Smiling student in a car

Texas Driving School | Get Your Driver’s License in Texas

How to Get Your Driver’s License in Texas

Applying for a license in Texas is fairly straightforward.

  1. If you are under 25 years of age, you must complete the appropriate driver’s education course before getting your license.
  2. You must also complete the Impact Texas Driver’s (ITD) requirements before you take your driving test.
  3. After completing your course (and before you head to the DMV), you’ll need to gather documents that verify your:
    1. Identity
    2. Social security number
    3. US citizenship or lawful presence status
    4. Texas residency
    5. Proof of Texas vehicle registration and evidence that you are financially responsible for the vehicle
  4. Next, you’ll need to complete the application and bring it to the driver’s license office with the required documents and fees.
  5. At the DMV, you have to pass the vision exam and pass the knowledge and driving tests (unless you are exempt).

Why Complete Your Driver’s Education Requirement with Texas Driving School?

Texas Driving School is a branch of the American Safety Council®, the leading source for online driver’s education. We offer four different driver’s education courses: parent-taught and self-taught courses for teenagers ages 14 to 17, adult driver’s education for individuals between the ages of 18 to 25 and a defensive driving course.

We are Better Business Bureau accredited and approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). We meet all the Texas Department of Public Safety’s requirements and our courses are 100% online. You can complete them on your computer or tablet. We offer a certificate and will report your course completion to the state of Texas for no additional fee.

You can complete the in-class portion of your driver’s education requirement through our Texas Online Driver’s Ed Course, which does not require a parent, or with the Parent-Taught Driver’s Education Course. Both courses can also fulfill the 44 hour behind-the-wheel requirements (the behind-the-wheel course is available as an add on through the Texas online Driver’s Ed) with an eligible parent or legal guardian acting as the driving instructor.

Texas Parent-Taught Driver’s Education

How it works:

  1. First, the student and parent or guardian are required to request approval to complete the parent-taught driver’s education. You have to complete and turn in a TDLR application.
  2. After the TDLR has approved your application, they will send you a parent-taught driver’s ed packet filled with information and forms.
  3. Once you receive the TDLR packet, you will be able to begin the online course material.
  4. The course is 32 hours long, but you can take it at your own pace. Because it is 100% online, simply use your login username and password to sign into the class any time of the day, seven days a week.
  5. This course also includes the behind-the-wheel course during which you must complete the 44 hour driving requirement. This means you will need to complete:
    1. Seven hours of behind-the-wheel instruction
    2. Seven hours of in-car observation
    3. Thirty hours of unlogged behind-the-wheel-practice (including 10 hours at night)

Who Is Eligible to Teach Parent-Taught Driver’s Education?

The only adults who are eligible to teach parent-taught driver’s education are parents, stepparents, grandparents, step-grandparents, foster parents or legal guardians. The power of attorney is not sufficient.

To be eligible, the instructor:

  • Must have held a valid driver's license for the past three years (individuals who lived outside Texas during any part of the last three years must bring the certified abstract driving record from their former state when the student applies for a license)
  • Cannot have a suspended driver’s license, revoked license or a forfeited license in the past three years
  • Must have fewer than six points on their driving record
  • Cannot be convicted of a probated sentence for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Criminally Negligent Homicide
  • Is not disabled due to mental illness

Who should take the Texas Parent-Taught Driver’s Education Course:

  1. This course is designed for teens between the ages of 14 and 17.
  2. This course is only designed for students with a parent or guardian who is willing to commit to 32 hours of classroom work and 44 hours of driving requirements.

What it covers (as mandated by the state of Texas):

  1.  Alcohol and drug awareness
  2. The traffic laws of this state
  3. The high rate of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities for drivers younger than 25 years of age
  4. The issues commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents involving drivers younger than 25 years of age, including poor decision-making, risk taking, impaired driving, distraction, speed, failure to use a safety belt, driving at night, failure to yield the right-of-way and using a wireless communication device while operating a vehicle and the role of peer pressure in those issues;
  5. The effect of poor driver decision-making on the family, friends, school and community of a driver younger than 25 years of age
  6. The importance of taking control of potentially dangerous driving situations both as a driver and as a passenger

Texas Online Driver’s Education

How it works:

  1. The Online Driver’s Education Course allows teens to complete their own driver’s education training online and without a guardian or parent.
  2. You can begin this course can immediately after signing up. There is no instructor approval process, and you do not need to wait for forms from the state in the mail.
  3. The course is 32 hours long, but you can take it at your own pace. Because it is 100% online, simply use your login username and password to sign into the class any time of the day, seven days a week.
  4. You will also need to complete the 44 hour driving requirement. This means you will need to complete:
    1. Seven hours of behind-the-wheel instruction
    2. Seven hours of in-car observation
    3. Thirty hours of unlogged behind-the-wheel practice (including 10 hours at night).

