How Old Do You Have To Be To Drive in Texas?

Texas, like other states, has strict requirements concerning driving age. Drivers can begin learning how to drive as young as 14 but must take certain steps to acquire a full-fledged, unrestricted license. 

Texas is particularly interested in ensuring young drivers acquire adequate knowledge and skills before taking to the streets. Licensing laws in Texas can help minimize road risks and accidents. 

In Texas, the legal driving age is 16. Many drivers begin their driving journey at 14, as this is the age young drivers are allowed to start the classroom phase of their driver education course. Young drivers have options to complete their driver education course, including parent-taught driver education and driver training school education. 

Young drivers may begin driving at the age of 15, as this is the youngest allowable age to apply for a learner’s permit in Texas. A learner’s permit allows teen drivers to practice driving with a licensed passenger who is 21 years old or over. 

Young drivers interested in obtaining a motorcycle license can get a permit at 15 years old.

How To Get a Driver’s License in Texas at 16 — The Graduated Driver License Program

To acquire a driver’s license in Texas, teenage drivers must go through two critical steps in order to earn their full, unrestricted license. This is referred to as the Texas Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program. 

Learner’s License

In the first phase of the licensing program, drivers aged 15 to 17 who meet the requirements must acquire their learner’s permit and practice their driving skills with an adult licensed driver before moving on to the next stage.

Young drivers must hold their learner’s license for at least six months unless they turn 18, at which point the license will expire. Permit drivers are not allowed to use any devices while driving, including cell phones. If the license is suspended at any time, the six-month period extends by the number of days of suspension.

Once a young driver completes the learner’s license stage of the program, they can proceed to the next phase.

Provisional Driver’s License

Teens aged 16 to 17 who have held their learner’s permit for at least six months (or turned 18) can obtain their provisional license. The provisional driver’s license allows young drivers to continue refining their driving skills after completing the behind-the-wheel portion of their driver’s education. 

Young drivers must successfully pass a driving test and complete the Impact Texas Teen Driving Program within the previous 90 days of the test. 

This type of license comes with certain restrictions. Drivers cannot drive with more than one passenger in the vehicle who is under 21 years old and not a family member. Absent special permission or an emergency, drivers cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. Additionally, drivers are not permitted to use communication devices.

Provisional driver’s licenses expire when a driver turns 18. After the license expires, young drivers have 30 days to renew, at which point they’ll receive a license for drivers under 21. 

The Importance of Obtaining a Proper Driver’s License

While the Texas licensing procedures for teens may be stringent, the state imposes these requirements to help ensure young drivers get the knowledge, skill, and experience they need before driving on their own. Going through proper licensing procedures can aid in keeping teens and others on the road safe.

Inexperience is one of the major causes of accidents for teen drivers. With driver education and the Graduated Driver License Program, drivers are better equipped to operate a vehicle. 

For more information, contact an Experienced Texas Personal Injury Lawyer at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers

If you or your teen are involved in a collision caused by another’s negligence, you may have the right to pursue fair compensation. Seek legal guidance and discuss your case with a qualified car accident attorney in your area. 

Contact our Dallas car accident lawyers at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today.

Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers
2512 State St,
Dallas, TX 75201
(214) 855-1420