The Graduated Driver License (GDL) program was implemented January 1, 2002 to give new drivers the chance to improve their driving skills over time in lower-risk environments.
Phase One (Learner License)
Individuals who are under 18 years of age must hold a valid learner license or aminor restricted driver license (MRDL) (hardship) for a minimum of six months prior to the issuance of a provisional Class A, B or C driver license. Under the GDL program, there is not a minimum time a person must hold a restricted motorcycle or moped license before he/she can apply for a Class M license.
Individuals transferring/presenting a valid out-of-state learner license but not able to provide proof of successfully completing a teen driver education course, will be issued a Texas learner license. This Texas learner license must be held for 6 months or until the age of 18 whichever comes first, regardless of previous time learner license held in another state.
If a learner license is suspended during Phase One, the initial six-month period increases by the number of days of the suspension because the license is invalid during that time. Individuals must also drive additional 30 hours with a license driver 21 years or older. With hours logged into behind the wheel instruction guide.
NOTE: Phase One does not apply to Class M or MRDL holders.
Phase Two (Provisional License)
Phase Two restricts the driving privileges of individuals who are under 18 years of age.
Once the applicant has held a valid learner license or hardship license for a minimum of six months, reached the age of 16, and completed both the classroom and behind-the-wheel portions of driver education, they are eligible to take the driving test for their provisional license and "graduate" to Phase Two of the Graduated Driver License Program.
Individuals at least 16 years of age that transfer/present a valid out-of-state learner license and proof of successful completion of a teen driver education course will be eligible to take the driving test. Upon receiving a passing score on the driving test the minor may be issued a provisional license.
These individuals may not drive a motor vehicle:
Individuals between 18 and 24 years of age are required to complete a driver education course and present the original certificate of completion at the driver license office. A driver education course is not required for individuals who already hold a valid driver license from another U.S. state, U.S. territory, or Canadian province or from France, South Korea, Taiwan, or Germany (i.e. countries with license reciprocity agreements with Texas).
When applying for a license, the driving test is required. The knowledge test will be waived if it was completed during the driver education course.
There are two types of driver education for adults:
Set aside time for practice.