Applying for and Obtaining a Texas Learner’s Permit
After completing the first module of the Texas Parent-Taught Driver’s Education Online Course, you can apply for a learner’s license at your local Department of Public Safety (DPS) office. You are not required to pass the in-person written knowledge test if you have already taken the Texas learner’s permit exam through TexasDrivingSchool.com.
Present the following information at the DPS office:
- Licensing fees
- Proof of US citizenship, Texas legal residency, identification, social security number and age (you must be at least age 15)
- Application for a driver’s license or identification card (form DL-14A)
- Proof you completed the classroom component and passed the permit exam—if taken online, you must present the DE-964E 6-Hour Permit Qualification Certificate
- Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) form, which proves you are enrolled in a school or have received your GED or high school diploma
- PTDE packet forms, if you are taking parent-taught education
Applying for and Obtaining a Texas Provisional License
After earning a learner’s license, the next step is earning a provisional license. This is a restricted license for drivers between the age of 16 and 18.
To apply for a provisional license in the state of Texas, a teen driver must fulfill the following requirements:
- Be at least 16 years old
- Complete all classroom learning requirements
- Complete all on-the-road driving requirements
- Earn and maintain a valid learner’s license for at least six months
- Complete the Impact Texas Drivers (ITD) requirement
In addition to all of the above, the teen driver must pass the driving test and provide the right information before graduating to the Texas provisional license, which will expire when the driver turns 18.
What Should Parents Know Before Starting Parent-Taught Driver’s Education?
- The parent should expect to prepare, in advance, for the 32 hours of classroom learning.
- The parent will be expected to monitor the behind-the-wheel driving practice to ensure the student fulfills all requirements, and the parent should log the driving lessons on the TDLR Behind-the-Wheel Instruction Log.
- The parent should not instruct for more than two hours in one day.
- The student should not drive for more than one hour per day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to take a parent-taught education course?
You do not need to take it, but parent-taught education fulfills both the education requirements and the on-the-road driving requirements in the state of Texas, so any teen between the age of 14 and 17 seeking a learner’s license or driver’s license in Texas should sign up. If you are over the age of 18, you are not eligible for this course.
How much does the Parent-Taught Driver’s Education (PTDE) packet cost?
It costs $20.00, and you can pay by check, credit card, or money order. Packets can be requested online or in person from the TDLR. This fee is paid to the state and therefore unrelated to the parent-taught driver’s education course.
Can you use the same packet for more than one child?
No, each child needs their own packet from the TDLR.
If you order the packet, when will you receive it?
If you send in a paper form or if you pay for the packet by check or money order, it can take up to three weeks to arrive from the TDLR. Otherwise, you can download it right away.
Does the parent-taught program have to be taught by a parent?
No, not necessarily. The TDLR states that an instructor can be a parent, stepparent, grandparent, step-grandparent, foster parent or legal guardian. Also, a parent, legal guardian or judge can designate a person to be the instructor if they fulfill all of the following requirements:
- 25 years old or older
- At least seven years of driving experience
- Must not charge a fee for the course
Is there any reason why somebody would be ineligible to teach the parent-taught program?
If any of the following pertain to you, according to the TDLR, you are not qualified to teach parent-taught driver’s education:
- A conviction of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in the past seven years
- A conviction of criminal negligent homicide, regardless of probation
- Six or more points on your driving record
- A license that has been suspended, forfeited or revoked in the past three years
Do I have to complete the whole course before getting a learner’s license?
No. You only have to complete the first module before applying for your learner’s license.
Does the permit exam cost extra?
The permit exam is considered an upgrade and is not purchased separately. Students can sign up for the permit exam in advance.
What is the difference between a learner’s license, a minor restricted license and a provisional license?
- Learner’s license—Also known as an instruction permit and the first phase of the Graduated Driver (GDL) program—Learner’s licenses allow teen drivers between age 15 and 16 to drive if they are accompanied by a 21-year-old or older adult driver with at least one year of driving experience.
- Minor Restricted Driver’s License (MRDL)—Also known as a hardship license—MRDLs are available for any eligible teen between the age of 15 to 16 who can establish a necessity to drive without an adult present. Minors may be eligible if any of the following are true:
- Failure to receive a MRDL causes unusual economic hardship on the minor’s family.
- There is an illness in the family that requires the minor to have a MRDL.
- The minor is enrolled in a Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE) program, which requires participants in the program to have a license.
- A Provisional License—Also known as the second phase of the GDL program—a provisional license is a restricted license for any driver under the age of 18 who has completed all required steps to earning this license (which are listed above).
What does the Impact Texas Drivers (ITD) Program consist of?
The program is broken into two categories:
- Impact Texas Young Drivers Program (ITYD)
- Impact Texas Teen Drivers Program (ITTD)
The latter is a free, two-hour informational video intended for any driver between the age of 15 and 17 who has completed a teen driver’s education course or a parent-taught driver’s education course. Texas DPS now requires teen drivers to watch the video before earning their provisional license. The video shows the impact—and destruction—that distracted driving can cause.
What do you need to know for the driving test?
Once a student has received a learner’s license, they should begin their driving lessons right away. The state of Texas requires a minimum of 44 hours of on-the-road driving, but the more the student practices, the better. To prepare for the road test, parents should ensure that the student practices the following:
- Three-point turns—often referred to as U-turns
- Accelerating and braking
- Using turn signals
- Checking mirrors and looking over the shoulder
- Parking in various positions, including parallel parking
- Highway driving, which includes merging into traffic
- Backing up in a straight line
- Obeying speed limits
- Reading traffic signs
Texas Department of Public Safety: http://www.dps.texas.gov/internetforms/Forms/DL-7.pdf
Texas Department of Public Safety: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/teenDriver.htm
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/driver/files/Texas%2030-Hour%20Behind-the-Wheel%20Log.pdf
Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation: https://www.tdlr.texas.gov/ParentTaught/PT_GUIDE_PDF_01.aspx?token=EAAAAM1R4qf-nFQ5VwWo1aRGSDbxnnWYEt4WKqiLiWrWWBuP
Texas Department of Public Safety: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/gdl.htm
Texas Department of Public Safety: https://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/ITD.htm
Texas Department of Public Safety: https://www.dps.texas.gov/internetforms/Forms/DL-60.pdf
*American Safety Council will provide a full refund within 60 days of registration if the student has not completed the online final examination.