How to Replace a Lost Texas Drivers License
Losing a driver's license or having it stolen can be very stressful. If this happens to you, obtaining a replacement or duplicate license as soon as possible is crucial, as Texas driving laws require that you have a current, valid driver's license with you at all times. Quick action will ensure your safety and get you back on the road.
Replacing a Lost or Stolen Driver's License for In-State Applicants
You will need to complete the easy steps below as soon as you discover your driver's license is stolen or lost. Waiting even a day or two can result in problems that you want to avoid. You will not need to retake the Texas driver's license test to replace your driver's license due to loss or theft.
If you have received a ticket for driving without your license with you due to it being stolen or lost, you may be able to have the ticket dismissed by taking the defensive driving Texas online course before your ticket date. It will be up to the judge to decide, but taking the course is a good step and the information will benefit you greatly in terms of being safe on the road.
1) Notify the Texas DPS
Although many resources advise that you should report your driver's license loss or theft to the police department, this is not the case with most police departments in Texas. In fact, the Little Elm Police Department in Little Elm Texas recommends an alternative step — notifying the Texas DPS instead.
"Everything to do with a driver's license is state-related," stated a department representative. "If someone comes in or calls to report their license stolen or missing, they are referred to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). We'll do a police report if requested, but in most cases, we will just refer the drivers back to the TX DPS due to driver's licenses being considered state property."
If you do submit notice to the police, the report will protect if someone uses your licenses for illegal purposes.
2) Request a New Driver's License
Once the loss or theft is reported, you will need to request a new driver's license by:
Going to the local driver's license office closest to you.
Submitting your filled out Application for Renewal, Replacement, or Change of a Texas Driver License Form. You will use Form DL-43 to complete this step.
Bringing proof of identity documents, such as military ID, government-issued ID, or passport, along with two secondary pieces of ID that could include your Social Security card, birth certificate, or voter registration card.
Paying the replacement license fee using cash, credit card, check, or money order.
Steps for Out-of-State Applicants
If you are out of the state when you lose your driver's license or have it stolen, you will need to complete some added steps in addition to the ones listed above.
Complete the application, including your permanent Texas address in the address field and the present address in the mailing address field.
Enclose a check or money order for the appropriate amount for a replacement driver's license and include proof of your Social Security card. Mail all documents and the check or money order to: Texas Department of Public Safety, P. O. Box 149008, Austin, TX 78714.
Once the DPS has received your request, they will process the application and you will receive your new driver's license within 45 days.
Keep Your Texas Driving License Close
Once you have your new license, be thankful that you didn't have to take the Texas driver's license test again to get it. Be sure not to lose it again, as otherwise, you may get caught and have to take a defensive driving Texas online class — though this wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.