How To Get A Learners Permit in Texas
Obtaining a learner's permit is an important step for new drivers in Texas. It allows individuals to practice driving and gain experience on the road before obtaining a full driver's license. Here is an updated guide for obtaining a learner's permit in Texas in 2023.
In order to obtain a learner's permit in Texas, individuals must meet certain age and residency requirements. They must also provide proof of identification and citizenship/legal presence in the United States.
- Age: Individuals must be at least 15 years of age to obtain a driver's permit.
- Residency: Individuals must be residents of Texas.
- Proof of identification: Individuals must present a valid birth certificate or passport as proof of identification.
- Proof of citizenship/legal presence: Individuals must provide proof of citizenship or legal presence in the United States, such as a green card or visa.
Driver's Education Requirements
In order to apply for a Texas learners permit, individuals must meet certain driver's education requirements. These requirements vary based on the individual's age and the type of driver's education program they have completed.
- For individuals under 18: In order to apply for a learners permit, individuals under 18 must have completed a driver's education course that is approved by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). This can include a certified driver training school program, a parent-taught driver education program, or a public school driver education program. The course must include a minimum of 32 hours of classroom instruction and 7 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction. Upon completion of the course, the student will receive a Texas Driver Education Certificate (DE-964) that must be presented when applying for a learners permit.
- For individuals between 18 and 24: Individuals who are between 18 and 24 are not required to complete the traditional 32-hour driver's education course before applying for a driver’s permit. However, they are required to take a shorter 6-hour Texas adult driver's education course to fulfill the requirement before being issued a learners permit.
- For individuals 25 and over: Individuals who are 25 or older are not required to complete any driver's education course before applying for a drivers permit. However, they may still choose to take an adult driver's education course online as doing so replaces the need to take the written test at the DPS.
Driver's education is an essential aspect of ensuring traffic safety on the roads. It provides individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to become responsible and safe drivers. By completing a driver's education course, individuals will gain a better understanding of the rules of the road, traffic signs, and safe driving practices. And hey, not having to take the written driving test at the DPS does sound like a sweet deal!
Making a DPS Appointment
Before applying for a learner's permit, individuals must make an appointment with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). This can be done online or by phone. However, it is important to note that appointments can be hard to come by and should be scheduled well in advance. If the nearest DPS location is fully booked, it is worth trying to schedule an appointment at a different location. It is important to schedule the appointment at a convenient time and location.
What to Bring to Get Your Permit
When applying for a learner's permit, individuals must present the following documents:
- Proof of identification, such as a birth certificate or passport
- U.S. Citizenship or, if you are not a U.S. Citizen, evidence of lawful presence
- Proof of residency, such as a utility bill or lease agreement
- Social Security number
- Completion certificate from a Texas driver education program, such as a DE-964 from a certified driver training school, a parent-taught program, or a public school
- Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE form), or a high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
- Evidence of Texas Vehicle Registration for each vehicle you own
- Proof of Insurance for each vehicle you own (if you do not own a vehicle, you will sign a statement affirming this)
You must also fill out a driver's license application form. This may seem unusual as you are applying for a Texas driving permit, but the form is necessary to complete the process. The form can be found on the DPS website and it is recommended that you complete it at home before your appointment to save time at the DPS office.
It is important to ensure that all required documents are gathered before the appointment to avoid any delays in the application process.
What to Expect at the DPS
When you arrive at the DPS office for your appointment to obtain a Texas learners permit, you will be required to present the necessary documents and complete a few steps before taking the written test. Here's what you can expect at the DPS office:
- Check-in: Upon arrival, you will be required to check in and provide your appointment confirmation or scheduling number.
- Document verification: A DPS representative will verify your identity and the documents you've brought. This includes proof of identification, proof of residency, and any other required documents needed to obtain a Texas learners permit.
- Payment: You will be required to pay the application fee before taking any further steps. The learners permit application fee is between $16 and $33, depending on your age and whether this is your first time applying.
- Written test: You will be required to take a written test that covers the rules of the road, traffic signs, and safe driving practices. The test can be taken in multiple languages, and you will be given the opportunity to review and correct any errors before submitting your answers. Note that some driver’s ed courses (like ours) already have a written driving test integrated into them, so if you have completed your drivers ed with us, you do not have to take the permit test at the DPS office
- Vision test: You will be required to take a vision test to ensure you meet the minimum vision requirements to operate a vehicle for the Texas learners permit.
