Master the TX
Driving Written Test!

About the Texas DPS Written Test

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) issue’s the state’s driver’s licenses. The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TxDMV) is responsible for vehicle registrations and titles. This is slightly confusing to a lot of newcomers to the state as they are used to “DMVs” but just remember to go to your local DPS office to get your new license.

According to the Texas DPS, “These are the documents you’ll need to take that identify who you are and, sorry, that prized bowling trophy won’t do. So, let’s sum up: Vehicle registration sticker and inspection sticker, proof of insurance, Texas license plates, and Texas Driver License. — That’s what you need to be a Texan.”

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New Texas Drivers License

Who Needs a License?

Any new drivers over the age of 15 may begin the process to obtain a driver’s license for operation of a motor vehicle on roadways. The license process must begin at the Texas Department of Public Safety. The type of license and process of application will depend on the applications age and intended vehicle type at the time of processing.

Which License is for you?

  • Class A, B and C Commercial licenses are reserved for those operating large commercial vehicles for the use of work functions.
  • Class A, B or C non-commercial licenses are issued to adult drivers for the operation of personal, smaller vehicles on roadways or commercial vehicles that do not require obtaining a CDL type license.
  • Class M license give the driver permission to operate a motorcycle or moped on public roadways.

What are the Requirements for getting a License?

The DMV requires that each new license applicant submit documents that will provide them with specific information. This information will be used to confirm your identity and be used on your driver’s license. Documents necessary will contain the following:

  • One document used to prove full name, date of birth and place of birth.
  • One document proving your permanent residency in the state that will provide a mailing address. This information will also be used to determine your county of residence and citizenship status.
  • Proof of a valid social security number using a social security card or approved documents. This is used for identity and citizenship confirmation only and will not be listed on your driver’s license. If a social security number has not been issued, proof of lawful US presence is required.

Driver’s license applicants will also be required to provide a thumbprint, signature and photograph during the licensing process. Out of state new residents must also surrender their current license at the time of application.

Minor drivers under the age of 25 must also submit proof of successful completion of driver’s education. Those under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the driver’s license application under oath.

What Tests do I need to get a License?

  • The written test is given as the first exam during the license process. Those under the age of 25 that have successfully completed driver’s education will not be required to take the written test.
  • The vision screening will be administered to all new drivers applying for any class license.
  • The final portion of license testing is the road test in which a DMV examiner will evaluate new driver’s abilities on roadways using a vehicle the applicant provides.

Taking a Drivers Education Course

Successful completion of an approved driver’s education course is required for all new drivers’ license applicants under the age of 25.

Preparing for the Written Test

While Drivers Education may exempt some from taking the written test, others must pass the exam with at least a 70% score in order to receive a driver’s license. Studying your cheat sheets found on online will assure a passing score on the first try, containing all the important information found on the written test. The Texas Drivers Handbook also contains vital information needed to pass

Practice tests will offer a gauge to test your understanding of the traffic laws, rules and regulations found on the written test. In addition, you will find many test questions concerning traffic signs that will assure you fully understand the signals necessary for passing.

What to Bring on Test Day

On the day of testing you will need documents from the approved listings which can be found in the DPS handbook or online at the DPS website. These must include proof of identity that provides your full name, date and place of birth. Evidence of a valid social security number must also be brought to the DMV as well as proof of your current county and mailing address within the state for residency requirements. If you have a current license in another state, that must be provided on test day.

Costs of a Drivers Test

The license fees required to be paid before testing can begin will include three attempts at each stage of testing. If the applicant fails all three attempts, the license process will begin again and contain new license fees. The cost of a six year license will be $25, or $15.50 for a one year license that expires on the driver’s 18 birthday.

Proof of Insurance

All new drivers’ license applicants must provide either proof of insurance or a signed statement that they do not own a motor vehicle at the time of application. Insurance must be provided if at any time the driver registers a future vehicle.

Taking the Written Test

New drivers under age 25 that have successfully completed driver’s education will not need to take the written portion of testing. All drivers required to take the test must pass with at least a 70% score to pass. The test consists of multiple choice questions that will evaluate the drivers’ understandings of traffic laws, rules and regulations as well as road signs knowledge.

Studying for the test is essential for passing. While the information is covered in Drivers Education many drivers are not required to take the course and therefore must study on their own. To do this, obtain a copy of the Texas cheat sheets and the Drivers Handbook to locate all important materials found on the test. In addition, use the practice tests available to test your learning process and assure you are ready to pass on the first try.

Taking the Driving Test

The drivers test is conducted after all other tests have been successfully completed. The applicant must provide a properly insured and registered vehicle for the exam that is in good working condition with safety equipment such as seat belts. The test will result in an automatic failure if the applicant drivers dangerous, causes a crash or refused to follow directions at any time. If the driver looses more than 30 points during evaluation, the test will also be considered a fail and must be retaken.

