How to Get a Driver's License in Texas at 18

Written by Staff Writer

Under the Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program established by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), the specific guidelines in place for new and experienced drivers differ depending on the age of the applicant. The older you are, the fewer the steps required to get your Texas driver’s license.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 24, earning your Texas driver’s license starts with adult driver education. By completing an online driver education course, you will be one step closer to earning your license without ever setting foot inside a classroom.

Driver education courses teach new drivers under the age of 25 the rules of the road. In state-approved courses, you learn information specific to your age range and knowledge level. Driver education courses help create safer, more effective drivers. They are also required to qualify for a Texas driver’s license. Read on to learn more about the requirements for obtaining a Texas driver’s license at age 18 and discover the benefits of taking Texas driver education online.

Driver License Requirements

The Texas DPS issues driver’s licenses to Texas residents ages 18 and up. If you are a new driver between the ages of 18 and 24, you are required to complete an Adult Driver Education Course and the Impact Texas Adult Drivers Program before applying for your license.

Adult driver education is a six-hour primer on the fundamentals of driver safety, the rules of the road and effective driving habits. Our online course is a state-approved program that teaches everything you need to know to be a safe and effective driver.

The Impact Texas Adult Drivers Program is a supplementary 1-hour informational video available for free. You must finish the video after you take the Texas adult driver education course but before you obtain your license. You can sign up for your session online.

If you are a first-time driver between the ages of 18 and 24, you must complete a driver license application, make an appointment at the Department of Public Safety and ensure you have all necessary documentation prior to your visit.

Once you get to the office, you will have to pass three tests. The first one is a written exam that tests your knowledge of the rules of the road and Texas traffic laws. The second is a guided driving test that you will take behind the wheel with a testing instructor. The instructor will assess your skills as a last step before you get your full, adult Texas driver’s license. Finally, you need to pass a vision exam.

Once you pass the tests, file the paperwork and pay the fees, you will be issued a driver’s license. Congratulations!

Below you can find answers to a few common questions about how to get a license in Texas at 18 years old in case you need more information.

Can I Get My Texas Driver’s License Before I Turn 18?

No. Teen drivers must be 18 years of age and meet all other DPS requirements in order to obtain a Texas driver’s license.

If I Am Over 25, Do I Still Need to Get a Learner’s Permit or Take Driver’s Ed?

No. If you are a new driver 25 years of age or older, you are not required to take an Adult Driver Education Course. However, it is still strongly recommended.

The online Adult Driver Education Course includes six hours of state-approved instruction, designed to make you a safer and better-prepared driver.

What Are the Benefits of Online Training?

Texas Driving School offers state-approved driver education courses 100% online. Our courses allow you the flexibility to work from your own home, at a time and pace convenient to you.

Because of the convenient online format, there’s no need for you to sit through boring lectures in a dark classroom. Our courses allow you to learn where and when you want!

For new drivers ages 14 to 17, we offer both Parent-Taught and Self-Taught Driver Education. The online format allows you to get started right away, with no driving instructor approval needed. And for new drivers ages 18 and up, our Adult Driver Education Course is designed specifically for you.

How Do I Get My Texas Learner’s Permit?

There are two phases of learner’s licenses for Texas teen drivers under the age of 18. Phase one of the program is the Learner License, or learner permit, and phase two is the Provisional Driver License.

The initial step in the GDL program is completing a six-hour driver education course. You can do so either in a classroom or online. When choosing an online driver education course, teens can pick either a self-taught or parent-taught driver education program. A teenager may begin taking the course at 14 years of age but cannot apply for a learner’s permit until age 15.

The Learner License is an entry-level restricted driver’s license. A licensed adult (21+) driver must always be in the passenger seat with a driver who only holds a learner’s permit. This temporary license is only valid between 15 and 17 years of age. A Texas learner’s permit expires as soon as the driver turns 18.

From there, teen drivers must start an additional process to earn a provisional driver’s license, including seven hours of in-car observation, seven hours of driving demonstration and 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice.

Fortunately, as a new driver between the ages of 18 and 24, you can skip most of those steps. Instead, you get to jump ahead to adult driver education and your full Texas driver’s license.