- Signature: You will be required to provide a signature
- Biometrics: You will be required to provide thumbprints
- Photo: A photograph will be taken of the applicant as part of the Texas learners permit application process. This photo will stay with you for quite a while, so look your best if you don’t want to get stuck with a terrible license picture
Please keep in mind that if you are under 18 years old, you will be required to bring a parent or legal guardian to your appointment. In the case that you are accompanied by a legal guardian, you must also bring a certified court order as proof of guardianship.
It is important to arrive on time for your appointment, be prepared and have all the necessary documents. It is also a good idea to review the DPS website before your appointment, as it provides useful information on what to expect, what documents are needed and how to prepare for the written test to obtain a Texas learners permit.
Once You Pass
After presenting the required documents, passing the tests, and paying the application fee, you will be issued a temporary driver's license. Before leaving the DPS office, it is important to double-check the information on the temporary license for accuracy. If any information is incorrect, notify the License and Permit Specialist immediately. The official Texas learners permit will be mailed to you within 2-3 weeks. You can check the status of your permit by visiting the DPS mailing status webpage.
Restrictions and Regulations
Holders of a learner's permit must abide by certain restrictions and regulations while driving. These include:
- While holding a learners permit, you must be accompanied by a licensed adult 21 years or older in the front passenger seat while driving.
- It is prohibited to use any wireless communication device, including hands-free devices, while driving with a learners permit, except in the case of an emergency.
Violating these restrictions and regulations can result in penalties, such as fines or the revocation of the learner's permit.
When You Are Over 18
If you are 18 years or older, you are not required to go through the learners permit stage before obtaining your driver's license. However, individuals between the ages of 18 and 24 must complete an adult Texas driver's education course before being issued a driver's license.
If you feel that you need additional practice before taking the in-car driving test, you can apply for an adult learner's permit, also known as a "restricted driver's license". We have prepared information on how to obtain a Texas learners permit when you are 18, or over 25, with details on documentation and testing requirements, so do check them out.
Obtaining a learner's permit in Texas is an important step for new drivers. By following the steps outlined here, individuals can ensure that they meet the eligibility requirements, make a DPS appointment, bring all required documents and get their learners permit the first time!
Frequently Asked Questions
At what age can you get your permit in Texas?
In Texas, you can apply for a learners permit at the age of 15 - this is the minimum legal driving age. However, you must complete the classroom portion of a driver education course before applying for a learners permit. Once you have completed the driver education course, you can take the written and vision test at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) office and apply for your learners permit. Alternatively, the written driving test can be taken as part of the driver’s education course.
Do you need a learners permit when over 18 in Texas?
In Texas, if you are 18 years of age or older, you are not required to have a learners permit before getting your driver's license, as long as you are able to pass the driving test and do not require any driving practice. Those who wish to be able to practice behind the wheel before taking the road test must obtain a restricted drivers license first.
If you are between the ages of 18-24, you must also complete an adult driver education course before being issued a driver's license.
How much is it to get a permit?
The cost of obtaining a learners permit in Texas varies depending on the individual's age, residency status and the type of permit they are applying for. The fee for a standard class C learners permit is $16.00. Additionally, there may be other fees associated with the application process such as the fee for the written test, the vision test, and the fee for the driver's education course if required.
Can I get my permit online?
No, you cannot get your permit online, Texas requires you to apply in person at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) office after completing a driver education course, passing a written test, and passing a vision test. However, you can complete your Texas drivers ed online, schedule an appointment online, you can also fill out the application form online to save time when you are at the DPS office. Additionally, you can check the status of your permit on the DPS website after you have applied.
Can you drive with a learner's permit?
Yes, you can drive with a learner's permit, but you will be subject to certain restrictions. With a learners permit, you are allowed to operate a vehicle when accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and seated in the front seat next to you. You are also prohibited from using any wireless communication device, including hands-free devices, while driving with a learners permit, except in the case of an emergency.
Can I get my license without a permit at 18?
Yes, you can get your driver's license without a permit at 18 in Texas. If you are 18 years of age or older and have completed an adult driver education course, you are eligible to take the written and road test at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) office and apply for your driver's license without the need of having a learners permit (you do not have to take the written test at the office if you have already taken it as part of your driver's ed program).