Texas DMV Handbook and Regulations FAQ
If you’re looking to acquire a Texas state driver’s license either now or in the future, you should absolutely consult the official state handbook to make sure you get all necessary information about Texas state driving laws beforehand. However, you are also welcome to peruse the following FAQ for an overview of the most common concerns would-be Texas driver tend to have.
How old do I need to be before I can apply for my Texas learner’s permit?
In the state of Texas, you must be a minimum of 15 years of age in order to apply for your learner’s permit. If you are between the ages of 18 and 24, you must also be able to show proof that you’ve completed a state compliant driver’s education course or parent-taught driver’s education. In addition to this, you must be able to show government-recognized proof of your identity, proof of your residence in the state of Texas, and proof of valid U.S. citizenship.
Do I need to bring anyone else with me when I apply for my Texas state learner’s permit?
If you are under the age of 18, then you will need to have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in order to complete the application process. Bring your parent or guardian with you when you come to the field office to apply. If you are unable to bring the person with you, then you are advised to contact a DPS office directly for information about alternative options.
Do I need to be able to pass a physical in order to qualify for a Texas driver’s license?
No, you will not be required to undergo a full physical in order to get your Texas license. However, you will have to pass a vision test in order to qualify. There is no need to complete this test prior to your DMV appointment, as it will be taken care of for you there.
Once I’ve applied for my Texas driver’s license, what’s next?
Once you’ve applied for your Texas learner’s permit, the next order of business is to practice driving for a period of six months. You can have a parent or legal guardian teach you or you can sign up for a state-compliant driver’s education course. After that, you will also need to pass both a written driver’s knowledge course and a behind-the-wheel driving test in order to obtain your official license and driving privileges.
Do I need to bring my own vehicle for my driver’s test?
Yes. You need to bring a vehicle that is in perfect working condition in order to undergo your behind-the-wheel driver’s test. Make sure that the tires are in good condition and that all gauges, brakes, and functions are in perfect working order. You’ll also want to make sure you can identify and use each of the vehicle’s features on demand, as you will be asked. These features include but are not limited to the parking brake, windshield wipers, and emergency lights.
Do I need car insurance in the state of Texas?
Yes. In Texas, is against the law to drive without proper auto insurance in place. Your vehicle must also be registered with the DMV. If you are a minor that will be driving the car of a parent or other legal guardian, you do not need to apply for your own insurance plan. However, you should make sure that said parent or guardian adds you to their existing insurance plan. Some insurance providers will offer lowered rates in exchange for completion of an authorized driving school, so that is something to consider if you’re looking to save money.
How do I replace a license that has been lost or damaged?
In the event your valid Texas driver’s license has been lost, stolen, or damaged in any way, you are to visit your nearest DMV field office during applicable hours of operation. Make sure you bring proper identification. If you are under 18 years of age, the will also need to bring verification of your enrollment and attendance in school. If you are not currently in school, you will need to provide your GED or high school diploma. You will also most likely need to pay a fee. Under most circumstances, this fee will be $10 and is payable via check, money order, or cash. Credit or debit cards are not acceptable forms of payment.
When does my Texas driver’s license expire and how do I renew it?
Your Texas driver’s license expiration date depends on your birthday, as well as your age when your original license was first issued or last renewed. If you are under 18, your license will expire on your next birthday. If you are 18-84 years of age, your Texas license will be valid for a total of six years. If you are over the age of 85, your license expires on your second birthday after your original date of application.
You will receive a notice in the mail approximately six weeks before your license is due to expire. However, you are not required to wait until you receive the notice in order to start the renewal process. Please note that Texas does not have a grace period when it comes to license renewal, so it’s advisable to renew yours sooner rather than later.
Do I have to renew my license in person?
No. You are welcome to renew your license in person, but you can also do so online or over the phone. However, it should be noted that you can only renew over the phone or the DMV website if your last renewal was actually done in person, there has been no change in your legal name, and you do not hold a Texas commercial driver’s license. There also cannot have been any major change in your medical condition or vision since your last in-person renewal, nor can you have any outstanding tickets, warrants, or violations. When in doubt, come visit a Texas DMV field office in person.