Getting a Texas driver’s license if you're over 25 years old is easy. However, in some cases, you’ll still need to pass a knowledge test before the state will issue you a driver’s license. Here, we’ll navigate a few scenarios for how to get your Texas driver’s license if you’re over the age of 25.
If You’re a First-Time Applicant
It’s not the most common scenario, but if you’re over the age of 25 and applying for your first driver’s license, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) requires you to pass a knowledge test. You can study for this test by downloading or picking up a copy of the state’s driver’s handbook. You also have the option to take a state-approved online adult driver’s education course, after which you can take the test conveniently at home.
After completing the course, you’ll need to sign up for the IMPACT Texas Drivers program video program. After completing the video program, you can then make an appointment with the DMV to take your road test before applying for your license.
“The IMPACT Texas Drivers (ITD) program, which is required for all new drivers, is a great tool for drivers with less experience," said a spokesperson from the Texas Department of Public Safety. "[It] was developed by DPS with the goal of saving lives through awareness and education. It’s an eight-part video that explains the dangers of distracted driving along with real life stories of drivers that have lost their life from distracted driving."
Moving From out of State
If you’ve recently moved to Texas, are over the age of 18, and have held an adult driver’s license in another state, you simply need to surrender the old license and apply for your new Texas driver’s license. The knowledge test is not required. You also do not have adult driver education requirements, nor do you need to view the IMPACT Texas Drivers program videos, although they are still a valuable educational resource for any driver.
What You’ll Need for Your Application
Every driver’s license applicant must fill out the DL-14A form, or the state’s Texas driver’s license application. In addition, you’ll need other forms of documentation to complete the application process. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
You’ll need proof of identity, such as an ID card from another state or country (if you’ve recently moved) or a previous Texas ID card or driver’s license.
If you do not have an ID card, an original birth certificate, permanent resident card, or original citizenship or other naturalization documents may work as well.
You’ll need two proofs of residency, such as a utility bill, mortgage or lease statement, or a bank statement, which must be between 30 and 90 days old.
If you’re a U.S. citizen, you’ll need a Social Security card or proof of a Social Security number
Bring proof of insurance for the vehicle if you’re taking the road test. If you’re the owner of the vehicle, have vehicle registration on hand, just in case the office asks for it.
Expect to take a vision test and to give thumbprints.
If the ITD program is required for your situation, bring the completion certificate with you.
Making the Case for Further Education
If you're getting a Texas driver's license when you're over 25, while you don’t need to take the state-mandated six-hour course required for those who are between 18 and 24 years old, the Texas DPS recommends education for all new drivers, regardless of age.
“All drivers should be alerted to what I call the ‘new universe of roadway risk,’” said Doug Horn, a Kansas City-based attorney who represents crash victims. “You can no longer trust other drivers to drive safely. There are more drivers driving faster, more aggressively, more distracted, more recklessly than ever before. This, coupled with larger volumes of traffic, creates a perfect storm. Drivers need to appreciate the serious decline in our driving culture.”
While staying safe is the main reason for education, it's not the only benefit.
“Many insurance companies will give adult drivers a discount if they complete a safe driving or defensive driving course,” added Rick Musson, a law enforcement consultant for CarInsuranceComparison.com.