Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Texas
(Ages 15 - 17)
Getting a driver’s license for the first time is a life changing experience for any teen. Imagine no longer needing a ride to the mall, or waiting to be picked up after school. Once you have your Texas driver’s license in hand, those days will be a distant memory.
The process of getting your Texas driver’s license might seem complicated, but we’ve made it much easier to understand by explaining the steps you’ll need to take in a simple, easy-to-follow manner. Below you will find a wealth of information.
The Texas GDL Explained
In an effort to minimize the tremendous risks associated with first-time drivers, many states, including Texas, have adopted a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program. Over the course of the GDL program, teens must achieve certain milestones prior to obtaining their driver licenses. Many of these milestones are age and experience related.
15 years old: Eligible for a learner license or the Minor Restricted Driver License (MRDL), also known as a hardship license.
Under 18 years old: Eligible to get a provisional driver's license after maintaining a valid learner's license for 6 months.
18 years old: Eligible to apply for a full license.
Driver's Education in Texas
All individuals younger than 25 years old must complete an approved driver's education course.
Teens can start driver's education as soon as they are 14 years old, but they cannot apply for their Phase One license until they are at least 15 years old.
The Driver’s Ed requirement must include 32 hours of classroom instruction. Public school may require more classroom hours. All types of Texas Driver's Ed require 44 hours of behind the wheel training as of October 1st 2013.
We Will Be Conducting Permit test at our Facility
NOTE: If you already passed the written exam as part of your Driver’s Ed course, you are exempt from taking it again.
Be sure to bring:
Proof of identity
Proof of your Social Security number
2 proofs of Texas residency or lawful presence in the state and country.
Your Texas Driver Education Certificate (DE-964). You’ll get this when you complete driver’s education. *
A completed Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (get one from your principal or school secretary), your high school diploma, or a GED
A completed Application for Texas Driver’s License (DL-14A) with the parental authorization signature. Pick this up at any TX DPS office.
$16 to cover the fee
Your mom, dad, or legal guardian to sign off on the paperwork
Once you have your learner’s permit in your possession, it’s time to get busy. Your permit basically says that you understand the principles of being a responsible driver, but you still need some valuable practice.
How much practice, you ask? Great question.
With your learner’s permit in hand, you must log 30 hours of driver training with a licensed driver over 21 years old. Also, 10 hours of those hours must be at night
Get Behind-the-Wheel Training
Phase Two: Intermediate License
Once you have held your learner’s permit for 6 months, and you’ve completed your 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, it’s time to make a trip to the DPS and take your road test. Successfully pass this test and Phase Two, with your intermediate license, begins.
Restricted Driving with an Intermediate License
With your Intermediate License, you can now drive solo without supervision, but there are a few restrictions:
You can’t drive between midnight and 5 a.m.
You can’t have more than one passenger under 21 years old who is not a family member.
You can have no wireless communication, hands-free or not, unless it is an emergency.
Once you have 1 year of safe driving under your belt with your intermediate license, or if you turn 18 years old, the state GDL restrictions will be lifted. Your license will be marked "provisional" until you turn 18 years old.