Texas Driver Licensing Law
Obtaining a Texas Learner License
A Learner License is available to Texas 15-year-olds and allows them to operate a vehicle while accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old.
Applicants who are Texas residents must:
- Apply in person at a driver license office
- Present documents to verify identity, U.S. citizenship, or lawful presence and proof of Social Security number
- Present proof of Texas vehicle registration and liability insurance
- Complete the application for driver license
- Present the driver education completion certificate or a Parental Driver Education Affidavit
- Submit a Verification of Enrollment and Attendance form to prove school status
- Obtain parental authorization
The Learner License must be held for a minimum of six months and the driver must complete 20 hours of behind-the-wheel training. Once the driver turns 16 and completes the classroom and driving portions of driver education, they are eligible to obtain a Provisional License.
Obtaining a Provisional License
The year-long Provisional License phase of the Texas Graduated Driver License program carries the following restrictions:
- Drivers may not operate a vehicle with more than one non-related passenger under 21.
- Drivers may not operate a vehicle between 12AM and 5AM unless the operation is necessary to participate in employment or a school-related activity or in case of a medical emergency.
- Drivers may not operate vehicles while using a wireless communication devices, except in case of an emergency.
Once the license has been held for a year, the restrictions no longer apply.
Texas Driver Zero Tolerance Law
Texas' ZERO TOLERANCE LAW also provides sanctions for minors who commit offenses under the NON-DRIVING alcohol-related offenses. A minor may not purchase, attempt to purchase, falsely state that they are 21 years of age or older or present any document that indicates that they are 21 years of age or older to a person engaged in the selling or serving of alcoholic beverages, consume, or possess an alcoholic beverage. The penalty upon conviction of one of the above NON-DRIVING alcohol-related offenses and for Public Intoxication for a minor is as follows:
1st NON-DRIVING Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor — Class C misdemeanor
- Punishable by a fine of up to $500.00
- 8 to 12 hours of community service
- Mandatory attendance of an alcohol awareness course
- License suspended (or his/her privilege denied if not licensed) for 30 days
2nd NON-DRIVING Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor — Class C misdemeanor
- Punishable by a fine up to $500.00
- 20 to 40 hours of community service
- May be required to attend an alcohol awareness course
- License will be suspended (or his/her driving privilege denied if not licensed) for 60 days
3rd NON-DRIVING Alcohol-Related Offense by a Minor (17 years of age or older but less than 21) — Class B misdemeanor
- Punishable by a fine of not less than $250.00 nor more than $2,000.00
- Not less than 20 nor more than 40 hours of community service
- Confinement in jail not to exceed 180 days
- License will be suspended (or his/her privilege denied if not licensed) for 180 days
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