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What to Bring to the Texas DPS To Get Your License

Regardless of the reason, everyone has to go through the same process of at the Texas DPS to change their name on a driver license or identification card

Getting your Texas drivers license or learners permit should be a joyous occasion marked by a multitude of selfies behind the wheel. After all, you’re about to earn the freedom to drive, and that’s something worth sharing!

However, the uncertainty of what to bring to DPS for your license can put a damper on the occasion. Because if you don’t bring everything you need you won’t be getting a license. You’ll have to reschedule for a later date and come back again.

Let’s make sure you don’t have to go through the DPS waiting game without getting a license in return. The permit checklists below are Texas Department of Public Safety stress-busters that make it easy to knowd what you’ll need to bring.

Two quick notes to keep in mind: 1. Texas has different laws and requirements for new drivers under the age of 18. 2. The Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed Program, one of three Texas drivers ed programs, has some extra forms to bring (logs to track classroom and driving time).

So if you are wondering, "What documents do I need to get my license, and what are the requirements for a Texas driver license?" then this permit checklist will help:

Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE)

If you’re between 14-17 years old and have a parent that’s willing to train you behind the wheel the PTDE is a convenient money-saver. You’ll still need to take the knowledge portion of the drivers ed course through an approved provider like Aceable, but you can do that from the comfort of your own home.

In total, the knowledge portion is 32 hours of instruction. But after completing just six hours you can apply for a permit and be in the driver’s seat.

Our PTDE course includes:

  • In-course Texas DPS written permit exam - no trip to the DPS!
  • A parent account
  • Behind-the-wheel training tools
  • Practice exams
  • Instant certificate delivery
  • Aceable Plus membership deals

Texas Instructor Taught Drivers Ed

Maybe your parents aren’t the best teachers or they’d prefer a professional handle the instruction. Learning the best practices and correct driving techniques is extremely important so it’s not a bad idea.

The Texas Instructor Taught Drivers Ed course gives 14-17 year olds the option to choose a driving school for the required behind-the-wheel training. It also includes:

  • 32 hours of DPS-approved instruction
  • In-course Texas DPS written permit exam - no trip to the DPS!
  • Behind-the-wheel training tools
  • Test prep materials
  • Instant certificate delivery
  • Aceable Plus membership deals

Texas Adult Drivers Ed

Are you between 18 and 25 years old? Over 25 years old and playing it safe by getting a permit first? In just six hours you could be hitting the road and feeling a little more grown up with our Texas Adult Drivers Ed course.

Drivers between the ages of 18 and 25 must take an adult drivers ed program. For all other adults the course is optional.

Perks of our online drivers ed course include:

  1. Shortest course allowed by the Texas DPS - only six hours of instruction
  2. Take the permit exam in the Aceable app and save yourself a trip to the DPS
  3. Customer support 7 days a week
  4. Instant certificate delivery
  5. Aceable Plus membership deals

Teens (Age 15-17) Applying for a Texas Learners Permit

You must be at least 15 years old to get your Texas Learners Permit. If you’re wondering what documents do I need to get my license, here are documents needed for a Texas drivers license and the essential documents you need to bring with you to the DPS:

Forms From Aceable:

Forms From the PTDE Program Guide Packet from Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR):

  • PTDE Program Guide Receipt Page - it's just the first page of your program guide from TDLR

If you don't have your PTDE packet, you can request one here. If you started the course before receiving the packet, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure you have an eligible parent instructor before ordering the packet.
  2. Order the packet ASAP from the TDLR.
  3. When you receive the packet, hang on to it for three days.
  4. After three days, let us know by emailing us to update your certificate date.

Check out this handy guide to learn about filling out your packet forms!

At DPS:

  • $16 Learner License Fee (cash, credit, check or money order)
  • Application for Driver License or Identification Card
  • Vision Exam

Others:

Some schools require a waiting period between when you request the VOE and when they’ll actually issue it to you (usually 24 hours). Therefore, it’s a good idea to request the VOE from your school ahead of time. We recommend at least 3-7 days before you head to the DPS.</p<

If you get your VOE during the last week of the school year, it is good until the start of the fall semester. During the summer, you can head to your school district’s administrative office and have them sign your VOE form.

If you are home-schooled, Write “Home School” or the name of your home school on the top left corner of the form and your county on the top right corner of the form.

Teens (Age 16-17) Applying for a Texas Drivers License

The paperwork you’ll need to bring to the DPS to get your license is mostly the same stuff you brought when you were getting your permit. Just keep all of these items together in a folder or envelope.

What are the Texas driver's license requirements? You must have held your permit for at least six months and be at least 16 years old to get your Texas drivers license. Here are the essentials to bring with you:

Forms From Aceable:

Forms From the PTDE Program Guide Packet from Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR):

  • PTDE Program Guide Receipt Page - it's just the first page of your program guide from TDLR

Check out this handy guide for filling out your forms!

At DPS:

  • $11 Provisional License Fee (cash, credit, check or money order)
  • Application for Driver License or Identification Card
  • Driving Exam (Click here for tips on preparing for your driving exam)

Others:

  • Your Parent Instructor
  • Your permit (must be held for at least 6 months)
  • ITTD program certificate of completion (expires after 90 days)
  • Proof of insurance - Your name does not need to be on the car insurance
  • Current registration and inspection sticker
  • Two license plates (front and back)
  • Verification of Enrollment (VOE): This paperwork proves that you are currently attending school and your grades and attendance are in good standing. You need to fill it out and get it signed by somebody at your school’s administrative office. If you are not in high school but are getting your GED instead, you'll need to bring the form to your GED program's office and get them to sign as the administrator.

