Legal Driving Age in Texas
What is a driving age in Texas?
The legal driving age refers to the minimum age at which an individual is allowed to operate a motor vehicle on public roads. This age is determined by each state and can vary depending on the type of vehicle, the location, and other factors.
The legal driving age in Texas is 15, which means that individuals can apply for a learners permit at that age. With a learner's permit, individuals are allowed to practice driving while accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 years or older and sits in the front seat next to them. This is important – you cannot drive by yourself! After holding a learner's permit for a certain period of time, finalizing the driving portion of your Texas drivers education course and passing a driving test, individuals can then move on to the next stage and upgrade to a provisional driver’s license.
In Texas, a provisional driver's license is also known as a "Provisional License" or "Intermediate License", it is issued after the applicant has held a learners permit for six months, completed the drivers ed program, got at least 30 hours of driving hours behind his belt and passed the driving test. The Impact Texas Teen Driver program must also be completed by this point. With a provisional license, the individual is allowed to drive alone but still with some restrictions. For example, there is a curfew restriction between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. and the number of passengers allowed in the car is limited.
At what age can you get your permit in Texas?
If you're planning to apply for a learners permit in Texas, it's important to know that you must be at least 15 years old to be eligible. However, it's recommended to start preparing for this day well in advance, as several requirements must be met before you can apply. One of the most important requirements is the completion of a Texas driver's education program. This program is mandatory for all teenage applicants and the legal age for starting driver's ed is 14. Therefore, it's a good idea to begin taking driver's ed classes well before you turn 15.
Another important requirement for applying for a learner's permit is passing the Texas written driving test. This test covers various traffic rules and road signs, and it's crucial to have a good understanding of them before you take the test. Therefore, it makes sense to begin studying these topics well before you hit your 15th birthday. You can find online study materials, practice tests, and classes to help you prepare for the written test.
In summary, while the legal age when you can get your permit in Texas is 15, it's recommended to start preparing well in advance by completing a driver's education program and studying traffic rules and road signs. This will help you pass the written test and increase your chances of obtaining your learners permit on your first try.
How to get a permit in Texas
Once you reach the minimum legal driving age in Texas, you can follow these simple steps to apply for your learners permit.
- Complete the theory portion of the Texas driver's education program. This is mandatory for all teenage applicants, and the legal age for starting driver's ed is 14. Adults will need to complete a shorter, 6-hour Texas adult drivers ed course.
- Pass a written driving test. This test covers various traffic rules and road signs, and it's crucial to have a good understanding of them before you take the test. Many driving schools include the permit test in the curriculum, so you can take it as part of your drivers education program.
- Gather the required documents. This includes proof of identity and age, proof of residency, and proof of U.S citizenship or legal presence in the U.S
- Pass a vision test and a hearing test.
- Pay the permit fee.
- Obtain a learners permit. Remember that the permit comes with a number of restrictions and you cannot drive alone yet.
The process for obtaining a Texas learners permit varies for adults. If you are 18 or older, the requirements and steps you will need to follow are different from those for teenage applicants. We have created separate resources that provide detailed information on how to obtain a Texas learners permit when you are 18 or over 25. It is recommended to check out these resources to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the process and requirements specific to your age group.
Can you drive with a learner's permit alone?
When people ask how old do you have to be to drive in Texas, they frequently mean “how old do you have to be to drive alone”, and whether you can drive alone with a learners permit. The answer is no, you cannot drive under a learner's permit without a supervising driver when you are 16 in the state of Texas. According to Texas law, individuals who hold a drivers permit are required to have a supervising driver who is 21 years or older seated next to them while they are operating a vehicle. This restriction applies until the individual passes their driving test and obtains a provisional driver’s license.
Many teenagers wonder whether you can drive to school with a permit in Texas. The short answer is no, you cannot, unless you hold a minor restricted drivers license (MRDL). More on the minor restricted license below.
Can you drive by yourself with a permit at 18?
When it comes to determining whether a person can drive alone or not, age is not the only factor to consider. The main factor that matters is whether the person holds a valid Texas driver's license or not.
If a person holds a valid Texas driver's license, whether it be an adult driver's license, a provisional driver's license, or a restricted driver's license, they are allowed to drive without a supervising driver seated next to them. However, it's important to note that there may be additional restrictions imposed on provisional license holders, such as a curfew or a limitation on the number of passengers in the vehicle.
On the other hand, if a person holds a Texas learner's permit or does not hold any license at all, they are not allowed to operate a vehicle on public roadways. In other words, regardless of age, if you do not have a valid Texas driver's license, you cannot legally drive alone. It's important to follow the rules and regulations set by the state of Texas to ensure a safe and responsible driving experience.
Minor Restricted Drivers License (MRDL)
According to Texas law, eligible teenagers may be issued a Minor Restricted Driver License (MRDL, also known as a hardship license in Texas) if there is a need for them to drive. In these cases, the standard requirements for a graduated driver license do not apply to the MRDL, which means that a teenager who qualifies for this program may be able to receive full driving privileges in Texas at the age of 15, without having to hold a learners permit for six months. To be eligible for an MRDL, the following conditions must be met:
- The applicant must be between the ages of 15 and 18 years old (15 is the minimum legal driving age in Texas).
- The applicant must have completed a driver education course, passed the permit test, vision test, and driving test.
- The applicant must meet all other requirements for an original license applicant.
An MRDL may be issued if the following conditions are met:
- The absence of an MRDL would cause unusual economic hardship for the applicant's family.
- It is necessary due to an illness of a family member.
- It is necessary for the applicant to be attending school and to be able to provide a VOE form.
Please note that having an MRDL is not a guarantee and it is subject to the discretion of the Texas Department of Public Safety and the county in which you live.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you drive at 14 in Texas?
No, you cannot legally drive at the age of 14 in Texas. The minimum age to apply for a learners permit or driver's license in Texas is 15 years old. However, a person who is at least 14 years old can start working on the classroom portion of the driver education course.
At what age can you drive in Texas?
Typically, you can start driving under the supervision of a licensed driver when you are at least 15 years old, provided you have a learners permit. You can obtain a provisional driver's license and start driving alone when you are at least 16 years old. If you apply for a minor restricted drivers license, you can start driving alone at the age of 15.
When can you get your permit in Texas?
You can apply for a learner's permit in Texas at the age of 15 years.
At what age can you start drivers ed in Texas?
You can start working on your Texas driver’s education course once you turn 14.
What is the legal driving age in Texas for driving alone?
The legal driving age for driving alone is 16 if you hold a provisional driver’s license, and 15 if you hold a hardship license (the official name for the hardship license in Texas is minor restricted driver license (MRDL)).
Do you need a learners permit to drive if you are over 18 in Texas?
When you are over 18 or over 25, you need a restricted driver’s license (an equivalent of a Texas drivers permit issued to adults) to be able to drive under the supervision of another licensed driver. If you want to drive alone, you must obtain a full unrestricted Texas driver’s license first).