How to Get a Texas Driver’s License
If you are a Texas resident looking to apply for a driver’s license, we have got some useful information for you.
A lot of people have difficulty making sense of the requirements for a driver’s license in Texas. Don’t worry. We have put together a step-by-step guide that teaches you how to get a Texas driver’s license
What procedures are involved in getting a learner’s permit in Texas?
You should possess a permit before you can apply for a license in Texas.
You can start your driver’s education as soon as you turn 14. At 15, you are eligible to receive your learner’s permit or instruction permit. And when you turn 16, that learner’s permit can be converted into a license. In short, it means you have to spend a year learning the basics of driving without actually driving. Then you have another year of learning during which you can drive with an experienced and licensed driver. Finally, when you receive your license at 16, you can drive without being accompanied by a licensed driver. There are still some limitations on when and where you can drive.
To get a learner’s permit in Texas, the first thing you need to do is to join a driver’s ed course. There are two types of courses approved by the state.
Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE)
This course allows you to be in the driver’s seat after finishing just 6 hours of it. It includes a written exam conducted by Texas DPS, behind the wheel training, and a parent account.
Texas Instructor Taught Drivers Ed
If your father or mother is not in a position to instruct you, you should opt for this course. It includes a written exam conducted by Texas DPS. You have the opportunity to select the behind the wheel provider for you.
How to get a Texas driver’s license?
With the learner’s permit, you can only drive with a parent or a licensed adult who is over 21. Can you obtain a driver’s license at 16? Yes, 16-year-olds can have their provisional license after they have had their learner’s permit for six months and passed the driving exam. Those under 18 have to hold a learner’s permit for six months before they can receive their Texas driver’s license.
If you are over 18
The process is similar for adults who want to learn to drive. The only main difference is that while those aged 14-17 take the Teen Drivers Ed, those aged 18 and over take the Adult Drivers Ed. If you are over 25, you do not have to take driver’s Ed though it is recommended.
So, taking driver’s ed is the first thing you should do to get a driver’s license. Plenty of driver’s ed courses are available in Texas.
Teen drivers ed has 2 separate portions.
The classroom program is of 32 hours. You can take the course for up to 2 hours per day. The Behind the wheel learning program is of 44 hours, and it is limited to one hour per day.
You can take both types of learning programs concurrently. However, you are still limited to 2 hours of learning per day. That means if you take the one-hour-long behind the wheel learning program on a particular day, you are limited to one hour of classroom learning on that day.
What is meant by behind the wheel?
To put it simply, it is that phase of your learning where you can put into practice what you learned in the classroom.
It involves the following
- Observe your parent or instructor driving the vehicle (7 hours)
- Drive under the coaching of your parent or instructor (7 hours)
- Drive with a licensed driver who is over 21 years of age (30 hours of driving practice – 20 hours during the day and 10 hours at night)
Some teen driver’s ed courses require you to complete classroom learning before you can get behind the wheel. Others opt for the concurrent method. In this case, you will get your learner’s permit once you finish 6 hours of classroom instruction. Afterward, you can complete both phases together.
Three types of teen drivers ed programs
Drivers Ed Course conducted at Public Schools
These courses are not available at every public school. Some do offer them at night or during the summer vacation. As there are only a few seats, you have to sign up well in advance. Some schools offer only the classroom course, while others offer both courses.
Drivers Ed courses offered by a Driver Training School
These schools are mainly meant for behind the wheel training. Some schools do offer the classroom module as well. But generally speaking, many of these schools require you to do the classroom coursework online at a company they have partnered with.
Parent-Taught Driver Education (PTDE)
PTDE does not mean that the parent has to do all the teaching. That is not the case. However, in this case, the parent is responsible for monitoring their teenage son or daughter for the entire 44 hours of their behind the wheel practice. Most parents will simply choose an online driver’s ed program for the classroom part and then be present with their children as they drive. PTDE is quite cheap and convenient; however, not every parent is eligible to be a teacher. If your parent has been convicted of a DUI or has had their license taken away during the last three years, they cannot teach driver’s ed.
Texas Adult Drivers Ed
If you are an adult (18 or over), you still have to take your driver’s ed. It is a six-hour course that you can do online or at a regular driving school. You don’t need a learner’s permit. Nor do you have to complete the behind the wheel training.
Texas Learner Permit Requirements
To get the learner’s permit, you have to take a written exam. You should take the completion certificate that you will receive after passing the exam to the local Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office. To complete the paperwork you should have a parent or guardian with you.