Who should take the Texas Online Driver’s Education Course:

  1. This course is designed for teens between the ages of 14 and 17.
  2. This course is designed for teens who are not interested in staying after school, taking in-person classes or working around the schedule of a parent or guardian.

What it covers (as mandated by the state of Texas):

  1.  Alcohol and drug awareness
  2. The traffic laws of this state
  3. The high rate of motor vehicle accidents and fatalities for drivers younger than 25 years of age
  4. The issues commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents involving drivers younger than 25 years of age, including poor decision-making, risk taking, impaired driving, distraction, speed, failure to use a safety belt, driving at night, failure to yield the right-of-way and using a wireless communication device while operating a vehicle and the role of peer pressure in those issues
  5. The effect of poor driver decision-making on the family, friends, school and community of a driver younger than 25 years of age
  6. The importance of taking control of potentially dangerous driving situations both as a driver and as a passenger

Texas Adult Driver’s Education

How it works:

  1. Register for the course.
  2. The course is six hours long and can be taken at your own pace. You can log in and out of the course 24 hours a day, seven days a week as many times as necessary.
  3. After you complete your course, you will get your official driver’s ed certificate in the mail within seven to 15 business days.

Who should take the Texas Adult Driver’s Education course:

This course is designed for adults between the age of 18 and 24 and have never had a Texas state driver’s license and is optional (but recommended) for adults over the age of 25 who have never had a Texas state driver’s license.

What it covers (as mandated by the state of Texas):

  1. Alcohol and drug awareness
  2. The traffic laws of this state
  3. Highway signs, signals and markings that regulate, warn or direct traffic
  4. Issues commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, including poor decision-making, risk taking, impaired driving, distraction, speed, failure to use a safety belt, driving at night, failure to yield the right-of-way and using a wireless communication device while operating a vehicle
Happy woman driving a car and smiling

Texas Defensive Driving Online

How it Works:

  1. Register for the online Texas Defensive Driving.
  2. Simply complete the course at your pace within three months of registering.
  3. The course is five hours long and can be completed at your own pace.
  4. Once you complete the course, we will process your certificate of completion and mail it to you. For ticket dismissal, you will need to order your Texas driving record as well.
  5. Bring these documents to dismiss your ticket and earn a possible insurance rate reduction.

Who should take the Texas Defensive Driving Online course:

  1. This course is designed for adults who are attempting to get a ticket dismissed.
  2. This course is eligible for ticket dismissal benefits pursuant to Texas court requirements. The general requirements for ticket dismissal in the state of Texas are as follows:
    1. You must possess a valid non-commercial Texas driver’s license or permit.
    2. You can’t have dismissed a traffic ticket within the past 12 months.
    3. You must have admitted guilt or signed a statement that you do not contest the citation.
    4. If your ticket was for speeding, it must indicate that the violation was not more than 25 miles per hour over the posted limit.

What does it cover?

  1. The TDLR defensive driving classes are geared toward improving a driver’s knowledge, perception and attitude about driving. It also covers:
  2. Alcohol and drug awareness
  3. The traffic laws of this state
  4. Highway signs, signals and markings that regulate, warn or direct traffic
  5. Issues commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, including poor decision-making, risk taking, impaired driving, distraction, speed, failure to use a safety belt, driving at night, failure to yield the right-of-way and using a wireless communication device while operating a vehicle.

The Texas Driving School offers three different Texas Defensive Driving Online options:

  1. Online Defensive Driving
    1. This course is 100% online.
    2. There is no final exam.
    3. This is the lowest course price.
  2. Streaming Defensive Driving
    1. This is a streaming video course.
    2. There is no final exam.
    3. The course is animated and narrated.
  3. Defensive Driving Package
    1. This is an online defensive driving course.
    2. It is also available in streaming.

This package also includes a Texas Type 3A Driving Record (needed for ticket dismissal).