The test consists of directions that will evaluate four sections of driving including vehicle control, driver observation, proper signaling and positioning on roadways while driving. Each area of the test is designed with specific instructions that the driver must follow to prove abilities to the DMV before being issued a license. Use practice time wisely and assure all four categories are mastered before taking the road test.

Renewing your Texas Drivers License

Who needs to renew their license?

Each current driver on roadways must renew their license by its expiration date if they wish to continue operating a motor vehicle on state roadways. Each license is valid for a six year period, unless the driver has obtained a license at age 17, in which the first license will expire in one year on the driver’s birthday.

How do I renew my Texas License?

Each driver licensed will receive a renewal letter with instructions within six weeks of expiration at the address on file with the DPS. The letter will specify instructions for renewal of the license. There are currently four ways to renew a license in Texas and the type will depend on each individual’s situations and qualifications.

What tests do I need to take to renew?

A new vision screening will be administered to all in-person renewals. In addition, some applicants may be required to retake the written test or road exam depending on the driver’s specific situations.

Preparing to renew my TX license

Your renewal letter will inform you of any addition requirements involved in your renewal process. If new documentation in any category is required, you must gather required proofs in advance. Test may require a review of cheat sheets and the Drivers Handbook to assure a passing score. Be sure to bring all corrective eyewear for the vision screening.

What is the cost to renew my license?

Driver’s license renewals will cost $24 plus a $1 administrative fee for a total renewal cost of $25. Those who license expires in less than 6 years will be subjected to a prorated renewal fee.

Steps to renew your license

  • Online renewal-individuals meeting requirements for online renewal will be notified by mail that they may proceed to the DMV website to complete the process. Simply log into the service offered on the DMV website and follow prompts to complete the process. Fees must be paid with a credit or debit card online.
  • Phone renewals- the same requirements for online renewal will apply to a driver’s ability to renew by phone. If notified of the option, call the 1-866 hotline numbers listed on the DMV website and use the automated services to complete the process. Phone renewal fees are paid by check, credit or debit card.
  • Mail-in Renewals- Drivers may complete the form included in the renewal letter and sign the renewal application. The form must be mailed in to the DMV along with a check or money order for renewal fees.
  • In-person Renewal- Drivers that do not meet the requirements for alternative forms of renewal and those renewing under the age of 18 must renew at a DPS office. A renewal application must be completed and signed, co-signed by a parent if under 18 and submitted to the DMV. The renewal letter will inform the applicant of any additional requirements that must be fulfilled at this time. This may include providing new proofs for identity, citizenship and social security card with approved documents. A new written or drivers test may also be required. All in-person applicants must retake the vision screening and take a new photograph. Fees may be paid by check, cash or money order.

Getting a Texas Learners Permit

Who needs a learners permit?

New drivers wishing to operate a motor vehicle for the first time are required to obtain a learners license or permit, as well as those wishing to change to a different class license and add endorsements.

How old must I be to get a Learners Permit?

You must be at least 15 years of age to begin the learners permit process in general. Other types of licenses and endorsements may have specific ages older than this to apply.

Requirements for getting a learners permit

In order to receive a learner’s permit in the state, applicants are required to apply in person at the DPS office and must submit documentations required in order to begin the process. This includes:

  • Documents that provide the DMV with proof of identity including full name, date and place of birth and confirms US citizenship.
  • Proof of a valid social security number with a social security card or approved alternative. If a social security number has not been issued, evidence of lawful presence in the US must be provided.
  • Documents providing the DMV with a permanent mailing address that will show evidence of state residency. This will also be used to confirm your county.
  • Minors must also submit proof of current enrollment in High School, a High School Diploma or GED.
  • Minors must also submit one type of driver’s education proof. This will be a certificate of completion for an approved driver’s education course or a certificate of completion from an approved public school driver’s education course. If the driver receives parent-taught driver’s education, a driver’s log affidavit signed and completed along with a certification of classroom hour’s driver’s education must be presented.
  • All new drivers must take a vision screening and written test if driver’s education has not been competed

Driving with a TX learners permit

A learning period of six months while new drivers hold a permit is required for all minors entering into the driver’s license process. During this time, new drivers must not operate a motor vehicle on roadways between the hours of midnight and 5 am for safety reasons at any time. A licensed driver over the age of 21 must accompany the learner in the vehicle at all times.

Cost of a learners permit

A full license fee will be collected at the tine of application of $25

Steps to getting a TX learners permit

Driver’s education must be completed before the driver can apply for a learner’s license or permit if under age 25. Gather documentation and visit a DPS in person to begin the process. Minors under age 18 need to bring a parent or guardian to the process.

  • Submit a completed application to the DMV. Parents must sign the application under oath for drivers under the age of 18.
  • Provide documentation required including proof of identity which gives the DPS your full name, date and place of birth and citizenship status. A social security card or alternative must also be provided.
  • Submit proof of residency, county and a permanent address.
  • Proof of completion of an approved drivers education course.
  • Pay the required fees and if required take the written test with a 70% score or above.
  • Take a vision test.
  • Submit a thumbprint and take a photograph to complete the process.
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