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Texas Drivers License Guide

The most common reason for the average person to interact with the Texas DPS is to get a driver's license. If this is your fist time ever applying for a driver’s license, you will need to pass a vision test, written exam and a road test to receive a license. If you are under 18, you must also complete a state-approved driver's education class and be attending high school or a GED program.  To get your license, you must go to your local Texas DPS office with the following materials:

  • Proof of Identity
  • Proof of Social Security Number
  • If under 18, your learner’s permit, a certificate of completion from a state-approved driver's ed course,  and a verification if enrollment form (VOE)
  • Registration for your vehicle, if you have one
  • Proof of Insurance if you own a car
  • Money ($5.00 if you're under 18, $24.00 if you are over 18, and $8.00 if you are over 85)
  • A completed application with thumbprints

If you have moved to Texas from another state, you do not have to re-take the driving test as long as your out-of-state license hasn't expired. However, you will need to go to your local Texas Driver's License office with the following documents:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Social Security number
  • If you own a vehicle, you must register it in Texas first, and bring proof of registration with you when you apply for a Texas driver's license.
  • Proof of insurance if you own a vehicle
  • Money (same fee structure as above)
  • Even though you have a valid driver's license from another state, if you are under 18 you are required to provide proof that you have completed a driver's ed course to get your license here. Also, you'll need proof of enrollment in school or a GED program.
  • Completed application with thumbprints
  • Your old driver's license

A word about proof of identity: you might think that your old license would be enough, but in Texas that isn't the case. Texas has three different classifications for proof of identity documents: primary, secondary and supporting. Primary documents can be presented by themselves to prove your identity to Texas DPS. They include: a Texas driver's license, a valid passport, a certificate of citizenship, valid documentation with a photo from the Department of Homeland Security or from the Department of Immigration, a foreign passport with form I-94 or a current US military ID.

If you don't have one of these primary documents, you'll need one secondary and two supporting documents or two secondary documents to prove your identity. Secondary documents include: a birth certificate, a certificate of birth for citizens born overseas to American parents, or a court order for a name change and/or a gender change. Supporting documents include school records, an insurance policy, the title to your car, military records, your military dependant card, a marriage license or divorce decree, your voter registration card, your social security card, an out-of-state ID, a consular document or a foreign passport without an I-94 form.

Once you get your license, in many cases you can renew it or change the address online as long as you have a valid credit card. You can only use the online renewal system every other time you renew your license. Once you use it, you'll have to go back to a driver's license office for your next renewal.

What if I lose my license?

If you lose your license, you'll have to pay a $10.00 fee to get a duplicate. You can't order duplicate licenses online or through the mail. To get a new copy of your license, you must go to a Texas DPS office with proof of identity and proof of your social security number.

What if my license is suspended or revoked?

If the state takes your license away, you'll have to pay a fee to get it restored. The amount of the fee will vary depending on the offense, and there may be other conditions as well, such as completing a drug education class or getting SR-22 insurance. Once you've met all the conditions for reinstatement, you can mail the necessary forms to appropriate address below.  Make sure to include your full name, birthday and your Texas driver's license number on all correspondence you send to DPS.

If you are sending in reinstatement documentation and fees in the same envelope, send it here:
Texas Department of Public Safety
Central Cash Receiving
P.O. Box 15999
Austin TX 78761-5999

If you are mailing in reinstatement documents without money, send them here:
Texas Department of Public Safety
Driver Improvement and Compliance Bureau
P.O. Box 4087
Austin TX 78773-0001

If you want to go in person to get your license reinstated, it's important that you go to the correct Texas DPS office. Currently, there are only four locations in the entire state that have the ability to reinstate your driving privileges. Here are the locations:
Houston: 12220 South Gessner Road, Houston, TX 77071-2831. Phone number: 713-219-4100
Austin: 108 B Denson Dr MSC 0544, Austin TX, 78752. Phone number: 512-424-7010

Garland: 350 West IH 30, Garland, TX   75043-5998. Phone number: 214-861-2125
Universal City: 1633 Pat Booker Road, Universal City, TX   78148. Phone number: 210-659-7541

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