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Get a Texas Drivers License
First-time drivers, new residents of Texas and even non-citizens of the United States must apply for a drivers license to legally operate vehicles on state roads.
Information Related to New Texas Driver's Licenses
- Types of Driver's Licenses
- How to Get a Driver's License
- New Texas Resident Information
- DMV Exams
- Driver's Ed
- Military Member Driver's Licenses
- Out-of-State Drivers
The Texas Department of Public Safety offers the following types of noncommercial driving licenses:
- Class C - Allows drivers to operate standard passenger vehicles and trucks that weigh less than 26,001 lbs.
- Noncommercial Class A - Allows drivers to operate vehicles that weigh over 26,001 lbs. with towed vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 lbs.
- Noncommercial Class B - Allows drivers to operate a bus seating 24 passengers or more, or a single vehicle that has a gross weight of 26,001 lbs. or greater, as well as a towed vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 lbs. or a farm trailer that weighs less than 20,000 lbs.
- Motorcycle license - Allows drivers to operate a motorcycle.
- DMV.com Note: Review the Motorcycle License page for details about driving a motorcycle, moped, scooter or trike.
In order to get drivers license credentials in Texas, you must:
- Visit a driver license office.
- Provide necessary documentation:
- Proof of identity:
- Primary documents:
- Drivers license
- Secondary documents:
- Birth certificate (original or certified copy)
- Court order showing name and date of birth and indicating a name or gender change from a U.S. entity (original or certified copy)
- Supporting documents:
- Social Security card
- W-2 form
- Two proofs of residency:
- Valid voter registration card
- Car registration certificate
- One proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence:
- Birth certificate
- Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) (non-U.S. citizens)
- Foreign passport with attached temporary I-551 (non-U.S. citizens)
- Fill out the Application for Texas Driver License or Identification Card (DL-14A) form.
- Bring a parent or guardian to sign the driverslicense application if under 18.
- Provide one of the following documents:
- Statement that applicant does not own a vehicle
- Car registration certificate and proof of car insurance
- Pass the written knowledge and road skills exams.
- Pay the $25 Texas driving license fee.
- Primary documents:
You cannot get a drivers license online in Texas.
DMV.com Note: While the state of Texas does not require drivers 18 or older to have a learner license before applying, a driving permits is required to practice operating a vehicle before a driving test.
New residents have 90 days after they move to transfer their out-of-state drivers license for a TX license to drive. After 90 days, your out-of-state driving license will no longer be valid in Texas.
The process to apply for a drivers license as a new resident requires the same steps and actions as mentioned above. The only difference is that you are exempt from the road and knowledge tests if:
- Your current drivers license is valid.
- Your driving license is from one of the follow locations:
- A U.S. state or territory
- South Korea
Drivers with learners licenses from these countries must take a road skills and written test to apply for drivers license documents in Texas.
The Texas written exam is available only in English and in Spanish. However, certified ASL interpreters are available upon request. To pass the exam, you must answer at least 70 percent of the questions correctly. You will also be asked to perform a vision test, where each of your eyes must have 20/40 vision or better. If not, you will be asked to obtain corrective lenses before you can take the driving test.
If you fail the knowledge or road skills exam on your first attempt, the TX DMV will keep your application for 90 days. You will have three chances to pass the exams before the end of this period. If you do not, you will have to begin the application process over again and repay the $25 drivers license fee.
Study the Texas Driver's Handbook to become familiar with all important driving topics, and take practice tests to improve your skills.
- DMV.com Note: Car insurance is required to take the driving test in Texas. Be sure that when you buy a car, you buy the state minimum requirements of coverage.
If you are between the ages of 18 and 24, you must enroll in an adult drivers ed course. There are two options you can choose from:
- Six-hour online or classroom course geared specifically towards adults
- Drivers training school typically offered to young drivers
Members of the military have to go through the same process as civilians when applying for drivers license documents. However, if a military member has just moved to Texas and is on active duty or was recently discharged and has an expired drivers license, these members may skip the knowledge and road skills exams of the application if:
- They present a military ID card.
- They show proof that their previous state allows military members to operate vehicles with expired driving licenses.
All Texas residents who are planning on traveling abroad or out of state for an extended amount of time will not lose the active/valid status on their drivers license. A drivers license will only become invalid if the driver moves to another state and establishes permanent residence there.