First license in Texas? Here’s how to help your teen succeed.
Becoming a licensed driver is an exciting milestone for a teenager. Not only is it a major step in becoming an independent adult, but it’s also good practice in navigating government systems. Thankfully, Texas has a straightforward process for licensing teens. If your teen is ready to get their license in Texas, here are all of the steps they’ll need to complete:
Apply for a learner’s license
Texas teens can apply for a learner’s license when they are 15. This is an entry-level, restricted license that will allow a teen to practice driving under the supervision of an older, licensed adult.
Enroll in a state-approved driver’s education class
In Texas, most driver’s education classes include 32 hours of classroom training. Classroom training can be obtained through a state-certified school, through parent-taught driver education, or through programs offered in some public schools.
Take the written exam and obtain a learner’s license
Following the first six hours of classroom instruction, students are eligible to take the written exam to obtain their learner’s license. A learner’s license currently costs 16 dollars.
An essential component of driver’s education class is practicing driving. Once a student has passed their written exam, they are required to clock at least 30 hours of practice behind the wheel. A minimum of 10 of the 30 hours are required to be night driving. Drivers with a learner’s license must drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 in the car.
Complete the Impact Texas Drivers (ITD) course
This is a video course designed to teach teen drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. It is free and is available online. Upon completion, a certificate will be sent in the mail. This certificate of completion of the ITD must be shown prior to taking the driving test.
Take and pass the driving test
Students are eligible to take the driving test if they have had their learner’s license for six months without incident, have met the 30 required hours of practice driving, and have passed the ITD.
Obtain a provisional license
Once the driving test has been passed, a provisional driver’s license will be issued. Drivers must be at least 16 to obtain a provisional license and it will expire on their 18th birthday. This license has a fee of 16 dollars. A provisional license allows a teen to drive without supervision, however, there are some notable restrictions for holders of a provisional license:
● They cannot drive between midnight to 5 am, unless it’s for work, school, or in an emergency situation.
● They cannot have more than one passenger under 21 in their car while driving (family members are excluded from this rule).
● They cannot use a cell phone, even if it is hands-free.
Upgrade to an unrestricted Texas license
After a provisional license expires when a driver turns 18, they can obtain an unrestricted license and will be a fully licensed driver.
Transitioning your teen into becoming a licensed driver can seem like a daunting experience, but with these steps the process should be relatively simple and painless!