Hi there! This article will tell you everything you need to know about how to get your Texas driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, and motorcycle license.
Continue reading to discover how to get your Texas driver’s license!
Types of Driver’s Licenses in Texas
The Lone Star State offers the following, non-commercial license types:
- Class C – the standard driver’s license in Texas that allows you to operate regular, non-commercial passenger cars and trucks that do not exceed a weight limit of 26,001 lbs.
- Non-commercial Class A – allows you to operate vehicles that exceed 26,001 lbs. with towed vehicles that exceed 10,000 lbs.
- Non-commercial Class B – allows you to operate a single vehicle that weighs or exceeds 26,001 lbs. You are also permitted to tow a vehicle that does not exceed 10,001 lbs. or a farm trailer that does not exceed 20,000 lbs. With this license, you are also authorized to operate a bus that seats 24 or more passengers.
Texas Driver’s License Requirements
Before you make your way to your local TX DMV office, you must determine whether you are required to apply for a new TX driver’s license.
You must obtain a Texas driver’s license if:
- You are a current Texas resident who has never obtained a license
- You are new to Texas and want to apply for a TX driver’s license or transfer your out-of-state driver’s license
- You intend on operating any of the Class A or Class B vehicles described above
- You have legal presence in Texas and the United States (you are not required to obtain a TX driver’s license if you have a diplomatic driver’s license that has been issued by the U.S. Department of State.)
You are not required to have a Texas driver’s license if:
- You’re at least 18 years old and visiting Texas with a valid out-of-state driver’s license
- You’re an active member of the military or dependent that is stationed in Texas, as long as you have a valid out-of-state driver’s license, and you haven’t established residency in TX
- You operate farm vehicles off public highways
- You only operate registered off-highway vehicles and snowmobiles without accessing public roads (other than crossing the roads)
Applying for Your Texas Driver’s License
There are certain Texas driver’s licenses that are age specific.
- Texas Driver’s License (Instruction Permit) – at least 21 years old
- Minor Restricted driver’s license (Hardship License) – minimum age to apply 15
- Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) Program – 2-part program for individuals under the age of 18
To apply for a new Texas driver’s license, you can’t have any discrepancies, such as cancelation, suspensions, revocations, or other legal matters, that would prevent you from obtaining a valid Texas driver’s license. The state of Texas does not require drivers who are at least 18 years old to obtain a learner’s permit BEFORE applying. However, if you are obtaining your TX driver’s license for the first time, you must have a learner’s license to practice your driving test.
To apply for your standard Class C driver’s license in Texas, you need to visit your local TX DMV and present the following:
- Submit a completed Application for Texas Driver’s License or ID Card (Form DL-14A)
- Present appropriate proof of ID:
- Proof of identity (1 document, such as a passport, military ID, etc., or 2 secondary documents, such as a birth certificate or Certificate of Birth Abroad, etc., or 1 secondary document AND 2 supporting documents, such as a voter registration card, 1099, etc.)
- Proof of Social Security Number (Social Security card, W-2, or 1099)
- Proof of lawful presence in the U.S. (birth certificate, I-94)
- Proof of residency (2 documents, such as a current mortgage statement, medical card, etc.)
- If you are a new resident of Texas, you must present proof of a Texas vehicle registration
- Present proof of vehicle insurance for each vehicle you own or an affidavit that you don’t own a vehicle
- Surrender your out-of-state or out-of-country license (if applicable)
- Present a certificate of completion from a driver’s education course (if you are between 18 to 24 years old) – Proof of completion exempts you from taking the knowledge test. This is NOT required for new residents of Texas who are transferring a valid, unexpired license from a different state or country.
- Pass the knowledge exam and driving test (unless you are exempt)
- Pay the $33 new driver’s license fee
- Applicants who are at least 85 years old must pay a $9 driver’s license fee (if you are a disabled veteran, you may be able to waive the fee)
Once you have met the above requirements, you will be issued a receipt that you can use to drive legally until your new Texas driver’s license arrives. Your permanent TX driver’s license will be mailed to the address you provided on the application within 3 weeks. Your Texas driver’s license expires 6 years after the issue date on your birthday.
