You're probably itching to get behind the wheel and conquer your freedom. But not so fast! There's a lot to do first. If you want to fast-track the process so you can go on a road trip or be a licensed driver before school starts, you're in the right place. Keep reading to learn how to avoid delays in getting your Texas driver's license.
Understanding the Texas Driver's License Process
Before diving in, let's recap the main steps to getting a driver's license in Texas as a teen.
Enroll in a state-approved driver's ed course. You'll take between six and 36 hours of classes.
Take the written test. You'll get three tries and must score at least 70% to pass. If you fail, you'll have to retake driver's ed. Avoid this massive delay by taking practice permit tests.
Apply for a learner's permit. Take all the documents needed.
Practice driving, with an instructor or a parent.
How Long Does It Take to Get a License in Texas?
The fastest you can get your Texas license is six months. To be that quick you'll need to:
Enroll in driver's ed right away.
Complete the classes promptly.
Study the Texas driver's manual thoroughly.
Take lots and lots of practice Texas written tests.
Know what mistakes to avoid (more on that in this article).
Pass the written test on the first few tries.
Start driving with a licensed adult (over the age of 21).
Complete 30 hours of driving, 10 of which must be during nighttime.
Tip: Parent-taught driving is often the fastest way to get a license. That's because driving schools often have busy schedules that can be hard to fit into.
Schedule your road test well in advance, according to your local DPS wait times schedule. Some cities have a backlog of months.
Common Mistakes Teens Make on the Written Test
Everyone makes mistakes on the written test. But if you want to get your driver's license quickly, you should study harder. Don't worry, there's still time to get them right! Here's what Texas teens usually get wrong.
1. Using Turning Lanes
Question: “When making a left turn from a center lane (which is bordered by a solid and broken line on each side), you may enter this lane to make a left turn no more than ___ feet from the location of the turn.”
Answer: 300 feet.
Only 19% of practice test-takers got this one right. Remember, staying on a turning lane too long could put you and other drivers in danger.
2. Double Yellow Lines
Question: “You must not cross a solid double yellow line in the center of a roadway to:”
Answer: Overtake another vehicle.
Around 80% of learner's answered incorrectly on our practice tests. Always follow safe passing practices.
3. Cell Phone Use
Question: “A driver is using his cell phone while passing through a school zone. Is it legal?"
23% of test-takers answered correctly. Texting and driving became illegal for drivers of all ages in 2017, and any type of cell phone usage in school zones is also illegal.
4. Right of Way
Right-of-way questions are often very tricky. Each question that shows up on the test is unique, so it's best to practice a lot before the big day. For example, you may be shown an image with "yield" and "stop" signs or an image with no signs in sight.
5. Speed Limits
Question: "Does a posted speed limit of 55 mph allow you to drive 55 mph on that highway when it rains?"
Answer: No, it doesn't. The speed limit of 55 mph is only for normal driving conditions.
32% of learners got this question right, which is great! But maybe it means it's worth getting a refresher on speed limits?
Speed Things Up With Online Driver's Ed
In-person driver's ed classes follow strict timetables, but they might not always work for you. Instead of having to wait days or weeks for a class when you're free, go online. You get to set your own pace with online driver's ed classes. Take them on free periods or whenever you're bored. DriversEd allows you to fast-track your classes so you feel prepared to start driving quickly.