Some schools require a waiting period between when you request the VOE and when they’ll actually issue it to you (usually 24 hours). Therefore, it’s a good idea to request the VOE from your school ahead of time. We recommend at least 3-7 days before you head to the DPS.

If you get your VOE during the last week of the school year, it is good until the start of the fall semester. During the summer, you can head to your school district’s administrative office and have them sign your VOE form.

If you are home-schooled, Write “Home School” or the name of your home school on the top left corner of the form and your county on the top right corner of the form.

  • Check the first box, indicating your student is enrolled in a home school.
  • Type or print the student’s name.
  • Type or print one parent’s name and phone number in Administrator/Designee section.
  • Both the student and the parent must sign and date the form.

Your Driving Exam

We recommend that you make an appointment at your DPS to take your driving exam. Most DPS offices allow you to schedule a driving exam online, which is smart considering that some offices may be booked months in advance, especially during high-volume seasons like the summer and during spring break. You should schedule your driving exam as far in advance as possible.

If you fail the driving test, you are given three attempts to pass within 90 days before a new $16 fee is charged. You can go back to the DPS as early as the next day to retake the exam.

Adult (18+) Applying for a Texas Learners Permit

Note: Driving permits are OPTIONAL for new drivers age 18 and older in Texas. You can choose to skip straight to the driving exam and apply for your regular driver license. But if you’d prefer to practice driving before taking your driving exam, you can get a permit first.

Getting a permit is a great way to work on your skills under the supervision of a licensed driver (age 21 or older) before you take the driving test. If you’re 18-24 years old, you will apply for a Texas permit. If you’re 25 or older, you will apply for a License with B-Restriction, which is basically just a different name for a permit.

The application items you’ll need are the same for both permit types:

  • DL-14A: Application for Driver License or Identification Card (Sometimes called the Driver License application).
  • Proof of identity and lawful US presence or citizenship: valid US passport OR your official birth certificate, social security card and Texas ID card.
  • Your social security card: If you can’t find the original hardcopy card, you’ll need to order a new one. If you haven’t been issued a Social Security Number (SSN), you’ll need to fill out the Social Security Affidavit at the DPS office.
  • Proof of Texas residency (bring two): deed, mortgage statement, valid and unexpired Texas voter registration card, utility bills, etc.
  • Marriage license, divorce decree or court-ordered name change: Only if you’re using a name other than what’s on your birth certificate.
  • Proof of Texas vehicle registration and financial responsibility for each vehicle that you own (ex: car insurance) OR a statement saying that you do not own a motor vehicle (items 15 and 16 in the DL-14A form) – Your name does not need to be on the car insurance.
  • Certificate of Completion from Aceable: We email this to you. Your certificate will have a ‘P’ showing that you’ve already passed the written knowledge test in our course and don’t have to take it again at the DPS.
  • $25 Driver License Fee

Adult (18+) Applying for a Texas Drivers License

You’re an adult who’s about to feel more like an adult with a shiny new driver license! Here are the essentials to bring with you to the DPS:

  • DL-14A: Application for Driver License or Identification Card.
  • Proof of identity and lawful US presence or citizenship: valid US passport OR your official birth certificate, social security card and Texas ID card.
  • Your social security card: If you can’t find the original hardcopy card, you’ll need to order a new one. If you haven’t been issued a Social Security Number (SSN), you’ll need to fill out the Social Security Affidavit at the DPS office.
  • Proof of Texas residency (bring two): deed, mortgage statement, valid and unexpired Texas voter registration card, utility bills, etc.
  • Marriage license, divorce decree, or court-ordered name change: Only if you’re using a name other than what’s on your birth certificate
  • Proof of Texas vehicle registration and financial responsibility for each vehicle that you own (ex: car insurance) OR a statement saying that you do not own a motor vehicle (items 15 and 16 in the DL-14A form) – Your name does not need to be on the car insurance
  • Certificate of Completion from Aceable: We email this to you. Your certificate will have a ‘P’ showing that you’ve already passed the written knowledge test in our course and don’t have to take it again at the DPS.
  • $25 Driver License Fee

Bonus DPS Tips

  • At the DPS, you’ll need to pass the knowledge or driving exams depending on the license you’re trying to get. Click here for tips on preparing for your driving exam.

  • Find Texas DPS offices near you and schedule a driving exam. When it asks for your Texas Driver License number, you can enter your Texas ID number or permit number, if you have one. This is required in order to confirm your appointment.

  • If online scheduling is available, the office listing will include a link to “Schedule a driving test online” or “Get in line online.” If your local DPS does not offer this service, it could be a long wait, so you should call them and see if you can schedule a driving exam over the phone.

  • Schedule your driving exam well in advance. Some DPS offices may be booked months out for driving exams. You can look at multiple DPS locations nearest you to find the earliest date and time possible.

  • You are given three attempts to pass the driving test within a 90-day period. If you need to take the test a fourth time a new testing fee is charged. You can go back to the DPS as early as the next day to retake the exam.

The driving exam is a rite of passage. It’s going to take work and more than a few training sessions, but the reward of being a licensed driver is worth it. Best of luck!