If you don’t pass the Texas knowledge and driving test on the first try, the TX driver’s license office will hold your application for 90 days, and you will have 3 chances to pass the tests. If you do not pass the test, you must start the Texas driver’s license application process again and pay a new fee.
Acceptable Identification Documents in Texas
In Texas, there are different types of acceptable identification documents you can use when you’re applying for your TX driver’s license.
Proof of Texas Residency
- Current homeowners’ or renter’s insurance policy card or statement
- Utility bill dated within 90 days of the application date (gas, internet, cable, electric, water, etc.)
- Pre-printed paycheck or paystub dated within 90 days of application
- Current vehicle insurance policy, card, or statement
Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Presence
- Valid, unexpired U.S. passport (passport book or card)
- U.S. citizen identification card (I-179 or I-197)
- Valid, unexpired permanent resident card (I-551)
Proof of Identity
- Photo Texas driver’s license or ID (unexpired or expired within the last two years)
- Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. passport card
- Valid, unexpired foreign passport with visa attached, and valid I-94
Proof of Social Security Number
- Social security card
- A non-SSA-1099 form
- SSA-1099 form
Click here for more information regarding acceptable identification documents in Texas.
Obtaining a Texas Driver’s License Under the Age of 18
If you are under the age of 18, you must complete the TX driver’s education course. You can start the classroom phase of the driver’s education course at 14 years old, but you can’t apply for your TX learner’s permit until you are at least 15 years old.
There are four types of driver education you can select when you are taking this course, and they are as follows:
- A traditional driver’s education course that is offered by a certified driver training school
- An online driver’s education course that is offered by a certified driver training school
- Parent-taught driver’s education (PTDE)
- Driver education offered in public school
Click here to visit the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR) Driver Education site for more information about your TX driver’s education options.
There are two phases of licensing for all teens before they are allowed to graduate to a full driver’s license, which is known as the Graduated Driver’s License Program.
Phase 1 – Learner’s License
- Entry-level restricted Texas driver’s license that allows you to practice driving with a licensed adult before you graduate to the next level.
- You must be between 15 and 17 years old
- You must have completed the first 6 hours of the driver’s education classroom instruction IF you are using the concurrent method or all 32 classroom hours of classroom instruction IF you are using the block method
- You are required to provide evidence that you:
- Obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent, or are a student enrolled in a public, private, or home school, and attend school for at least 90% of the time in the fall or spring semester preceding the date of application, or you are currently enrolled in a program that prepares you to pass the high school equivalency exam.
- You must have been enrolled for the previous 45 days from the date of applying for your learner’s license; or if you are applying during the summer and are still enrolled in school, your last report card for the most recent school year is acceptable, provided it has your name, list of absences, and a complete listing of grades.
- You are required to have a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old in the front passenger seat when you’re driving
- You must attain this license for at least 6 months unless you turn 18
- You are restricted from using a cell phone and other wireless communication devices, including a hands-free device, except in the case of an emergency
- If your license is suspended at any time while you hold a TX learner’s license, the initial 6-month period increases by the number of days of the suspension. (This is to make sure you attain a valid TX learner’s license for a full 6 months)
- Your learner’s license will expire on your 18 birthday
Applying for Your Learner’s License
To apply for your learner’s permit in Texas, you need to visit a driver’s license office and provide proof of the following:
- U.S. citizenship or evidence of lawful presence in the U.S. if you’re not a U.S. citizen
- Proof of Texas residency
- Proof of identity
- Proof of social security number
- Evidence of Texas vehicle registration for each vehicle you own (new residents who are surrendering an out-of-state driver’s license only)
- Proof of insurance for each vehicle you own
- Texas Driver’s Education Certificate that proves classroom completion
- Certified driver’s training school (DE-964)
- Parent-taught driver’s education – (DE-964)
- Public school driver’s education – (DE-964E)
This does not apply to new residents who are 18 years of age or older and surrendering an out-of-state driver’s license.
- Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE form) that is issued by a school or a high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
- VOE requires a signature (a stamped or computer-generated signature of a school official is acceptable and valid for 30 days from issuance, or 90 days from issuance between the months of June through August, or a current report card for the most recent school year.)
If you don’t own a vehicle, you must sign a statement confirming this.
Once you gather the required documents and completed the required courses, you need to complete the following steps:
- Complete the driver’s license application BEFORE arriving at your local office (you can also obtain this form at a TX driver’s license office.)
- Schedule an appointment at a driver’s license office (bring a parent or legal guardian. If you are bringing a parent or legal guardian, you are required to bring a certified court order that demonstrates guardianship)
You must provide the following documentation to the license and permit specialist:
- Application for the issuance of a driver’s license (Form DL-14b)
- U.S. citizenship (if you are not a U.S. citizen, you must provide evidence of lawful presence in the U.S.
- Proof of Texas residency
- Proof of identity
- Social security number
- Proof of Texas vehicle registration
- Proof of a valid TX insurance policy
- Texas Driver’s Education Certificate (DE-964 or DE-964E)
- Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (VOE form) that is issued by a school, or a high school diploma or equivalent (GED)
- The VOE form requires a signature, stamp, or computer-generated signature of a school official. This form is valid for 30 days from issuance or 90 days from issuance between the months of June through August, or a current report card from the most recent school year
- Evidence of successfully passing the driver’s knowledge exam (if you haven’t taken this exam during the classroom portion of driver’s education, you will complete it at the driver’s license office)
- Provide your signature
- Provide your thumbprints
- Have your picture taken
- Pay all applicable fees
- Pass the vision exam
You are allowed to complete the testing requirements at the driver’s license office or through a third-party provider. Once you have been issued your TX learner’s license, you will receive a temporary driver’s license. Before you leave the driver’s license office, make sure you review the printed information on your temporary driver’s license for accuracy.
If any of the printed information is incorrect, you must notify the license and permit specialist. Your new license will arrive in the mail at the address you provided on the application within 3 weeks. You can check the mailing status of your card here.
Be advised that if you hold an identification card, you are not eligible to apply for a learner’s license until you surrender your identification card at the time of application.
Phase 2 – Provisional Driver’s License
- You are required to attain your valid TX learner’s license for at least 6 months UNLESS you have reached 18 years of age
- You must be 16 or 17 years old
- You must have completed the behind-the-wheel portion of driver’s education, which includes:
- 7 hours of in-car observation sitting beside the instructor, watching the instructor demonstrate certain points of instruction
- 7 hours of in-car observation driving and demonstrating to the instructor that you have learned the points of instruction
- 30 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice, of which at least 10 hours must be at night with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age in the vehicle at all times
- You must have completed the Impact Texas Teen Driver Program within the previous 90 days of taking your skills test
- You must successfully pass your driving test
- This license expires on your 18th birthday
- You are not permitted to drive a motor vehicle with more than one passenger in the vehicle who is under 21 and not a family member
- You are not permitted to operate a motor vehicle between midnight and 5:00 AM, UNLESS the operation of the vehicle is necessary for you to work, attend or participate in school-related activities, or due to a medical emergency.
- You are restricted from using a cell phone, tablet, and other wireless communication devices, including hands-free devices, except in the case of an emergency
- This driver’s license will expire when you turn 18 years old. You must visit your local TX driver’s license office within 30 days of it expiring to renew it. You will then be issued a driver’s license for individuals who are under 21 years of age.
Applying for Your Provisional Driver’s License
Once you have completed all the TX learner’s license requirements, you must visit a driver’s license office and provide the following additional documentation:
- Complete the Texas driver’s license application (Form DL-14b) BEFORE arriving for your appointment. You can also get this form at all TX driver’s license offices.
