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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in Texas

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To obtain a new drivers license in Texas, applicants must meet the minimum age, residency and education requirements. Depending on a drivers license applicant's age, he or she may be required to take a written test and/or road skills test or complete driver ed classes. The Texas Department of Public Safety sets the guidelines for residents seeking a license to drive in the state.

Did you know? 7 out of 10 drivers with learner's permits fail the written drivers test on their first try. Order your copy of our DMV driving practice test and beat the odds to get a preview of the types of questions that will appear on the live test.

How to Apply for a Texas Driver's License:

  • Visit a TX DPS location.
  • Provide the necessary documentation.
  • Provide thumb or index fingerprints.
  • Pass a vision screening.
  • Pass the written DMV exam and/or driving test.
  • Pay Texas driver's license fees.

Find out how to apply for drivers licenses in Texas by reviewing information on the topics listed below.

Types of Drivers Licenses in Texas

Texas driving license applicants must apply in-person to obtain driving privileges. The TX DPS issues several classifications of licensing for both noncommercial and commercial drivers.

  • Standard drivers license, Class C - Issued to operators of vehicles with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds.
  • Motorcycle license, Class M - Issued to operators of motorcycles or mopeds.
  • Commercial Drivers License - Class A, B or C (CDL) driving license - Issued to operators of vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more. Can also be used as a personal driving license.

First-Time Driver (Under 18) in Texas

First-time Texas DMV drivers license applicants must pass various measures in order to obtain a license to drive in the state. The TX Department of Public safety administers driving licenses to applicants who can prove their identity and state residency. New drivers license applicants younger than 18 years of age must complete a drivers education course, pass the road skills assessment and vision screening at a Texas DMV office.

For more information, visit our Learner's Permit page.

Texas New Drivers (Over 18)

Texas new drivers license applicants 18 years of age and older are required to take a written drivers test and road skills exam to qualify for a driving license. Additionally, drivers license applicants 18 to 25 years of age must have completed an Adult Driver Education program to qualify for full driving credentials.

TX Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test

Adult, first-time drivers license applicants are encouraged to take the time to complete an online practice driving test to familiarize themselves with the Texas DMV knowledge test format. Our drivers ed practice test contains multiple choice and road sign identification questions that are comparable to the actual test so you can be sure that there will be no surprises on test day.

How to Apply for Drivers Licenses in TX

To submit a drivers license application, residents must appear in person at a Texas Department of Public Safety driver license office. The process involves providing the following types of documentation:

  • Proof of identity.
  • Proof of Social Security Number.
  • Proof of Texas residency.

TX Drivers License Eligibility Requirements

New Texas driving license candidates must be at least 16 years of age and able to furnish the appropriate documentation proving their identities as well as driver training, if applicable. Drivers license applicants younger than 18 years of age must have completed both behind-the-wheel and classroom driver education requirements to be eligible to take the driving test.

TX Written/Driving Test

Texas new driving license candidates will have to complete a drivers exam, including written and road skills tests in order to obtain a license to drive. Successfully preparing for a DMV drivers test involves taking a practice permit test. Our driving permit practice was designed to introduce learners to the topics that will be covered on the Texas written drivers test.

TX Driving Test

The Texas driving license test measures an applicant's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle in standard traffic conditions. Driving applicants may take the road skills test either at a TX DPS office or through a third party skills testing (TPST) school. Typical TPST providers include select secondary schools located throughout the state. The driving test measures an applicant's ability to:

  • Control the vehicle.
  • Observe traffic activity.
  • Stay in the lane.
  • Correctly utilize turn signals.

Test takers should focus on their driving and refrain from engaging the examiner in conversation during their road skills exam. Following the driving test, the examiner will provide you with a grade and review any errors you may have made. Passing the road test is the final step in securing a TX license to drive.

Drivers have the option of completing a behind-the-wheel course for additional practice.

New Texas Resident

Driving license applicants new to Texas have 90 days to apply for in-state credentials upon becoming a resident. New residents are exempt from taking the written drivers test or the road test if they surrender their out-of-state drivers license. Along with their previous driving license, residents need to provide proof of their identity, Social Security Number, legal presence and Texas residency.

Drivers new to Texas will also need to transfer the title and registration of their current vehicle within 30 days of becoming a resident. The first step in the vehicle registration process is to take your vehicle in for a VIN inspection at a TX DPS inspection station. Service centers are located throughout at automotive businesses such as:

  • Auto dealerships.
  • Mechanic shops.
  • Oil change stations.

Replace Driver's License in Texas

Replace a stolen, destroyed or lost drivers license by visiting a Texas DPS office. For further details on how to replace drivers licenses, click here.

Locate a DMV in Texas

Discover a nearby TX DPS location by visiting the Texas DMV location page. You will be able to view contact details for each branch including telephone numbers, street addresses and DMV hours of operation.

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