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Age Requirements for Driving in Texas

Driving is an earned privilege that comes with an incredible set of responsibilities. Therefore, the state of Texas (like most other states in the U.S.) has implemented strict age requirements - and restrictions - for the right to drive.

The Graduated Driver License Program

Any prospective drivers under the age of 21 in the state of Texas, must first go through the Graduated Driver License Program. More commonly known as the GDL Program, this initiative ensures that those who are learning to drive go through different phases of driving privileges before earning the right to a full, unrestricted license.

So How Old Do You Have to Be?

Teens looking to drive can start a driver's education course as soon as they turn 14 years old - but they must wait until they are 15 years of age to be eligible for a learner license. The learner license allows teenagers the ability to drive their vehicle for the sole purpose of learning to drive - they're required at all times to drive with a licensed passenger aged 21 or older.

Following that, the teen must fulfill the following time requirements in order to earn each respective phase of the GDL:

  • Intermediate license - six months after holding a learner license
  • Provisional license - one year after holding an intermediate license without any road violations
  • Unrestricted license - when a provisional license holder turns 18 years old without any mojor violations

Of course, with each phase of the course comes other requirements and restrictions. However, if you're a great driver with no major road violations, you should expect a full Texas driver's license by the time you're 18 years old.

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