Getting the Learner License

No in-car instruction or practice is allowed until the student has been issued a learner license. It is unlawful to drive without a valid license on a public street or highway.

About the Learner License

The learner license is an entry-level restricted driver license that allows a student to practice driving with a licensed adult. Students must have their learner license for at least six months before they can apply for a provisional driver license. The learner license expires on the student’s 18th birthday.

  • A student with a learner license must have a licensed adult 21 years or older in the front passenger seat when driving.
  • Someone with a learner license cannot use a cell phone, including a hands-free device, except in the case of an emergency.
  • If the student’s learner license is suspended at any time, the initial six-month period increases by the number of days of the suspension, to make sure that the student has a valid learner license for a full six months.

Eligibility to Apply

The student will be eligible to take the written driver’s license exam when they:

  • are at least 15 years old
  • have completed sufficient classroom instruction
    • 32 hours for block method
    • 6 hours for concurrent method
  • have received the certificate of completion (DE-964) from the course provider

Students under 18 years old who do not have a high-school diploma or equivalent must bring a completed verification of enrollment form when applying for the learner license.

What to Bring to DPS

The parent instructor on record must accompany the student to the Driver License Office when they apply for the learner license.

The first step is to make an appointment at a DPS driver license office. (If the parent instructor is also the legal guardian, you’ll need bring a certified court order demonstrating guardianship).

The student will need to bring the following documents to the DPS:

  1. The completed driver license application (This form is also available at all driver license offices, but completing it before you get to the office will speed up the process.)
  2. Proof of U.S. Citizenship or, if not a U.S. Citizen, evidence of lawful presence
  3. Proof of Texas Residency
  4. Proof of Identity
  5. Social Security Number
  6. Proof of Texas Vehicle Registration
  7. Proof of Vehicle Insurance (If you do not own a vehicle, you will sign a statement affirming this.)
  8. Texas Driver Education Certificate of Completion (DE-964) showing classroom completion. This document is obtained from your course provider. If the student has not taken the written exam during the classroom portion of driver education, they will take it at the driver license office.
  9. A Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE form) issued by a school, or a high school diploma or equivalent (GED).
    • The VOE form requires a signature from a school official (a stamped or computer-generated signature is acceptable), and is only valid for 30 days (or 90 days between the months of June – August).
  10. Receipt from the parent-taught instructor designation
  11. The application fee for the learner license