- Bring your parent or legal guardian or the notarized application signed by your parent or legal guardian to the driver’s license office. You can schedule your appointment here.
You must provide the following documentation to the license and permit specialist:
- The completed Driver’s License or Identification Card Application (Form DL-14b)
- Evidence of lawful presence (if you are not a U.S. citizen)
- Proof of identity
- Texas Driver’s Education Certification of Completion (DE-964 or DE-964E)
- Provide evidence of successfully passing the driving test (if you completed the driving test at a driver training school, the results must be provided by the school in a sealed envelope and provided to DPS at the time you are applying for your license)
- Impact Texas Driver Program Certificate of Completion
- Provide your signature
- Provide your thumbprints
- Have your picture taken
- Pay all appropriate fees
- Pass the vision exam
- Provide proof of a valid auto insurance policy (if you are taking the driving skills test)
You can complete the driving test requirements at the Texas Driver’s License office or through a third-party provider. If you are completing your driving test at a local driver’s license office, you must:
- Schedule an appointment online
- Present proof of current registration and insurance for the vehicle you will be using for testing at the time of the driving test.
Once you are issued your driver’s license, you will receive a temporary driver’s license. Before you leave the driver’s license office, make sure you review the printed information on your temporary driver’s license for accuracy.
If any of the printed information is incorrect, you must notify the license and permit specialist. Your new license will arrive in the mail at the address listed on your application in approximately 3 weeks. You can check the mailing status of your license here.
You are eligible to renew your Texas driver’s license up to 30 days before the expiration date, which will occur on your 18th birthday. You can renew your driver’s license online by clicking here. The cost to renew online is the same cost to renew your license at a driver’s license office.
If you choose to renew your license in person before you turn 18 years old, you must be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian. If you plan to renew your license after your 18th birthday, you will not be required to be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian. However, you are required to make alternate transportation arrangements to visit your local TX driver’s license office because it is a violation of state law to operate a motor vehicle with an expired driver’s license.
Getting a Driver’s License as a New Resident of Texas
If you are a new resident of Texas, you have a maximum of 90 days from you establishing residency in the state to obtain your TX driver’s license. Your out-of-state or out-of-country driver’s license will no longer be valid to use in the state of Texas.
To apply for a license as a new resident of Texas, you will take the same steps that are outlined above, EXCEPT you will not be required to complete the knowledge or road test IF your current driver’s license is valid and unexpired or if your license is from a different U.S. state or territory or it’s from France, South Korea, Taiwan, or Germany.
If your driver’s license is from a country other than the ones previously listed, you are required to complete both the Texas written and driving tests.
Be advised that if you have a valid learner’s license from one of the counties listed above and want to upgrade to a Texas license, you must take the road test, but you will not be required to complete the knowledge test.
The Texas Written Exam and Road Tests
Taking the Texas Written Exam
The Texas written exam consists of 30 questions, 21 of which you must answer correctly to pass the exam with a minimum passing score of 70%. The minimum age to apply to take the Texas written exam is 15 years old.
Taking the Texas Road Test
You will take the Texas road test to determine if you can safely operate a motor vehicle. You will be tested on specific driving skills, such as parking, turning, switching lanes, and other driving skills.
Non-Commercial Class A or Class B Driver’s Licenses in Texas
In Texas, the class of driver’s license is determined by the following:
- Type of vehicle operated on a Texas roadway
- The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle or the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of the vehicle(s) towed
- Number of passengers the vehicle can hold
Unless prohibited by the Commercial Driver License Act, you (the holder of a valid driver’s license), are permitted to operate all vehicles in the class for which that license is issued and all lesser classes EXCEPT motorcycles. You may be required to complete a Texas Class A or B Driver’s License Application Form (Non-CDL Exempt Vehicles) (Form CDL-2)
Class A, B, C, and M Texas driver’s licenses are issued to individuals who are exempt from obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or who are not required to obtain a CDL. Be advised that exempt individuals may be required to obtain a Class A or B driver’s license if the type of vehicle driven meets the weight requirement for a Class A or Class B vehicle.
