Texas Online Driver Education and Texas Licensing Procedures
Congratulations on starting the process of applying for your Texas Learner’s Permit or first Texas driver’s license. Texas has a Graduated Driver License Program for Texas teen drivers like yourself.
The program will allow you to safely gain driving experience in stages, before being granted full driving privileges.
We want to help you get the most out of this process, and to help make sure that applying for your first Texas driver’s license goes as smoothly as possible. So let’s get started.
The Texas Instruction Permit or Texas Learner’s Permit
When you turn 15, you can finally apply for a Texas Instruction Permit, otherwise known as a Texas Learner’s Permit. This permit is valid until your next birthday plus 1 year. It allows you to practice driving with your parent, guardian, driving instructor, or licensed driver who is at least 21 with 1 year of driving experience. In order to apply, you’ll need:
- Completed Texas approved driver safety course (more on this later)
- Proof of current enrollment and high school attendance
- Valid identification
- Proof of Social Security number
Once you’re ready, head on down to the local Texas Driver License Office with your parent or guardian and submit your application. Then, you’ll have to take a vision test, as well as a written exam. If you survive, then congratulations. You’ve just earned your Texas Instruction Permit! Remember: all passengers must wear seatbelts, and be sure to carry your Texas Instruction Permit with you at all times.
You’ll be ready to apply for the Texas Provisional License once you’ve held your Texas Instruction Permit without incident for 6 months have met a few more requirements,
The Texas Provisional License or Texas Intermediate License
You can apply for your Texas Provisional License once you’ve held your Texas Instruction Permit for 180 days. However, you’ll need to make sure you meet these requirements:
- You’ve held your Texas Instruction Permit for 6 months
- You’ve completed a Texas approved driving training course (both classroom and on-the-road driving training)
Make an appointment and head on down to your local Texas Driver License Office. Be sure to bring your identification documents, including your Texas Instruction Permit. Then your only remaining hurdle is the dreaded Texas road test! If you pass, then congratulate yourself once again: you’ve just earned your Texas Provisional License!
Texas Teen Driver License Restrictions and Penalties
The aim of the Graduated License Program is to give newer drivers the opportunity to safely hone their driving skills before graduating to full driving privileges. Until you have earned your Texas full license, there are several restrictions you need to keep in mind regarding your Texas learner’s license or Texas driver’s license:
- No driving between midnight and 5AM unless you’re going to/from your job, a school sanctioned activity, or for a medical emergency
- No using a cell phone while driving
- No more than 1 passenger under 21 (unless they’re family!)
Once you turn 18, your Texas Provisional license will expire and you then qualify for your regular Texas driver license. From this point on: freedom!
Texas Auto Insurance Financial Responsibility Laws
Unfortunately, traffic accidents can happen to even the most experienced driver. Despite your confidence in your driving skills, your vehicle must still be covered by Texas liability insurance. The minimum liability insurance coverage is:
- $25,000 bodily injury for one person
- $25,000 for property damage per accident
- $50,000 bodily injury two or more people
In fact, if you are in an accident and found to be driving without Texas mandatory liability insurance, your Texas Learner Permit or Texas Provisional license may be suspended.
Texas Drunk Driving, Cell Phone, and Text Messaging Laws
As a Texas teen driver, it’s important for you to learn the Texas drunk driving, cell phone, and text messaging laws.
Drunk Driving. Texas takes drunk driving very seriously. Like most states, Texas has a Zero Tolerance Law for underage drinking, and if you are convicted of a Texas DWI, your Texas Learner Permit or Texas Provisional License will be suspended for 30 days for your first offense, 60 days for a second offense, and 180 days for a third offense.
In general, upon your first conviction of a Texas DWI, you’ll also face the following penalties:
- Jail 72 hours to 180 days
- Fine of up to $2,000
- Fine of up to $10,000 (if a child under 15 is in your vehicle)
- Jail 180 days to 2 years (if a child under 15 is in your vehicle)
- Texas License Suspension 90 days to 365 days
- DWI Surcharge $1,000 per year for 3 years
- DWI Surcharge $2,000 per year for 3 years (if your BAC is .16 or above)
And of course, further Texas DWI and DUI convictions will result in increased jail time, community service, fines, and Texas license suspension or even Texas license revocation.
Currently, Texas teen drivers are prohibited from using cell phones while driving.
That doesn’t mean, however, that constant cell phone use while behind the wheel is a good idea for adults either! Don’t allow anything to distract you from your driving.
Texas Online Driver Education
Texas teen drivers can find more information about approved Texas online driver education on the Texas Department of Public Safety website.
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