Easy Steps to Get Your Driver’s License in Texas

Easy Steps to Get Your Driver’s License in Texas

Obtaining a driver’s license in Texas involves a series of steps that ensure applicants are knowledgeable and skilled enough to drive safely. While the process is fairly straightforward, the exact steps vary depending on your age.

So, if you’re under the age of 18, you’ll have to get a learner’s permit first. Moreover, you’d have to complete the driver’s education program.

In this article, learn how to get your driver’s license in Texas.

Understanding the Different Types of Licenses

Wide banner panoramic view of smiling young Caucasian man sit at desk make notes working online on computer. Happy millennial male handwrite study distant on laptop in office. Education concept.The Texas Department of Public Safety or DPS issues different types of licenses based on age. Thus, you need to know which license you’re applying for.

There are three types of driving licenses you can get in McAllen, which are:

  1. Learner’s Permit (Instruction Permit): A learner’s permit allows individuals to practice driving under certain restrictions before they qualify for a full driver’s license. Often referred to as Phase I, it is the first step for new drivers, especially teens.
  2. Provisional License: This is an intermediate stage for drivers under 18, allowing more freedom than a learner’s permit but with certain restrictions.
  3. Full Driver’s License: A full, unrestricted license that allows individuals to drive without any time or supervision restrictions.

How to Get Your Learner’s Permit in Texas?

In Texas, anyone who wants to learn how to drive and eventually get a driver’s license needs a learner’s permit.

It’s mostly intended for teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17. You can’t get a regular driver’s license until you’ve held your learner’s permit for at least six months (with some exceptions for Driver’s Education completers).

While not mandatory for adults, a learner’s permit is still recommended if you’ve never driven before. It allows you to practice with a licensed driver supervising you before taking the driving skills test for your regular license. There’s no minimum waiting period for adults with learner’s permits to take the driving skills test.

Here are the steps involved in getting your learner’s license:

1.    Complete the Driver Ed Course

First-timers applying for the learner’s license must enroll in and complete a state-approved driver education course, which includes both classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel training. This course ensures that aspiring drivers are well-prepared with the knowledge and skills necessary for safe driving. The course is largely based on DPS’s Texas Driver Handbook, which serves as primary education material for first-time drivers.

You can complete this course online by completing the Driving Quest’s Teen Driver Ed program. The DPS written exam that follows is included in this program, and you’ll receive a certificate (DE-964 Certificate of Completion) upon completion. Alternatively, if you speak Spanish, you can enroll yourself in Driving Quest’s Drivers Ed in Spanish program.

2.    Gather Required Documents

After completing the course, you need to visit the DPS office for an exam. But before that, you’d need the right documents. These are:

  • Certificate of completion of Driver Ed (DE-964)
  • Proof of ID
  • Verification of enrollment and attendance (VOE form)
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • Documents verifying Texas residency (like utility bills)
  • Proof of insurance (for the vehicles you own or intend to drive)

It’s better if you take original copies with you, but have photocopies as well.

3.    Complete Application for Driver License (DL-14A)

Next, you need to complete the Driver License application form, called the DL-14A. This notifies the DPS that you’re seeking a driver’s license. So download the form and complete it.

4.    Take the Knowledge Test at the DPS Office

In the next step, you need to visit the DPS office and take the knowledge exam. The knowledge exam will test your understanding of traffic laws and road signs.

So, book an appointment to visit the DPS office. You can also take the test at an approved third-party provider.

At the center, a basic vision screening will be conducted to ensure you meet the minimum visual acuity standards for driving.

5.    Pay the Fees

There are fees associated with the learner’s permit application and the knowledge exam. Payment methods accepted typically include cash, check, or debit card. So, check the updated amount (around $15-$20) and make the payments.

6.    Processing and Issuance

Once you pass the knowledge exam and vision screening, your learner’s permit will be processed and issued to you. This license allows you to practice driving with a licensed adult (21 years or older) in the front seat. You must drive for at least six months under supervision.

Obtaining a Provisional Driver License in Texas

Learning to drive a car. Male instructor and female student practicing in driving. Young man notice results of test in his paper. Cheerful woman satisfied with driving lessons.After the learner’s license, you can proceed to get your provisional driver’s license in Texas. This requires you to pass a driving test and assure DPS that you can drive well on the roads.

Here are the steps involved:

1.    Gather the Necessary Documents

You’ll need similar documents to what you provided for your learner’s permit, including:

  • Proof of identity (birth certificate or passport)
  • Proof of Social Security number (Social Security card or W-2 form)
  • Two documents proving Texas residency (utility bill, lease agreement, etc.)
  • Completed application for a driver’s license (DL-14A) with parent/guardian signature if under 18.
  • Proof of completion of a Driver’s Education course (if applicable)
  • Proof of completion of the Impact Texas Teen Driver Program (ITTD)

2.    Schedule a Driving Test

Next, you need to take the driving test. So, schedule an appointment for your driving test at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) office or an authorized third-party provider. This test assesses your ability to handle the vehicle safely and follow traffic laws. They’ll evaluate things like braking, turning, parking, and lane changes.

Ensure the vehicle you use for the test is in good working order, with current registration and insurance.

3.    Complete the Impact Texas Teen Driver Program

You must complete the ITTD program within 90 days of taking your driving skills test. This is a free, two-hour online course on the dangers of distracted driving.

This program is mandated by the DPS and must be completed by all teen drivers before they can take their driving skills test. It focuses on educating teens about the dangers of distracted driving, particularly those related to smartphone use.

Once you pass the driving skills test and meet all other requirements, you’ll be issued your Texas provisional driver’s license.

Getting a Full Driver’s License in Texas

Attractive young man with key in modern carAs already mentioned, a provisional license comes with certain restrictions like no driving at night hours. For this, you need to get an unrestricted driver’s license.

As long as you’ve met all the requirements and maintained a clean driving record, you can upgrade to a full, unrestricted driver’s license at the age of 18.

No driving test is required if you’re upgrading from a provisional license to a full license. All you need to do is provide the necessary documents, pass a vision test, pay the fees, and receive your driving license. At the DPS office, you will receive a temporary paper license. Your official plastic driver’s license will be mailed to you within a few weeks.

Note that if you have a provisional license from another state and move to Texas, you might need to take additional tests or fulfill specific requirements to obtain a Texas driver’s license. It’s best to check with the Texas DPS for specific instructions in such cases. You can also join Online Drivers Ed Texas, if needed.

Even after obtaining your full license, maintaining a clean driving record is crucial. Traffic violations or accidents can lead to license suspension or revocation. Thus, obey the traffic laws and drive safely. Contact Driving Quest today to learn more.

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