How to Get a Texas Drivers License
Are you looking to apply for a Texas drivers license? Well, first you must be a legal Texas resident. If you just moved to Texas, you’ll have to stay for 30 days and provide proof that you’ve been a resident for a full month in order to apply for a Texas drivers license. There is also an application process. But it’s easy.
You are legally able to drive and even buy a car in Texas with an out-of-state license for up to 90 days. You can buy auto insurance with an out-of-state license too. The same applies for licenses from Canada or another qualifying country. In fact, if you buy a car or car insurance, you can use that documentation in order to apply for a Texas license (see more on necessary documents below).
After you get a Texas Drivers License, you must surrender your other license. In most cases you do not have to take the knowledge and road tests (if you’re from another state and certain countries), but you will have to do so if your license has expired.
The good news is that a Texas driver license is valid for up to eight years and is available to residents who are 18 years old or older. It’s highly recommended that you download a Texas Driver’s Handbook, which will help you prepare for the tests you need to take in order to get a Texas Drivers License.
Here’s everything else you need to know:
What Documents Do I Need for a Texas Drivers License?
1. Proof of U.S. Citizenship. You can provide a passport or some such document. If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must provide documentation of lawful residence in Texas, such as a green card.
2. Proof of Texas Residency. You’ll need two documents with your name and residential address. One of the two documents must verify that you’ve been living in Texas for at least 30 days. Documents can be any of the following: water, cable, internet, phone or gas bill; current deed or mortgage; mortgage statement and other relevant documents; valid Texas voter registration card; valid Texas motor vehicle or boat registration or title; valid Texas gun license(s); Selective Service Card; medical or health insurance card; insurance policy statements; paycheck or payment stubs dated within 90 days of the date of application; documents from the U.S military with residence address; documents from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice indicating recent release or parole; citizenship and immigration services documents; Veteran’s Health Identification Card (VHIC) or a letter of Texas residency issued by the Texas Juvenile Justice Department.
3. Residency Requirement Waiver for Individuals Authorized to Use an Alternative address. You may be off the hook with having to prove residency if: you are part of the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP), if you are a judge or spouse of a judge, if you are active duty military personnel or spouse/dependent, if you are incarcerated in Texas, if you are a minor in Department of Family Protective Services conservatorship, if you are an individual under the age of 21 in Department of Family Protective Services paid foster care and if you are a homeless youth (as per Texas definition).
4. Proof of Identity. There are three ways you can verify your identity. Your name and date of birth must match on all the documents you provide, unless you verify a legal name change, such as after marriage. Acceptable documents include marriage certificate, divorce decree, original or certified copy of a birth certificate, court ordered name change or department of state Health services marriage verification letter.
5. Social Security Number. You must provide an original, not a copy. If you do not have an SSN and are not eligible for one you’ll need to visit a driver license office and complete an affidavit attesting to this fact. You are not eligible for a commercial driver license (CDL) without a SSN.
6. Proof of Texas Vehicle Registration for every car or vehicle that you own. Registration must be current. If you do not own a vehicle, you will sign a statement affirming this.
7. Proof of Insurance for every car or vehicle that you own. Insurance must be current. If you do not own a vehicle, you will sign a statement affirming this.
You will need to provide proof that you passed a driver test (Impact Texas Driver ITD) unless you are surrendering an out-of-state driver license. You’re required to complete a six hour adult Driver Education course too, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 24, unless you are surrendering an out-of-state license again.
What Else Do I Need to Do to Get My Drivers License in Texas?
- Complete this application before arriving at the office (or you can pick one up at any office).
- Make an appointment at your local driver licensing office.
- Pay the application fee.
- Provide thumbprints.
- Get a photo taken.
- Pass a vision test.
- Take and pass the written and driving tests.
Temporary Texas Drivers License
You will be given a temporary license until your permanent one is issued. Make sure all the information on the temporary one is accurate. If it is not, make sure to notify the driver license office immediately. Your permanent license should arrive in the mail within 3 weeks.
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