Individuals who are exempt from obtaining a CDL but may be required to obtain a Class A or Class B driver’s license are:
- Operators of recreational vehicles that are driven for personal use
- Some farmers who meet certain criteria
- Operators of cotton-seed modules or cotton burrs
- A firefighting or emergency vehicle operator
- Military vehicle operators
- Vehicles that are owned, leased, or controlled by an air carrier
Married, Divorced, or Name Change?
If you have changed your name, you may be required to provide name change documentation if you’re applying for a new TX driver’s license or ID card. You may need to submit a marriage license or the equivalent, to be issued a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID in your true full name.
If the name on your identification documents is different from the name you provided on your application, you must submit proper documentation that establishes your true full name. Examples of the correct documentation that establishes your true full name can include the following:
- A marriage certificate
- Adoption documents that contain the legal names as a result of the adoption
- A name change document that contains the legal name of both before and after the name change
- A certificate, declaration, or registration document that verifies the formation of a domestic partnership
- A dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership that contains the legal name as a result of the court action
Does the REAL ID Act Impact Texans?
Starting May 3, 2023, you will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license that features a gold star, a valid passport, or U.S. military ID to travel by air in the U.S.
The REAL ID Act establishes the minimum standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. This act requires you to obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card to access federal facilities and fly in the U.S.
Your current TX driver’s license or ID is REAL ID-compliant IF it has a gold star in the top right corner. If not, you will get the gold star on your next license renewal or you can request a replacement card.
Is Obtaining a REAL ID Mandatory in Texas?
No. Obtaining a REAL ID in Texas is mandatory. However, having a REAL ID can be beneficial in different situations. If you have valid documentation, you can use them to pass TSA checkpoints at airport terminals nationwide and visit a secure federal building or military installation at any time.
You are not required to attain a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card to complete any of the following actions:
- Enter a federal facility that DOES NOT require an ID (such as a post office)
- Apply for or receive federal benefits (Social Security Administration (SSA), Veterans Affairs, etc.)
- Visit a hospital or receive life-saving services
How Do You Prepare to Apply for a REAL ID Card?
There are multiple steps you are required to take to apply for a REAL ID in the state of Texas. Although REAL IDs are not required in Texas, they are good to have in many situations.
To obtain a REAL ID-compliant Texas driver’s license identification card, you will need the following documents:
- An original or certified copy of a birth certificate or an unexpired U.S. passport book or card
- Social security card
- Current Texas vehicle registration or title
- Valid TX auto insurance policy or car insurance statement
- If your name changed, you must provide legal documentation proving the name change from your birth name
Applying for a Commercial Driver’s License in Texas
If you intend on driving a commercial motor vehicle, you are required to obtain a commercial driver’s license. According to federal law, you must obtain a commercial learner’s permit before you can attain your full commercial driver’s license to operate certain types of vehicles for commerce or transport. In addition to federal law, the state of Texas has specific requirements for drivers who plan to operate a commercial vehicle within or across state lines.
Important Federal Training Requirements Update
Effective February 7, 2022, the Texas Department of Public Safety mandates new CDL applicants complete an entry-level driver training course through an authorized provider. You must complete this training BEFORE applying for your first commercial driver’s license, upgrading your existing CDL, class, or applying for a HAZMAT, school bus, or passenger endorsement.
Texas CDL Requirements and Exemptions
The state of Texas has different CDL requirements and exemptions.
Age and Vehicle Requirements
There are different age requirements for obtaining a CDL in Texas based on whether you plan to drive intrastate (within state lines ONLY) or interstate (across state and international borders).
- Intrastate CDL: At least 18 years old
- Interstate CDL: At least 21 years old
If you have a suspended license, in any state, you are not allowed to apply for a commercial license.
You must apply for a commercial driver’s license IF you operate a vehicle that:
- Has a GVWR of 26,001 lbs.
