How to Apply for a Learners Permit in Texas
The Texas learners permit issued by the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) is a restricted credential issued to motorists who are younger than 18 years of age and starting their driving careers. Getting this drivers permit is the first phase in the state Graduated Driver License (GDL) program, as well as the first step toward obtaining a full unrestricted driving license. Overall, the purpose of this credential is to gradually prepare first-time motorists for the responsibilities of holding a full driving credential.
In order to obtain a learning license in TX, applicants will be required to meet certain standard licensing requirements. Motorists who are younger than 18 years of age will also need to meet several additional criteria.
For instance, instruction permit holders will only be able to operate a motor vehicle in certain restricted situations. Furthermore, the expiration date for a drivers learners permit will be set on its holder’s 18th birthday.
Texas Learners Permit Eligibility Guidelines
Motorists younger than 18 years of age will have to meet the Texas drivers permit requirements in order to obtain these credentials. Note that the eligibility criteria for a driving permit is a combination of the general licensing requirements set by the state DPS as well as the specific requirements that are applicable to young drivers. The standard learners permit requirements include:
- You are a state resident and legally present in the U.S.
- You are between 15 and 18 years of age.
- You have gathered the necessary supporting paperwork.
- You have completed the classroom portion of a driver education program.
- You have passed the initial licensing examinations, including a vision exam and a knowledge test.
The standard paperwork needed to obtain a TX drivers learners permit includes proofs of identity, state residency, lawful U.S. status and Social Security Number (SSN). As proof of U.S. citizenship or legal status, you can present a valid passport, certificate of birth or immigration documents.
To prove your identity when getting a learning permit in Texas, you may submit one primary identification document, such as a passport or a military ID, or two secondary identification proofs, such as a birth certificate or a state-issued ID card. Moreover, you will need to provide two proofs of state residency, such as mortgage paperwork and utility bills.
Finally, you will need to present evidence of your SSN, which can be verified with a Social Security card.
As a learners permit applicant who is younger than 18 years of age, you will also need to submit proof of a driver education program completion and a filled out Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) or high school graduation documents.
How to Apply for a Learners Permit in Texas
If you are wondering how to apply for learner permit in Texas, note that you will be required to submit your request in person through a local DPS branch. The standard steps for getting a learners permit include the following:
- Complete an approved driver education course.
- Fill out the Application for Texas Driver License or Identification Card (Form DL-14A).
- Submit the required supporting paperwork, as detailed in the previous section.
- Have your parent or legal guardian provide a legal signature.
- Have your picture taken and your thumbprint recorded.
- Pass the vision exam and the knowledge exam, if applicable.
- Arrange payment for the licensing fee.
Once the state DPS processes your TX learners permit application, you will receive a 45-day temporary credential. Then, the department will manufacture and mail out your new photo driving permit to your address on file. Over time, you will be allowed to convert a permit license into a provisional credential with less restrictions, provided that you meet the requirements for one.
The Texas Drivers Permit Test
Taking a drivers permit test in Texas is not a mandatory step in most situations, since you will take this exam when completing the mandatory driving education course. On the other hand, you will have to take the learners permit test again if you fail to pass the exam during your training course.
To successfully pass the test, you will have to answer correctly at least 70 percent of the questions. Generally, this exam will cover topics such as safe driving practices and traffic regulations.
Before taking the knowledge exam, you will have to study the state driving manual in detail, as it contains all the information needed to pass the learners permit test. Moreover, you can also obtain a TX learners permit practice test, which are designed to reflect the structure of the official exam.
Texas Driving Permit Rules and Restrictions
First-time motorists who are younger than 18 years of age will have to abide by certain driving permit rules in Texas when operating their vehicles with a learning permit. For instance, novice drivers must be accompanied by experienced and licensed motorists seated next to them when operating a car.
In addition, the accompanying driver must be at least 21 years of age with a 12-month driving experience. While driving with a learner license, teenage motorists will also have to refrain from using any wireless device, such as a mobile phone.
Texas Learner Permit Fees
Paying the Texas learner permit fee is one of the final steps when applying for this credential. The current cost for a new drivers permit is set at $16. This price includes a $15 application fee and a $1 administrative fee.
In general, you will be required to pay the permit cost before the state DPS administers its licensing exams. If you fail to pass the knowledge exam within 90 days or after three attempts, you will be asked to repay the learner permit cost.