What Are the Driving Test Requirements for Texas?

Driving in Texas as a TouristDriving in Texas as a Tourist

Driving in Texas is fun, as there are many beautiful terrains and locations to drive to. Before driving in Texas, you must own a valid driver's license, drive a car with valid registration and two license plates, and be insured. Obtaining your driver's license in Texas can be stressful, especially if it is your first time. You must go through specific steps and procedures, the last of which is the driving test to get approved as a driver in Texas.

Before taking your driving test, you must have taken the driver's education course and have reviewed the Texas Drivers' Handbook. Applicants under 25 years old must undergo the Impact Texas Drivers program before appearing for the driving test. The minimum age for applying for a driving test is 16 years, and must have had a learner's permit for at least six months and meet all other requirements. Applicants 25 years and above must have passed the knowledge test and have applied for a driver's license.

Before the driving test, the applicants must have passed a written exam that involved testing their knowledge of driving laws, penalties, and road signs. They must have also completed and passed a behind-the-wheel skills exam.

Who Should Take a Driving Test?

The driving test is not for everyone; some categories of people can go ahead to obtain their driver's license if they do not fall into any of the following categories:

  • People who have never been licensed in Texas, or any of other US states or territories
  • People who are licensed in other US states but have expired
  • People who were licensed in Texas, but the license has expired for over two years
  • People with any medical conditions that may affect the operation of the vehicle
  • People who have been ordered by a court to get a driving test

Applicants who need a renewal do not need to take the driving test, and people who are surrendering a valid license from another state and are above 18 do not also need to take the driving test.

What to Bring Along to A Texas Driving Test?

When going for a driving test in Texas, it is commonplace to feel very agitated and uneasy. However, having a guide can help you prepare for the driving test. When going for a driving test, be prepared to show the following on request.

  • Proof of Satisfying Educational Materials: Before going for the driving test, you must have completed the driver's education course. When arriving for the driving test, come along with proof, such as a certificate of completion. Applicants under 25 years old must also complete the Impact Texas Drivers educational program. These educational requirements are put in place to ensure each applicant knows the rules and regulations surrounding road use in Texas. It also highlights possible fines and sanctions for traffic violators.
  • Driving Log with Sufficient Driving Time: The legal requirement for owning a driver's license in Texas is to have driven for at least 30 hours, including a night-time driving of 10 hours, with your learner's permit. These are entered into your driving log, which you will be presented to the authorities during your driving test. Practicing driving is to your advantage as an applicant, so it is advised to take more time to practice and not be limited to the 30-hour practice requirement. Some schools of thought think 50 hours of drivetime on different road conditions is ideal.
  • A road-worthy vehicle: When going for a driving test, you must take a car that meets all the requirements to drive on the road for the test. The test happens in your car, with a DMV official in it. If you do not have a car to take for the test, you can have a friend, neighbor, or relative drive you down. You can also bring a car from a driving school, provided they all meet the requirements for driving on the road. The vehicle you are bringing must have a valid registration and insurance. It must have two license plates, functional headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals. Also, ensure the car has functional seatbelts, speedometer, windshield wipers, and the doors open properly from the outside and inside.

Before the Driving Test

Before the driving test, the applicant should provide a valid form of identification. Applicants must pay the required fee on-site before the start of the test. Those 18 years old or less will pay $16, while those above 18 will pay $25. If you have questions about the test, ensure to ask the representative with you before the commencement of the test. After the commencement of the test, the representative cannot have general conversations with you.

During the Test

There are a couple of things to take note of to ensure you pass the test during the test. If you do not pass the test, do not worry so much, as you can always retake the test. The test takes only 20 minutes, and different aspects of driving are tested within that time. During the test, be as confident as possible and do your thing. No passengers or pets are allowed in the car during the test. The grading takes into account the following:

  • Parallel parking
  • Reversing in a straight line
  • Method of approaching intersections
  • Your control of the vehicle
  • Observing traffic and your environment
  • Turning
  • Using your turn signals
  • Controlling the vehicle's position in motion and while stationary.

During the test, always ensure to follow best practices. For example, before starting the car, adjust your seat and mirrors, then fasten your seatbelt. It gives the representative an idea that you know and abides by driving rules. While driving, ensure to check out your mirrors at intervals, adjust your speed, and stay within range. Ensure to use your turn signals, turn to check your blind spot, and start and end your turn in the same lane. Ensure your turn signal is on at least 100 feet before you make the turn.

After the Test

The representative will print out a score sheet showing your performance when the test is over. The score sheet will show where you had excellent scores and places you didn't. You can discuss with the representative on ways you can improve your driving. The score sheet will show if you passed or not. If you pass, you can go ahead to get your license; however, if you fail the test, you can reschedule the test.

Renewing your License

In Texas, for drivers between the ages of 18 and 85, your driver's license will last for six years before you need to renew it. Citizens older than 85 years must renew their license every two years. Renewing license in Texas can be done in person at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office, through the mail, or online. It makes the process easier and faster. You can also use third-party sites like Swifttags to handle your registrations and renewals. They have very functional systems that keep you abreast of your registrations and renewals. They also handle vehicle registrations and renewals.

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