle at all times
- You must have completed the Impact Texas Teen Driver Program within the previous 90 days of taking your skills test
- You must successfully pass your driving test
- This license expires on your 18th birthday
- You are not permitted to drive a motor vehicle with more than one passenger in the vehicle who is under 21 and not a family member
- You are not permitted to operate a motor vehicle between midnight and 5:00 AM, UNLESS the operation of the vehicle is necessary for you to work, attend or participate in school-related activities, or due to a medical emergency.
- You are restricted from using a cell phone, tablet, and other wireless communication devices, including hands-free devices, except in the case of an emergency
- This driver’s license will expire when you turn 18 years old. You must visit your local TX driver’s license office within 30 days of it expiring to renew it. You will then be issued a driver’s license for individuals who are under 21 years of age.
Applying for Your Provisional Driver’s License
Once you have completed all the TX learner’s license requirements, you must visit a driver’s license office and provide the following additional documentation:
- Complete the Texas driver’s license application (Form DL-14b) BEFORE arriving for your appointment. You can also get this form at all TX driver’s license offices.
- Bring your parent or legal guardian or the notarized application signed by your parent or legal guardian to the driver’s license office.
You must provide the following documentation to the license and permit specialist:
- The completed Driver’s License or Identification Card Application (Form DL-14b)
- Evidence of lawful presence (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Proof of identity
- Texas Driver’s Education Certification of Completion (DE-964 or DE-964E)
- Provide evidence of successfully passing the driving test (if you completed the driving test at a driver training school, the results must be provided by the school in a sealed envelope and provided to DPS at the time you are applying for your license)
- Impact Texas Driver Program Certificate of Completion
- Provide your signature
- Provide your thumbprints
- Have your picture taken
- Pay all appropriate fees
- Pass the vision exam
- Provide proof of a valid auto insurance policy (if you are taking the driving skills test)
You can complete the driving test requirements at the Texas Driver’s License office or through a third-party provider. If you are completing your driving test at a local driver’s license office, you must:
- Schedule an appointment online
- Present proof of current registration and insurance for the vehicle you will be using for testing at the time of the driving test.
Once you are issued your driver’s license, you will receive a temporary driver’s license. Before you leave the driver’s license office, make sure you review the printed information on your temporary driver’s license for accuracy.