Required Testing Procedures and Time Schedules for a License in Texas

by Joshua on August 23, 2013

The Texas DMV requires many types of testing and the exams you are required to take will depend on your age group and the type of license you are applying for. Minors must complete each phase of the Graduated license program if they wish to obtain the privilege of operating a personal vehicle on roads. In addition, all adult new drivers and new residents to the state must apply for a standard driver’s license in order to legally drive on Texas roadways. Some adult drivers may also want to pursue work that involves some or a great majority of the position to operate a commercial vehicle. Other license types are for personal and recreational use such as the Class M motorcycle license, which allows drivers over 16 the enjoyment of operating a motorcycle or moped.

Each license type has a specific testing process and time schedule for these tests, including renewal testing processes, and it is important as a Texas driver to under when and what you must take if you wish to be prepared. The following list contains each of the types of licenses and permits in the state of Texas that the DMV will issue testing for during the license process:

  • Learners License or Learners Permit- This is issued to all new drivers in the state wishing to operate a personal motor vehicle on roadways. It is a restricted permit that allows the new driver time to practice control over the vehicle and reinforce knowledge of traffic laws and roadway signs. You must take a written test to receive this permit.
  • Class M learners Permit- Operating a motorcycle or moped requires special driving skills therefore the state has issued a separate learning and testing process for those pursuing this type. A specific written test concerning safe driving of a motorcycle and laws must be taken for this permit.
  • A CDL class permit is issued to those adults entering into a career in commercial driving and pursing one of the CDL licenses to legally operate their type of commercial vehicle. A written test will be required for this permit involving CDL specific driving practices and laws.
  • A Provisional license is a restricted license and the second phase of the graduated license program for new teen drivers. After all document and driving requirements have been fulfilled for this license, teen drivers will repeat a similar written test and take the road skills test through the DMV.
  • A standard license is issued to a broad range of drivers including first time adult drivers, new residents and as the final phase of the graduated program when the teen turns 18 years of age. This license requires a written test and road skills test for first time drivers. New residents do not have to complete the road skills portion in most cases.
  • The Class M motorcycle license will be issued after drivers complete all other phases of the learners permit for this class. Drivers will be expected to take and pass a written test specific to the motorcycle license as well as a road test showing they have control over the motorcycle or moped.
  • A CDL license is issued only after the new commercial driver has completed all other phases of the DMV process including providing documentation, medical information and the requirements for a learners permit. A written test is issued for the general CDL and must be passed to continue. If the driver is pursuing special endorsements, each endorsement has an additional written test that must be passed in order to receive a license. The final phase is a road test that must be completed using the exact vehicle the license type authorizes them to drive.

Why is the Information on each Test Different?

In order to issue a new driver any type of license in the state of Texas, the DMV must believe that the driver is prepared to follow the rules of the road, practice safe driving and have an ability to control their vehicle. Each license type is issued for a specific class of vehicle because each vehicle type has specific laws that must be followed. In addition, each type of vehicle requires the driver to maintain control in different ways. A CDL license for example is permission to operate a large semi-truck which has different operating procedures and rules of the road the commercial driver must follow that differ from a personal license.

While the written exams information may differ for each license type, there are similarities in testing found among all that drivers should be aware of if they wish to pass the tests:

  • All new drivers of any class are issued a vision screening at the time of application.
  • There are three types of knowledge tests which include the Class C for standard licenses and permits, Class M for motorcycle permits and licenses and Class A or B Commercial tests for classes of commercial vehicles. You must take the correct test.
  • The written tests will include 30 multiple choice questions and you must correctly answer 21 test questions in order to receive a passing score of 70%.
  • The written tests are administered at your local DMV branch as a part of the application process so you must be prepared to pass on the day you apply for your permit or license.
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