Texas Permit Requirements

When applying for your Texas driver permit with Department of Public Safety, it is helpful to know the permit requirements.  Make sure you have the met the DPS requirements and that you have the necessary documents.

While working toward your driver’s license in Texas it is important to know the rules and procedures, for obtaining your driver’s permit, which is required for those under 18 before they can get their license.   By understanding the regulations, you can save yourself time and hassle when getting your permit starting at age 15.

The first step toward obtaining your permit involves completing the classroom portion of a driver education course.  This requires a minimum of 32 hours of class time in a state approved driver education school.  While many of these programs are private driving schools, there are also public high school programs available, as well as an option for parent taught driver education.  You will need to bring proof of completion of the classroom course when you apply for your permit.

Texas Permit Documentation and Paperwork Requirements

There are several other documents that you must have ready when applying for your permit, and having them prepared ahead of time will save headaches at the DPS office.   Texas has strict regulations concerning the need to provide proof of identity, Social Security Number, U.S. citizenship or lawful presence status, and Texas residency.  Many of these paperwork requirements can be accomplished with just a few documents.  In short, you will need:

  • original birth certificate or valid passport to verify your identity and US citizenship or lawful presence
  • social security card, w-2 or paystub showing Social Security number
  • two pieces of mail from official sources such as a utility bill proving Texas residency.  You may also use a mortgage or rental agreement, voter registration card, medical insurance card, bank statement showing your address.

You will also need to bring to the DPS:

Texas Graduated License Program

Once you have obtained the driver permit, you will need to hold it for at least 6 months before you are eligible to receive a provisional driver’s license.  So if you wish to get your license right when you turn 16, it is a good idea to start the process soon, by completing driver’s ed and getting your permit soon after you turn 15.

Once you have your actual driver’s license, Texas has specific restrictions in place for teen drivers, as part of the Graduated Driver License (GDL) program.  During the first year you have your license you may have only one non-family passenger under 21 in the car with you while you drive.  Also you may not drive between midnight and 5 AM unless you are going to and from work or a school function.  Finally driver’s under the age of 18 in Texas may not use a cell phone while driving, including a hands-free device.

It is possible for person 15 years old to receive a Minor Restricted Driver License if they qualify for a hardship.  They must still meet all the other licensing requirements and complete driver education.