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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:

  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 the Texas drivers ed programs) has some extra forms to bring (logs to track classroom and driving time)

DPS Checklists

Teens (Age 15-17) Applying for a Permit

Teens (Age 16-17) Applying for a License

Adults (18+) Applying for a Permit

Adults (18+) Applying for a License

Teens (Age 15-17) Applying for Permit

You must be at least 15 years old to get your Texas Permit. Here are the essentials to bring with you to the Texas Department of Public Safety:

1. From Aceable:

  • DE-964 Permit Certificate (we email this to you)
  • Aceable Classroom Instruction Log (only the first six hours for Level 1 shown if going by the Concurrent Method, OR all 32 hours of Levels 1-12 shown if going by the Block Method)

2. From PTDE Packet:

  • Classroom Instruction – Driver Education Affidavit
  • Texas Residency Affidavit
  • PTDE Packet Receipt (only if you ordered the packet on or after November 14, 2016)

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 at support@aceable.com to update your certificate date.

Check out this video to learn about filling out your packet forms!

*This document here provides you with more examples of filling out the packet forms according to the Concurrent Method.

**This document here provides you with more examples of filling out the packet forms according to the Block Method.

3. At DPS:

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

4. Others:

  • Your Parent Instructor
  • Proof of Texas residency (Parent Instructor must bring two forms of proof): deed, mortgage statement, valid and unexpired Texas voter registration card, utility bills, etc.
  • Proof of identity and lawful US presence or citizenship: valid US passport, birth certificate, or US certificate of citizenship or naturalization
  • Social Security Card
  • 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.

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.

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

1. From Aceable:

2. From PTDE Packet:

  • Behind-the-Wheel Instruction – Driver Education Affidavit
  • PTDE Packet Receipt (only if you ordered the packet on or after November 14, 2016)

*Click here for help on filling out the packet forms.

3. 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)

4. 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.

Click here to view 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. This is required in order for you 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.

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 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.  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): 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 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:

  • 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.  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): 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

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!