- Transports hazardous materials
- Carries at least 16 passengers (including the driver)
The state of Texas ensures that all applicants have a clean driving record nationwide. The Texas Department of Public Safety (TX DPS) will search national driving record databases for the previous 10 years. The national records will include the Commercial Driver’s License Information Systems which shows your driver’s license or driving record in all other states, and the National Driver Register which shows your driving history, driving record points, and license suspensions and revocations.
Exemptions From CDL Requirements
You are exempt from requiring a commercial driver’s license if you are:
- A farmer that is transporting products, machinery, supplies, or similar items to and from your fam within 150 air miles
- Operating an emergency or firefighting vehicle
- Operating a military vehicle
- Operating a personal recreational vehicle
- Operating a vehicle that is owned or leased by an air carrier
You can apply for certain waivers for vision impairment, agricultural industry membership, and prior military service. These waivers allow you to skip specific TX exams and may give you a restricted version of a CDL.
Commercial Learner’s Permit
When you apply for a commercial driver’s license in the state of Texas, you must first obtain your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). The CLP allows you to practice driving a commercial vehicle when you are accompanied by a licensed commercial driver.
You are required to attain your CLP for at least 14 days BEFORE you can take your TX CDL skills exam to receive your full CDL.
How to Get a Texas CDL
When you’re ready to apply to receive your CDL, you need to visit your local Texas Department of Motor Vehicles (TX DMV) office in person and:
- Present your current driver’s license
- Submit a completed Application for Texas Driver’s License or Identification Card (Form DL-14a) and a Supplement Application Texas Commercial Driver’s License Certifications and Record (Form CDL-1)
- Provide proof of your:
- Click here for a list of acceptable documentation to prove your identity (For U.S. citizens and non-citizens)
- 2 documents (click here for a full list of acceptable documents to prove your TX residency.)
- Social security number (must present your social security card or the equivalent. Click here for a list of other acceptable documentation to prove your social security number.)
- Vehicle registration and a valid auto insurance policy (for all vehicles that are registered in your name)
- Meet the requirements for non-resident CDL holders (if applicable)
- Submit one of the following appropriate medical self-certification forms:
- Interstate Driver Certification (Form CDL-4)
- Intrastate Driver Certification (Form CDL-5)
- Certificate of Physical Exemption 49 CFR Part 391/390 (Form CDL-10)
In addition to providing the medical self-certification forms, you may also be required to submit a medical examiner’s certificate for certain categories. Click here for more information.
- Complete the vision and written knowledge exams
- Have your fingerprint and photo taken
- Pay all applicable TX fees:
- Drivers 18 to 84 years old: $97 (valid for 5 years)
- Drivers at least 85 years old: $26 (valid for 2 years)
Once you complete these steps, you will receive your Texas commercial learner’s permit, which allows you to practice driving before taking your TX CDL skills exam. You can complete your on-road skills test once you attain your TX CLP for at least 14 days.
Commercial Driver’s Skills Test
After you’ve practiced driving with your TX CLP, you must take the on-road skills exam. You must provide the proper commercial motor vehicle for the class of license you need, or you risk a restriction being placed on your TX license.
Your CDL driving skills exam consists of three parts:
- Vehicle inspection – the physical inspection of the vehicle you’re testing in, as well as testing your ability to assess whether a vehicle is in safe driving condition.
- Air brake inspection test – shows your ability to conduct an air brake safety inspection, including:
- Warning signals
- System leaks
- Emergency brakes
- On-road exam – tests your skills in different situations, including:
- Standard maneuvers, such as:
- Backing up
- Changing lanes
- Different driving environments, such as:
- Railroad crossings
- Curved and narrow roads
- Standard maneuvers, such as:
Once you’ve passed this exam, the TX DPS will issue your full commercial driver’s license in the appropriate class.
If you require a specific endorsement on your CDL to perform specific tasks or operate certain vehicles, you will need to complete additional knowledge and/or skills exams.
