Teen Driving Laws in Texas

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The state of Texas has a graduated driver license program (GDL) in place for teenage drivers. The graduated license program in Texas works in two phases of driving requirements. Each phase defines the prohibitions and education requirements for teenage (younger than 18 years) drivers.

These requirements are important in limiting high-risk driving situations for teen drivers. Unfortunately, there are more accidents, deaths and arrests for DWI for teenagers than adults.The purpose of the Texas graduated license program is to keep the teen drivers, as well as others on the road safe while the young drivers learn to drive safely and move towards a more flexible license level.

Teen drivers have to be at least of 15 years old to get the Texas instruction permit. They are also required to be in possession of a “completion certificate” from an approved driver education course.

Drivers License Permit Requirements

• Every applicant younger than the age of 18 needs to have their application signed by a parent or legal guardian.

• There is a Zero Tolerance Law notification document that needs to be signed by both the applicant and the parent/guardian/authorized adult. This document explains the procedure for teen DWI.

• Applicants need to provide their valid identification proofs – like an original birth certificate or a valid United States passport.

• Teen drivers below the age of 18 also need to provide proof of attendance and enrollment in school before they can get an instruction permit. The other acceptable proofs of education documents include – a high school diploma or State of Texas certificate of completion equivalent.

• Teen drivers are also required to pass a vision screening and a written exam to qualify for receiving an instruction permit.

Teen drivers with the instruction permit can drive only when a licensed driver of 21 years or older is with them in the car. The licensed adult has to sit in the front passenger seat all the time while the instruction permit holder is driving.

The Texas instruction permit is not renewable and is valid till the applicant’s next birthday and another one year from that.

Phase 1: Texas Graduated Driver License Program

The teen driver is required to complete an approved driver training course in phase 1 of the license program. After successfully completing the course with classroom and on-the-road driver training, the teen driver can graduate to Phase 2. But this is possible only if the instruction permit holder has reached the age of 16 and has held their learner permit for 6 months before graduating to Phase 2.

• Complete driver education course
• Must be 15 years of age

In case the instruction permit is suspended or revoked during the 6-month period, the teen drivers have to complete their suspension period prior to graduating to Phase 2.

Phase 2: Texas Graduated Driver License Program

During this phase, teen drivers with a provisional license cannot drive with more than 1 person under 21 years, for a period of one year. Teen drivers are also restricted from driving between midnight and 5:00 AM.

  • Must be 16 years of age
  • Must have had driver’s permit for 6 months
  • Can not drive with more than one passenger under 21 in the 1st year
  • No mobile phone use
  • Restricted driving times are 5AM to 12AM only

Exceptions include:

  • Medical emergencies
  • Office/Employment requirements
  • Sanctioned by the school

According to the teen driving laws in Texas, these passenger and time restrictions on teen drivers are waived after 6 months.

Phase 2 drivers are restricted from using mobile phones and the licenses held by teen drivers expire on their 18th birthday or the next birthday after the date of issue.

SR22Texas.org, the leading online insurance comparison portal serves the state of Texas residents. It provides motorists with options of teen drivers’ insurance in accordance with the teen driving laws in Texas.

CALL US NOW (Mon-Fri, 8am – 5pm PST) Call Us for a Free Quote of your Texas Auto Insurancefor a FREE QUOTE or fill out this form:



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