Obtaining a TX Drivers License

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To get your first TX drivers license, all applicants under 18 must complete at least 6 hours of an approved drivers education course. Texas follows a graduated license program, which has several phases through with a teen will need to progress through in order to finally earn his or her unrestricted drivers license. The general steps to getting a drivers license for applicants under 18 are as follows:

  1. Begin DPS-approved drivers education
  2. Study for and take the instruction permit test
  3. Practice driving under supervision
  4. Take the driving test for your Texas drivers license (optional)

For more details, check out our step-by-step Texas drivers license instructions.

If there isn't drivers education class being held near you or if you can't fit an in-class drivers education course into your schedule, the Texas Department of Public Safety allows students to complete their drivers education through the Texas Parent-Taught Driver Education Program (PTDE). The program allows teenagers between 14 and 17 years old to be taught to drive by their parents. It has two components, both of which can be supervised by a parent or guardian:

  1. 32 hours of class instruction that teach the rules of the road, signs, and driver safety
  2. 14 hours of behind-the-wheel driving instruction

An online TX Parent-Taught Drivers Education Course can provide a convenient way to complete both parts of PTDE.

To earn an instruction permit and eventually a Texas drivers license, everyone regardless of age must pass a knowledge test on traffic laws and signs. Once you pass the written permit test, you'll be issued an instruction permit and begin Phase 1 of the Texas Graduated Drivers License (GDL) program. You'll your instruction permit use to practice driving under supervision for at least six months.

Once you've held your valid instruction permit for at least six months, have turned at least16, and has completed both the classroom and laboratory (driving) portions of driver education, you're eligible to "graduate" to the Phase 2 of the Graduated Drivers License program —a provisional license.

The provisional license will come with certain restrictions that will automatically be lifted once you turn 18.

Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the TX DPS. You can visit the TX DPS website or call 1-512- 424-2600 for the drivers license customer service.

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