Non-Resident CDL in Texas
If you are not a resident of the U.S., Canada, or Mexico and you want to drive a commercial vehicle in Texas, you must apply for a non-resident commercial driver’s license.
There are two instances in which this CDL applies:
- If you are a non-resident without a social security number (SSN) – you will first receive a temporary non-resident CDL.
- If you are a non-resident who has been issued a social security number – you can apply for a permanent non-resident CDL.
Temporary Non-Resident CDL
If you don’t have an SSN yet, you can apply for a temporary non-resident CDL. This CDL is NOT renewable. If your documents that are listed below expire, the temporary CDL also expires.
To apply, you are required to meet all CDL requirements listed above. You need to visit a driver’s license office and:
- Provide ALL of the following:
- Valid passport from your country of residence
- Temporary worker visa, Form I-766, or Employment Authorization Document
- Valid I-94 or I-797 authorization document
- Submit payment for the $121 fee
Once you are issued a social security number, you must then apply for the permanent non-resident CDL.
Permanent Non-Resident CDL
If you have a social security number as a non-resident, you can bypass the temporary CDL process and apply for a full non-resident CDL. First, you must meet all the requirements for a Texas commercial driver’s license.
Visit a Texas licensing office and present:
- Proof of your social security number
- Your valid passport from your home country
- Your Form I-766, temporary worker visa, or Employment Authorization Document
- A valid arrival/departure document (Form I-94 or I-797)
- Payment for the $121 licensing fee
Your non-resident CDL is valid until either your visa expires, or your I-94 form expires, whichever occurs first.
Application for Replacement Texas CDL
You are required to apply for a replacement commercial driver’s license in person with the TX DPS. You can’t legally operate a commercial truck or any commercial vehicle until you have replaced your lost CDL.
To apply for a replacement CDL, you need to visit your local TX DPS office and present:
- A completed Application for Texas Driver’s License or Identification Card (Form DL-14a)
- Acceptable proof of:
- 1 document from the primary list or
- 2 documents from the secondary list or
- 1 document from the secondary list and 2 documents from the list of supporting documents
- Citizenship or lawful presence
- Social security number IF the TX DPS doesn’t already have it on file
- Your DOT medical card or waiver (the TX DPS should already have this on file but take the card or waiver in case they don’t.)
- Payment for the $11 fee
Once you meet the above-listed requirements, your Texas DPS official will advise you in terms of when you’ll receive your permanent duplicate CDL.
Be advised that if your original CDL is stolen, you must file a report with the local police and take a copy of the police report with you when you are applying for your replacement CDL. The DPS will decide whether you will require a new license number.
Texas Out-of-State CDL Holders
If you’re out of state when your CDL goes missing, you are not eligible to apply for a replacement CDL online or by mail. You are required to apply for a replacement CDL in person after returning to Texas.
Applying for a Texas Motorcycle License
If you are a new resident of Texas and currently have an out-of-state motorcycle license or endorsement, you are allowed to transfer your credentials as long as your current motorcycle license remains valid.
To obtain your Texas motorcycle license, you must visit your local Department of Public Safety (DPS) driver’s license office within 90 days of moving to the state and:
- Surrender your unexpired out-of-state motorcycle credentials
- Provide proof of:
- Social security number
- Texas residency and lawful U.S. presence
Click here for a list of acceptable documentation to obtain a motorcycle license.
- Pass the following tests:
- Motorcycle written knowledge exam IF you have an out-of-state learner’s license or permit and would like to transfer to an unrestricted, Texas motorcycle license.
