What to Bring to the Texas DPS for a Permit or Driver License
Getting your license (or permit) should be a joyous occasion marked by shouts of glee and a multitude of license selfies. After all, you’re about to earn the freedom to drive!
However, the fear of what to bring can damper any occasion. No worries! The what-to-bring permit and license checklists in this post are Texas Department of Public Safety worry-busters.
Two quick notes to keep in mind:
- Texas has different laws and requirements for new drivers under the age of 18.
- The Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed Program (one of the Texas drivers ed programs) has some extra forms to bring (logs to track classroom and driving time)
Teens (Age 15-17) Applying for Permit
- DE-964 Permit Certificate – Sent to you by your driver’s ed provider… which could be us
- Your parent or legal guardian. (If you’re in the Parent Taught Drivers Ed program, bring the parent you chose as the instructor.)
- Proof of Texas residency: Your parent must bring two forms of proof. Acceptable forms include a deed, mortgage statement, valid and unexpired Texas voter registration card, and utility bills.
- Proof of identity and lawful US presence or citizenship: You can bring your valid US passport, birth certificate, or US certificate of citizenship or naturalization.
- Your Social Security Card
- Verification of Enrollment (VOE): This paperwork proves that you are currently attending school and that your grades and attendance are decent. You need to fill it out and get it signed by somebody at your school’s administrative office.
- $16 Learner License Fee (cash, credit, check, or money order)
IMPORTANT: Parent Taught Drivers Ed students must also bring the following forms from their PTDE packet.* If you haven’t requested the packet yet, do so here.
- DL-90A (Appendix D): The Classroom Instruction Education Affidavit is where your parent confirms that you completed the required educational hours either in a classroom, online, or in the Aceable Drivers Ed app.
- DL-91A (Appendix E): The Classroom Instruction Log shows when you did your six hours of study (if you’re doing Concurrent Method) or 32 hours of study (if you did Block Method)
- DL-5 (Appendix L): The Texas Residency Affidavit (only required if your parent can’t provide two forms proving their Texas residency)
*For help on filling out the PTDE packet forms according to the Concurrent Method, click here. For help on filling out the packet forms according to the Block Method, click here.
Teens (Age 16-17) Applying for a License
The paperwork you’ll need to bring to the DPS to get your license is a lot of the same stuff you brought when you were getting your permit. Just keep all of these items together in a folder or envelope.
- DE-964 License Certificate: This is sent to you by your driver’s ed provider when you successfully finish the course.
- Certificate of Completion from your driving school (if you did Instructor Taught Drivers Ed and/or went to a driving school.) If you did Parent Taught Drivers Ed, you will not need this certificate.
- Your permit, which you must have had for at least six months.
- ITTD Certificate of Completion: proof that you took the required Impact Texas Teens Driver program. This is a free, two-hour video course. Your certificate will be valid for 90 days, so make sure you don’t take ITTD too far in advance of applying for your license.
- Vehicle with two license plates (front and back) and current registration and inspection stickers.
- Proof of Insurance: The vehicle you use to take the driving exam must be insured, but your name does not need to be on the auto insurance policy.
- Verification of Enrollment (VOE): This paperwork proves that you are currently attending school and your grades and attendance are decent. You need to fill it out and get it signed by somebody at your school’s administrative office.
- Your parent or legal guardian (You still need to hitch a ride there anyway, right?)
- $11 Provisional License Fee (cash, credit, check, big ‘ol pile of quarters, or money order)
IMPORTANT: Parent Taught Drivers Ed students must also bring the following forms. All of them are included in your PTDE packet. If you haven’t requested the packet yet, do so here.
- DL-91A (Appendix E): Completed Classroom Instruction Log showing that you’ve finished the classroom (or online) course hours.
- DL-91B (Appendix F): The Behind-the-Wheel Instruction Log is a record of when you completed 14 hours of instruction in a vehicle.
- DL-91B (Appendix G): The Behind-the-Wheel Practice Log shows when you got your 30 hours of supervised driving practice.
- DL-90B (Appendix I): Behind-the-Wheel Instruction — Driver Education Affidavit signed by your parent instructor
Note: Click here for help on filling out the packet forms.
Adult (18+) Applying for a 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
- Proof of identity and lawful US presence or citizenship: This could be a valid US passport OR your official birth certificate, social security card, and Texas ID card. Click the link for more examples.
- 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 forms of proof, such as a deed, mortgage statement, valid and unexpired Texas voter registration card, or utility bills. Texas-shaped tattoos and knowledge of barbecuing techniques don’t count.
- If you’re using a name other than the one on your birth certificate, bring your marriage license, divorce decree, or court ordered name change.
- Proof of Texas vehicle registration and financial responsibility (AKA car insurance, but your name doesn’t need to be on the policy) for each vehicle that you own OR a statement saying that you do not own a motor vehicle (items 15 and 16 in the DL-14A form)
- Adult Drivers Ed Certificate of Completion: Your course provider will mail this to you. If you’ve already passed the written knowledge test as part of the course, your certificate will have a ‘P’ showing that you’ve passed. You won’t have to take the test again at the DPS!
- $25 Driver License Fee
Adult (18+) Applying for a License
You’re an adult who’s about to get more adult-y with a shiny new driver license! Here are the essentials to bring with you to the DPS:
Bonus DPS Tips
It’s a good idea to 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 DPS offices may be booked months in advance for driving exams. You can look at multiple DPS locations nearest you to find the earliest date and time possible for you.
At the DPS, you’ll need to pass the vision and/or driving exams. Click here for tips on preparing for your driving exam.
Find 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.
Verification of Enrollment: Some schools require a waiting period between when you request the VOE and when they’ll actually issue it to you (usually 24 hours). So 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, your parent must complete the form according to its directions. If you are not in high school but are getting your GED instead, you’ll need to bring the VOE form to your GED program’s office and get them to sign as the administrator.
If you fail the driving test, you are given three attempts to pass within 90 days before a new fee is charged. You can go back to the DPS as early as the next day to retake the exam. Best of luck!