Drivers Permits in Texas
Teen Driver's Permits in Texas
Ready to hit the roads for the very first time? Pump the brakes a second—first, you'll need to get a learner's permit so you can legally get behind the wheel!
We'll walk you through the Texas driver's permit process, including what to bring with you and what to expect when you get there.
Texas REAL ID Driver's License
The TX DPS began issuing federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses in 2016. As of October 1, 2020, only the REAL ID will function as federal identification for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings.
For more detail on Texas REAL IDs, visit the DPS' guide and FAQs.
New to Texas?
If you hold a learner's permit from your previous state or country, you should call the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) at (512) 424-2600 to determine if your permit will transfer to Texas.
If you are eligible to transfer your permit from your previous state, please bring your permit and proof of citizenship and residency documents from the state's handy checklist with you to the DPS, and follow the steps listed on this page.
Texas Learner License Requirements
To obtain a learner license in Texas, you must:
- Be at least 15 years old.
- Have passed the classroom portion of a Texas driver's education course (see “Texas Driver's Education" below).
Texas Driver's Education
If you are under 18 years old, you must complete and pass the classroom phase of an approved Driver Education course before you can take your written exam. This phase consists of a minimum of 32 hours of classroom instruction. It also involves required behind-the-wheel driving hours, which are part of your provisional licensing requirements.
You can take Driver's Ed in a variety of methods, including:
- A traditional classroom setting at your public school.
- A certified driver training school.
- At home with a parent-taught driver education online course.
For more information about Driver's Ed, please refer to our Texas Driver's Education page.
NOTE: Drivers between 18 through 24 years old must still take a TX Driver's Ed course, though its length requirement differs. Please see our page on adult driver's licenses in Texas for more information.
Getting Your Texas Learner License
Once you complete the classroom phase of Driver's Ed, it's time to take the written exam to get your learner license. As mentioned above, taking the written exam is not necessary if it was completed during your approved driver's education course.
Ace Your Exam on the First Try!
Don't leave your permit test to chance—take our free permit practice test with questions directly from the TX driver handbook. It's the fastest, easiest way to set yourself up for success!
You must apply for your TX learner's permit in person. You can save yourself some time by making an appointment online. If you're under 18 years old, you must bring your parent(s) or legal guardian to sign off on paperwork.
When you visit your local Texas DPS office, you'll need to:
- Provide proof of your:
- Bring a completed:
- Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) or a high school diploma or GED.
- Application for Driver License or Identification Card (Form DL-14A) with your parent/guardian's signature of consent.
- Provide the following driver education form that applies to you:
- A Texas Driver Education Certificate (Form DE-964), IF you completed Driver's Ed through a driver training school OR a parent-taught driver education (PTDE) course.
- A Texas Driver's Education Certificate (Form DE-964E), IF you completed Driver's Ed through your public high school.
- All completed forms if you chose Parent Taught Driver's Education.
- Take the written knowledge exam, if it was not part of your driver's education course.
- Pay the $16 learner license fee.
The written exam is comprised of multiple-choice questions about Texas traffic laws, road signs, and rules of safe driving. The questions have been created from material found in the Texas Driver Handbook. Once you pass the written test, submit your documents, and pay the $16 fee, you'll receive your learner's permit.
TX Learner's Permit License Driving Restrictions
With your Texas learner license in hand, you are allowed to practice your driving skills, but you must be accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years old or older in the front seat next to you at all times. You are not allowed to use a cell phone in the vehicle while driving.
After you have held your learner's permit for 6 months, the next step in the GDL process is to get your provisional license. For steps on how to get your provisional driver's license in Texas, please visit our TX Provisional License page.
Minor Restricted Driver License (MRDL)
For those who can prove hardship and a necessity to drive, the DPS also offers a Minor Restricted Driver License (MRDL), commonly referred to as a hardship license. Hardship circumstances include illness of family members, a financial family hardship, or other acceptable circumstance that requires the minor to drive (all reasons are listed on the MRDL application).
To be eligible for a MRDL, you must:
- Be at least 15 years old.
- Meet the regular licensing requirements mentioned above.
- Have completed Driver's Ed.
- Have a qualifying hardship, all of which are listed on the application form.
Once you've determined your eligibility, you must submit a Application for Texas Hardship Driver License (Form DL-77) to your local DPS office, along with the required proofs of identity and driver education forms listed above.
If granted, your MRDL will be valid until your next birthday.
Replacing Your Texas Learner's Permit
If you need to replace a lost, stolen or mutilated TX learner's license, visit your local driver license office and:
- Submit a completed Application for Renewal/Replacement/Change of a Texas Driver License or Identification Card (Form DL-43) with your parent/guardian's signature of consent.
- Provide proof of your identity and lawful U.S. presence (e.g. unexpired U.S. passport, Certificate of Citizenship or Naturalization, original or certified birth certificate).
- Present proof of Texas residency (e.g. Texas high school transcript or report card, medical or health card, paycheck).
- Provide proof of Social Security number (e.g. Social Security card, health insurance card, paystub with name and SSN).
- The Texas DPS provides a full list of acceptable documents.
- Pay the required $11 replacement fee.
For even further details on replacing a lost learner's permit, please see our page on Replacing a Lost License in Texas.
- Verification of Enrollment and Attendance
- Use this form to verify your educational enrollment (if you don't hold a high school diploma) when applying for a Texas learner's permit or driver's license. Valid for those enrolled in home, private, or charter school, GED program, OR higher education.
- Driver Education Certificate
- Submit this certificate to DPS after completing an approved teen driver education course as part of applying for your Texas driver's license. Must be obtained from your driver education provider. Not available online.