- Motorcycle road skills test IF you’re younger than 18 years old
- Pay all applicable Texas motorcycle licensing fees
Texas Motorcycle License Eligibility
In Texas, to be eligible for a Class M motorcycle license, you are required to:
- Be at least 15 years old
- Either take an in-class driver’s ed course (32 hours) for a Class C license or already hold a TX Class C driver’s license or learner’s license
- Enroll in a motorcycle safety education course that is approved by the Texas DPS
If you’re younger than 18 years old, you will also have to:
- Earn your learner’s license with a J restriction by passing the motorcycle written knowledge exam
- Pass the DPS’ motorcycle road skills exam (to remove the J restriction)
Once you meet the eligibility requirements listed above, you can visit your local TX DPS driver’s licensing office and apply for your TX motorcycle license.
Texas Motorcycle License Restrictions
Your age determines the types of restrictions that are placed on your Class M motorcycle license.
- J Restriction: Applicants who are younger than 18 years old may only ride a motorcycle while supervised by someone who is at least 21 years old and holds a Texas motorcycle license. The restriction is removed once you pass the DPS motorcycle road skills test.
- I Restriction: Applicants who are younger than 16 years old are restricted to riding motorcycles displacing 250 ccs or less. This restriction can be removed once you turn 16 years old.
Obtaining Your Texas Motorcycle License
Once you are eligible, you can visit your local TX DPS driver’s office license and do the following:
- Submit your motorcycle safety course completion certificate
- Provide any of the following:
- Provisional Class C license
- Certificate of driver’s education completion
- Class C learner’s license
- Show proof of:
- Texas residency and legal presence (Click here for a list of acceptable documentation)
- Pay the necessary Texas motorcycle licensing fees
If you’re between 15 and 17 years old, you are required to bring your parent or legal guardian, and:
- Present a Verification of Enrollment and Attendance (Form VOE) from your high school
- Pass the motorcycle road skills test
After completing these steps, you will receive your unrestricted Class M motorcycle license. Your license is valid for 6 years, UNLESS you are under 18 years old, then your Class M license will expire once you turn 18 years old.
Motorcycle Education in Texas
Completing a motorcycle safety course is required for all Texas motorcycle license applicants. If you’re between 15 and 17 years old, BEFORE you enroll in a motorcycle safety course, you must already have any of the following:
- Class C learner’s license
- Certificate of completion for standard classroom driver’s ed
- Provisional driver’s license
If you’re at least 18 years old and hold a valid Texas driver’s license, completing a motorcycle education course will allow you to waive the TX DPS motorcycle written and road exams.
Regardless of your age, completing a Texas motorcycle safety course can be beneficial, enabling you to learn different skills, such as:
- Avoiding dangerous situations and riding behaviors
- Basic motorcycle handling (turning and stopping)
- Dealing with emergencies
- Choosing the most protective clothing
Fees for Texas Motorcycle Licenses
The fees that are associated with obtaining your Class M motorcycle license in Texas are as follows:
- Motorcycle license only for applicants who are:
- At least 18 years old: $33
- Younger than 18 years old: $16
- Addition of Class M to your current license: $16
Transferring an Out-of-State Motorcycle License
To transfer your out-of-state motorcycle license, you must visit your TX DMV with your existing motorcycle license or endorsement and proper identification. You must also pass a knowledge test and a vision test. Once you pay the applicable Texas motorcycle license fees, you will be able to transfer your out-of-state motorcycle license.
If you have a motorcycle endorsement or motorcycle license that is expired, the rules for transferring the endorsement depend on the length of its expiration. You may be required to apply for a new endorsement or license, which requires you to pass the Texas knowledge and road tests, and any state-approved motorcycle courses that are required. Be advised that you can’t transfer a motorcycle license for a driver’s license.
Texas DMV Locations
There are different DMV locations across the state of Texas where you can apply for a new driver’s license. Here are different TX DMV locations.
Texas Department of Motor Vehicle Locations – Houston Branch
2110 E Governors Cir.
Houston, TX 77092
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)
Texas Department of Motor Vehicle Locations – Austin Branch
125 E 11th Street
Austin, TX 78701
Monday-Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)
Texas Department of Motor Vehicle Locations – Lubbock Branch
1404 Lubbock Business Park Blvd.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Tuesday (8 AM – 5 PM)