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How to Obtain a Driver License in Texas

1.

Obtain and study the Texas Driver's Handbook, which is available at your local Driver License office. Manuals cannot be mailed, but can be downloaded from the Texas Department of Public Safety website (see link).

2.

Apply for your license in person at a Driver License office. Locations and hours can be found in the back of the Handbook or at the Texas Department of Public Safety website (see link).

3.

Bring proper identification. Acceptable forms of documentation are itemized in the Texas Driver's Handbook. Proof of liability insurance is also required if you are taking a driving test.

4.

Submit the required fee before taking any examination. The fee allows the applicant to take three examinations for each test.

5.

Pass all the required examinations. There are four tests: a vision screening, 2 knowledge tests and a driving test. You may not be required to take all the examinations.

6.

Meet all the requirements. You will be given a receipt which you may use as a temporary license for 60 days or until the department mails your permanent license to you.

Tips and Warnings

  • Drivers with an out-of-state license must apply for a Texas driver license at the time residency is established.
  • The road signs, rules and driving tests are not required for applicants aged 18 and over who surrender a valid out-of-state license.
  • You are not required to take a driving test if you present a Texas Driver Education Certificate.
  • Based on your vision test results, you may be required to wear glasses or contact lenses when driving.
  • The knowledge test is divided into the rules test and the signs test. Testing questions will be taken from information in the Texas Driver's Handbook. A passing score on each test is 70 percent or better.
  • The driving test is given only after all other tests have been passed and evidence of automobile liability insurance covering the vehicle is presented.
  • Failure of three examinations requires a new application and fee be submitted before additional exams may be taken. The application fee is valid only for the location and schedule where the fee is paid.
  • An oral test will be given on request (an appointment may be required).
  • Any health or physical conditions that might impair your driving ability may require a doctor's statement about your condition.
  • Driving tests will not be conducted when roads are considered by the examiner to be slick or hazardous.
  • A license issued to a person under 18 is considered probationary.
  • The vehicle must have a valid inspection certificate attached and must pass inspection by the driver license examiner before the driving test is given.
  • Driving in Texas is a privilege, not a right. You can be fined, have your license revoked or even be imprisoned for not adhering to all traffic laws.

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