What Do I Need to Transfer My License to Texas?

If you’re moving to the Lone Star State, you’re not alone! More Americans are relocating to Texas than to any other state in the U.S. Whether it’s the affordable cost of living, the growing job opportunities, or the wide-open spaces, Texas is currently the place to be.

But be warned: Texas isn’t known for being pedestrian-friendly. Moving to a city in Texas isn’t like moving to New York City, where you can give up driving in favor of public transportation. If you’re moving to Texas, there’s a good chance you’ll want to transfer your driver’s license to Texas with you.

But what does a Texas license transfer require? Will you need to take a Texas adult driver’s ed course? And how long do you have to complete the transfer process once you move?

Here’s what you need to know about transferring your driver’s license to Texas.

What Do I Need to Transfer My License to Texas?

The easiest way to transfer your driver’s license when moving to Texas is to surrender a valid out-of-state driver’s license. This means you will turn your out-of-state driver’s license into the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) in exchange for a new Texas driver’s license.

If you are 18 or older and have a valid driver’s license in any U.S. state or Canadian province, you can get a Texas driver’s license simply by taking the following documents to your local DPS office:

  • Proof of identity (your out-of-state driver’s license will suffice)

  • Proof of Texas residency (such as a utility bill for your new address)

  • Citizenship or lawful presence (such as a Social Security card or green card)

  • Evidence of Texas Vehicle Registration for the vehicle(s) you own (you must have your vehicles inspected and registered within 30 days of moving to Texas) 

  • Proof of Insurance for the vehicle(s) you own

Can I Make an Appointment with DPS for My Texas License Transfer?

“Appointments are currently required for all services due to coronavirus," said Sarah at the DPS. 

Under normal circumstances, DPS doesn’t offer appointments for Texas driver’s license transfers, but these are unique times. However, You can get up-to-date information regarding the DPS’s coronavirus policies and procedures on the COVID-19 Information page of the DPS website

Do I Need to Take a Texas Adult Driver’s Ed Course?

If you are over 18 years old and you are surrendering your out-of-state license, you aren’t required by law to complete a Texas adult driver’s ed course. In fact, even if you choose not to surrender your out-of-state license, you don’t technically have to take a Texas adult driver’s ed course. But you do have to pass all required exams (both written and behind-the-wheel), so an adult driver’s ed course may be the most efficient way to prepare for your exams. 

What About Drivers Under 18?

Drivers under 18 years old also have the option to surrender their valid out-of-state driver’s license (or learner’s permit) for a Texas driver’s license (or “learner’s license”). Those who surrender their out-of-state licenses will be exempt from the written knowledge exam. However, all drivers under 18 are required to complete the behind-the-wheel skills exam. This rule applies even if the driver already passed the skills test in their home state.

How Long Do I Have to Complete My Texas License Transfer?

As long as you have a valid driver’s license from another U.S. state or Canadian province, you’ll be able to legally drive in Texas for up to 90 days from the date of your move. After the 90th day, you’ll need to have your new Texas driver’s license to legally drive in Texas. 

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