Texas Drivers License and Texas Learners Permit Guide
Every year thousands of teenagers apply for their Texas driver license or Texas learners permit. In most cases, they have a very vague idea of how the approach the application and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) does not provide clear instructions either. Read on if you would like to know how to attain your first license to drive.
Complete the Texas driver education course
According to the law, every teenage Texas driver license applicant who is under 18 years of age must complete a Texas drivers ed course. The course may be offered in high-school or you may choose to take the course at a local driving school. Starting 1997, the DPS also approved a number of Texas parent taught drivers ed courses. Texas parent taught driver education courses may be taken at home at your own convenience, saving you the hassle of going to scheduled lessons at school.
Depending on the type of the driver education program you choose - concurrent or block - you will either need to complete the whole course or just the first 6 hours before you can apply for a learner permit.
Applying for Texas instruction learner permit
Although you may think that you are prepared for the permit test, you may still wish to test your knowledge with the free online DPS permit test.You will need to follow the procedure below to apply for a Texas learner permit
- Submit DL-14A (the application for Texas drivers license) to the DPS
- Pay the required fee
- Present proof of Liability insurance
- Present proof of identity
- Present proof of social security number
- Present the Verification of Enrollment and Attendance in School Form (GEA-043R93)
- Student who are enrolled in a parent taught driver education must submit “Parental driver education affidavit, DL-91A (can be obtained from the DPS parent-taught driver education package) and “The Classroom instruction log”, DL-91B. Note: if you are taking a parent-taught driver's education course from one of the commercial schools, they frequently provide their own replacements of DL-91A and DL-91B, so you will not need to use DL-91A and DL-91B provided in the DPS package
- Pass a vision test
- Pass the written learner permit test. The test has 30 questions and you need to give at least 21 correct answers (70% score) to be awarded with the instruction permit.
Supervised driving - behind the wheel experience
If you pass the Texas learner permit test, you are issued with the instruction permit, which allows you to drive under the supervision of a licensed driver 21 years old or older who holds a valid Texas driver license. For students who are enrolled in a parent-taught driver education course, the instructor should be the person designated on the application form.
The instruction permit remains valid for 6 months. During this period, you must practice driving and develop the essential skills and confidence on the road. Once you have held your Texas learners permit for at least 6 months, you can apply for the TX drivers license provided you had no violations while you held you learners permit. Having violations during the 6 months holding period may result in the need to hold your Texas instruction permit for another 6 months before you can apply for a drivers license.
Texas Driver license test
Once you have held your Texas learners permit for the required period, you can apply for the provisional driver license. Please note that the driving test is not required for those who have completed a Texas drivers education course and might be waived by the instructor. If you took a parent-taught driver education course, your parent will need to decide if the test is needed. If you fulfill all the requirements, you are issued with the provisional license.
Provisional driver license
Provisional driver license is issued to students under 18 years of age who successfully passed the written learner permit test, have held the permit for the minimum period of 6 months and passed the driving test at the DPS (if the driving test was required). Provisional driver license allows unsupervised driving, however it has its own restrictions.
- Curfew. The provisional driver license holder may not operate a motor vehicle between 12AM and 5AM unless the operation of the vehicle is necessary for the operator to attend or participate in employment or a school-related activity or because of a medical emergency.
- Electronic device operation. The provisional driver license holder may not operate a motor vehicle while using an electronic communication device, such as a cell phone or a pager.
- Number of passengers. The provisional driver license holder may not operate a vehicle with more than one passenger who is not an immediate family member and is younger than 21.
The provisional license must be held for 6 months. If the license holder is not convicted for any traffic violations, the restrictions are removed.