How to Get a Texas Drivers License

March 18, 2013

If you're moving to Texas, you might want to get a Texas drivers license to help you get around the second largest US state. Only residents who have a valid driver's license are allowed to operate a vehicle, and there are a few conditions to be met before such license is granted.

License Classifications

The first step in obtaining a driver's license is knowing which classification you fall into. There are different kinds of license classifications based on varying criteria, like length of experience, type of vehicle to be operated, and age.

The first license classification is the instruction permit. This allows a driver as young as 15 years old to legally operate a vehicle as long as a licensed driver (who is at least 21 years old) accompanies them. The license fee is $5.00 and will expire until the applicant's next birth day, plus one year. An instruction permit cannot be renewed as another instruction permit. The applicant will have to apply for a normal, photo-type license (the instruction permit does not require a photo) upon expiration.

The second type is a provisional license. Like the instruction permit, this permit is issued to applicants less than 18 years old. The license expires on the applicant's next birth date that happens after the permit's issuance. This type of license can be renewed annually for $5.00 per year, but permits issued to applicants over 18 years are valid for up to six years, and will cost $24.00 if you want a Texas drivers license renewal.

The third type of licenses are what's called classified and commercial licenses. These licenses are issued based on the type of vehicle to be operated. The fees for classified licenses are $24.00, valid for six years for applicants over 18 years old, and $5.00, valid until the next birth date for applicants less than 18 years old.

Obtaining a License

First, you will need to obtain an application form from your nearest Driver's License Office and fill that out. Remember the application must be made in person. You will be needing the following: your full name, any identification documents (such as unexpired US passports, Certificate of Naturalization with an identifiable photo, or a military ID card), your physical description, your Social Security card, thumbprints, your mailing address at your permanent residence, medical status and history, any valid out-of-state drivers licenses (if any), and your current country of residence and US citizenship status.

Next, a Texas drivers license test will be conducted. If you have a valid out-of-state license, you are exempt from the examination, but you will have to surrender that license. Applicants who are 15 to 18 years old can be exempted from the examination if they can present a Texas Drivers Education Certificate. You will be taking a knowledge (rules and signs test), a vision test, and finally a driving skills test.

The driving skills test is the last of the tests, and will only be given once the two previous tests are passed. Additionally, evidence of any automobile liability insurance covering the vehicle to be operated must be presented.

After passing all of these tests, you will be given your Texas driver's license. Congratulations, and remember to always keep traffic rules in mind when on the road. Drive safely.