We've all heard the expression you have to learn to crawl before you can walk, and this could certainly apply to becoming a fully licensed driver in Texas. Texas requires drivers of a certain age to obtain a learner's permit first, and then, if you satisfy all the requirements, you can move on to becoming a fully licensed driver.
Driving with a learner's permit in Texas comes with a unique set of restrictions and requirements. You'll need to follow all of these until you earn your regular driver's license.
Requirements to Obtain a Texas Learner's Permit
A Texas learner's permit is only available to drivers between the ages of 15 to 17. You have to provide evidence you've either received a high school diploma or are enrolled in school at least 90% of the time.
In addition to age and school requirements, you must also meet the driver's education requirements. A permit requires you to have completed at least the first six hours of the driver's education curriculum. The entire curriculum is 32 hours, which eventually will be required, but a permit means you've completed at least six.
To apply for a permit, you'll have to show proof of:
Your U.S. Citizenship or lawful presence verification
Your residence in Texas
Your identity, including your Social Security number
Registration and insurance for your vehicle
Enrollment in school or having your diploma
Enrollment in a qualifying driver's education course
Restrictions Once You Have a Permit in Texas
Once you've met the requirements to obtain a permit, you may finally have permission to get behind the wheel. But not so fast — there are certain rules you must abide by going forward, and these are different than what someone who is fully licensed must do.
The goal of the permit is to allow you to practice driving with an adult before you're given the responsibility of a regular driver's license. Therefore anytime you drive, you must have a licensed adult who is 21 years or older in the front passenger seat.
One of the biggest restrictions is you are not allowed to use any type of wireless device while driving — even if it's hands-free. If there's an emergency with the vehicle you're driving, then you can use it. But otherwise, use is completely restricted. If caught, you could possibly have your permit suspended, which will delay when you can apply for your regular license.
You're also required to have the learner's permit for at least six months before you can apply for a driver's license. The only exception to this is if you happen to turn 18 while you're still in the learner's permit phase. If your permit is suspended for any reason before you're 18, then you'll have extra days tacked on to the six-month period.
Get Started With Your Texas Learner's Permit With the Help of Aceable
Getting a learner's permit is one of the first steps for a teenager to become fully licensed. Are you between the ages of 15 to 17 and applying for your Texas driver's license permit? If so, Aceable offers driving instruction for teens (and all ages) so you can avoid a trip to the Texas DPS and obtain the classroom hours you need for driver's education.