Which Driver’s Education Course Is Right for You?

For Teens Ages 14 to 17: Understanding the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) Program

Texas uses a Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) Program.  The GDL Program means three different tiers of licenses (or levels of licensure) make sure teenagers understand driving laws and how to deal with common driving challenges. The program has three phases: phase one (Learner’s license), phase two (provisional license) and phase three (full driver’s license).

  1. Phase One—Learner’s License
    1. Before you get your phase one learner’s license, you’re going to need to be 15 years old, and you will have completed at least the first unit of either the Texas Online Driver’s Education (Self-Taught) Instruction Course or the Texas Parent-Taught Driver’s Education Course.
    2. Texas law requires that if you issued a Texas learner’s license, you must hold that license for at least six months or until you are 18 years of age, whichever is earlier. During that six months (or longer), you will need to complete the rest of your course.
    3. You will also need to complete 44 hours of required in-car training with an eligible parent/guardian or a certified instructor and complete the Impact Texas Driver’s (ITD) requirement.
  2. Phase Two—Provisional License
    1. Once you’ve held your valid learner’s license for at least six months, reached the age of 16, completed both the classroom and behind-the-wheel portions of driver’s education and completed the Impact Texas Driver’s (ITD) requirement, you are eligible to take the driving test for your provisional license.
    2. Once you pass the driving test, you’ve earned your provisional license. This means you cannot drive with more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not a family member. Also, you cannot drive between midnight and 5:00 am unless the operation of the vehicle is necessary for you to work, to attend or participate in a school-related activity or due to a medical emergency.
  3. Phase Three—Full License
    1. If you observe the rules for your provisional license during the six-month period after you’ve received your provisional license, you can go to your local DMV office and have these restrictions removed.

Which Driver’s Education Program Should You Choose?

In the parent-taught driver’s education course, the class is led primarily by your parent. You will complete 32 hours of online instruction under the guidance of your parent or guardian. This program (which is also known as PTDE) will help you go over the important topics of driving safety and ensures qualified adult guidance during driving hours.

Texas Driving School online offers a self-taught driver’s education course for teens who want to self-initiate and fulfill this requirement on their own. This course does not require the aid of a guardian, parent or instructor. This is the better option if your parent or guardian has a busy schedule that could potentially conflict with your class instruction time.

For Adults Ages 18 to 25:

Texas Driving School offers a Texas Adult Driver’s Education course. While the course is optional for adults over the age of 25, it is required for individuals between the ages of 18 and 24.

According to the TDLR, “Starting on March 1, 2010, Texas law changed to require persons from 18 to under 25 years of age who wish to obtain a driver’s license to successfully complete a six hour driver’s education course exclusively for adults or a complete adult and teen driver’s education course (32 hours of classroom, 7 hours behind-the-wheel, 7 hours observation).”

The course will cover alcohol and drug awareness; Texas Traffic Laws; highway signs, signals and markings that regulate, warn or direct traffic; and issues commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, including poor decision-making, risk taking, impaired driving, distraction, speed, failure to use a safety belt, driving at night, failure to yield the right-of-way and using a wireless communication device while operating a vehicle.

To pass the course, you will also need to take the Texas Department of Public Safety Road Signs and Road Rules written examination.

For Adults Interested in Pursuing Ticket Dismissal

Adults can take a defensive driving course in Texas once every year for ticket dismissal. You can also take this course for insurance discounts, but remember: Insurance discounts for defensive driving courses expire every three years. Most individuals sign up for our Defensive Driving Course to remove points from their license. Usually, you will still have to pay for your ticket. The course will work to keep your insurance from raising the rates on your car insurance and will not act against your Texas driving record. To pursue ticket dismissal, you need to request a defensive driving class with the county that issued your ticket.

Sources:

Texas DPS: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/ITD.htm

Texas DPS: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/identificationrequirements.htm

Texas DPS: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/ssn.htm

Texas DPS: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/LawfulStatusDLID.htm

Texas DPS: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/residencyReqNonCDL.htm

Texas DPS: https://www.dps.texas.gov/internetforms/Forms/DL-14A.pdf

Texas DPS: https://www.dps.texas.gov/administration/driver_licensing_control/rolodex/search.asp

Texas DPS: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/fees.htm

Education Code Chapter 1001: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/ED/htm/ED.1001.htm

TDLR: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/driver/driver.htm