When your teen's sweet sixteen birthday rolls around, there's only one thing on their mind: getting behind the wheel. As a parent, this may send shivers down your spine, but it's inevitable. Learn how to prepare your teen to get their Texas driver's license so you're ready when the time rolls around.
How to Prepare Your Teen to Get Their License in Texas
Going from permit to license may seem arduous, but follow these steps, and your teen will thank you for preparing them for everything.
Choose Their Course
You have two options as a parent in Texas. You can do parent-taught driver's education (PTDE) or go through an instructor. If you go the PTDE route, start out by purchasing a Texas PTDE course, like the one offered by Aceable. Also, check out our comprehensive PTDE guide that covers everything from parent lesson plans to giving feedback while instructing your child.
If you don't feel confident teaching your teen, you can sign them up for Texas instructor-taught driver's education and let them handle everything.
Pick Their Instructor
Assuming you are going the PTDE route, you have to pick who is going to teach them for the required 44 hours of training. It can be a parent, legal guardian, grandparent, or designated non-family member. They must have had a valid driver's license for three years and with less than six points.
Order Your PTDE Paperwork
As the parent, you need to order a packet that explains everything you have to accomplish in PTDE to get your teen their license. The packet costs $20, and you order it online. It includes training forms, an affidavit you must fill out, and a purchase receipt you need when your teen applies for their permit.
Complete Six Hours of Driver's Ed
If your teen doesn't finish the first six hours of their driver's ed course, they can't apply for their learner's license. Make sure they log the six hours of learning in their instructional log to show the DMV, then have them complete their first short test. Once they pass, they'll get a Texas Driver's Education Certificate that they need to take to the DMV to finally apply.
Apply for a Learner License
You'll have to gather a lot of forms for your teen. Bring the following documents to the DMV with you, or they won't be able to apply:
Form DL-14B (the application)
Proof of U.S. citizenship
Proof of residency
Proof of identification
Proof of Social Security number
Proof of insurance for the vehicles in the household
Proof of Texas vehicle registration for the vehicles in the household
Proof of completion of driver education
Proof of enrollment and attendance in school
Proof of completion of driver's education
Proof of enrollment and attendance in school
The issuance fee of $16
Finish the Behind-the-Wheel Course
The most nerve-wracking part for you and your teen lies ahead, completing the 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training. You need to know exactly how many hours you have to dedicate to which specific skill while logging it all. Texas requires 14 hours of behind-the-wheel observation and instruction and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel practice. During these hours, you'll spend a specified amount of time focusing on different skills such as navigating intersections, reading signs, and parallel parking. These are the skills your teen needs to know to pass their driver's exam, so help them study with lots of practice.
You should note, that you and your teen can only log one hour of training per day over a minimum of six months. At least 10 of these hours need to be at night.
Complete the Impact Texas Teen Drivers (ITTD) Program
Texas requires the ITTD required for all teens getting their license. They provide this eight-part two-hour program free of charge for all teens, and it covers real-life incidents of distracted driving and how to prevent them. Make sure your teen completes this program no more than 90 days before taking their license exam.
Prepare for the Exam
Before your teen can pass the exam, they have to prepare for it.
Complete the application with your teen and get it notarized.
Make them an appointment to take their test.
Help them gather all of the documents again from before but also including:
Their learner license.
Proof of both driver's education and ITTD completion.
The $16 license fee.
A valid form of identification.
Glass or contact lenses if your teen wears them for the vision exam.
Prepare them with any additional training they need to succeed at their exam. They should be a master of everything on the driver's safety checklist.
Celebrate with Your Teenage Texas Driver
Now that your teen passed their exam, you can celebrate that you molded them into a safe driver. Not there yet? Let our driver's ed course at Aceable.com help them become a licensed driver. Our fun lessons let them learn additional rules of the road at their own convenience.