Decoding a DMV website isn’t an easy or fun process. Deciphering jargon and locating buried information throughout the site can end up frustrating even the most efficient internet sleuths. This guide will outline the steps Texans need to know when renewing a Texas driver’s license so they can get back on the road quickly, safely, and efficiently.
The Basics of Texas Driver's License Renewal
The Texas Department of Safety issues driver’s licenses that are valid for up to eight years. Most Texans can renew their driver’s licenses up to two years before and after the expiration date. Many Texas residents can even renew or replace a driver’s license without ever entering a driver's license office.
“You can renew your Texas driver's license by telephone, online, mail, or in-person," said Michael Lowe, CEO, Car Passionate. "If you choose to use online or telephone renewal, you must be younger than 79, have a class C, M, or CM license, and have renewed your license at the office last time you did so."
In March 2020, the Texas Department of Safety (DPS) implemented an appointment system to ease the difficulties of renewing Texas driver's licenses during COVID-19. If you’ve been putting off renewing your Texas driver's license, now is the time to do so. This COVID-19 extension for expired licenses will end on April 14, 2021.
Renewing Your Texas License Online or by Phone
For many, the easiest way to renew a Texas driver's license is online or by phone. To do this, you need to meet the following criteria:
You are a U.S. citizen.
You renewed your driver's license in-person for your last renewal.
Your driver's license either expires in less than two years or expired less than two years ago.
You are at least 18 years of age, and younger than 79 years of age.
Your driver's license is not a learner license.
Your vision hasn't changed since your last renewal.
Your physical and mental conditions have not changed since your last renewal.
Your current driver's license is valid.
You do not have any warrants or unpaid tickets.
Your Social Security number is on file with the Texas Department of Safety.
If you meet these requirements, you are required to have the following to renew your Texas driver's license.
Your current driver's license.
For online renewals, a printer to print the temporary driver's license and payment receipt (or an email address to email yourself the temporary license and payment receipt).
A valid major credit card.
The last four digits of your Social Security number.
You can complete the Texas driver's license renewal process online or call 1-866-DL RENEW to renew by phone.
Renewing Your Texas License by Mail
If meet the requirements to renew your Texas driver's license by mail, you will receive a renewal notice from the Texas Department of Safety. The renewal notice will include the step-by-step instructions required to renew your Texas driver's license.
To renew your Texas license by mail, you must be younger than 79, provide proof of auto insurance, and include payment with your renewal form.
Renewing Your Texas License in Person
If you find you're ineligible to renew online, by phone, or by mail, you can visit a local driver's license office for help. TheREAL ID Document Check Application will provide prompts so you can receive a customized checklist of required documents. Once you have the required documents, you will need to:
Make anappointment at your local driver's license office.
Complete the renewalapplication before arriving at your local office, or upon arrival.
Provide your Texas driver's license renewal form, proof of U.S. citizenship or evidence of lawful presence, proof of identity, and Social Security number.
Pass the vision exam, provide your thumbprints, have your picture taken, and pay the application fee.
In-person renewals are appointment only, so Texans should make their appointments as soon as possible.
Staying Safe on the Road
Once your Texas driver's license is renewed and up to date, brush up on defensive driving best practices to stay safe on the road. Between online driver's license renewals and online driving lessons, waiting in a long line driver's license facilities can be a thing of the past.