Hardship License For Texas 15-Year-Olds

If you are not quite old enough to legally drive a car in Texas, you still might qualify for what is called a ‘hardship license.’ Under Texas state law some young people (minimum 15 years old) qualify for a legitimate driver’s license if they have an actual important reason for having one. There are four specific criteria for obtaining a hardship driver’s license:

Texas Driving School

Texas Driving School

  1. The applicant’s family faces an unusual economic hardship and is being deprived of the basic necessities of life.
  2. The applicant has an ill family member who needs transportation to medical treatment or the applicant must drive in her place to keep the household running.
  3. The applicant is enrolled in a vocational educational program.
  4. An immediate family member has died and remaining family members need him to drive temporarily to carry on household routines

A hardship driver’s license is issued based on the needs of the driver and their family. There are certain restrictions which apply to the person who is given a hardship license, including that they only use the vehicle for very specific purposes and at certain times. This means if you are given a hardship license to go to school or work, then that had better be the only time you use it. If you are caught by police using the vehicle for purposes other than those approved by your hardship license, you not only risk losing your hardship license but also run the risk of losing your regular driving privileges when you become eligible for them.

To download the hardship application, click on the link below:

TX Department of Public Safety – Minor’s Restricted Drivers License Application

The best bet is to follow the guidelines as explained in Texas state law. The Texas Driver’s Handbook includes all of the latest Texas road rules and is a great resource for all things that relate to driving in the State of Texas.

Drive defensively, always follow all posted traffic signs and wear your seat belt. That will keep you on the right side of the law and keep you in good standing with the requirements of your hardship license.

To learn more about defensive driving, check out our TX TEA approved Driver Safety Course.

Texas Learners License – First Time License for Teens

Getting a Texas learner license allows first time drivers the opportunity to actually practice driving prior to getting a provisional Texas drivers license. When holding a Texas Learner Permit, an adult age 21 or older must drive with you at all times and sit in the front passenger seat.  The Texas Learners License is valid until you turn 18 years old.

To apply for a Texas Learners License, Texas teens must:

Bring all of the above-listed required documentation to a driver license office along with the following:

  1. Your parent/legal guardian
  2. Proof meeting of Texas drivers ed requirements.  If you took the Parent-Taught Driver Education (PTDE) course, you will need the following:
  • Form DE-964, Texas Drivers Education Certificate
  • Form DL-90A, Classroom Instruction Driver Education Affidavit

To learn more about defensive driving, check out our TX TEA approved Driver Safety Course

Online Defensive Driving and Traffic School Courses

24 Responses to “Hardship License For Texas 15-Year-Olds”

  1. Austin says:

    If I have a job and go to school and do not have transportation to work, do you think I would get approved for a hardship license? If so, would I only be able to drive to work. I am 15 and would like to help my mother with our home.

    • Joshuas says:


      Vocational education, such as attending a college or university, will always supersede your needs as a 15 year old for having to work. However, lets say you were to stop working right now for instance. If your unemployment directly resulted in your families inability to sustain themselves physically and emotionally, then you would definitely be eligible for a hardship license.

      Before you apply for a hardship license, ask yourself how important your are to the integrity of your household. Would your absence from the family prevent or make it very difficult for the walls of your home to stay standing?

      The application for a hardship license can be found in the body of the article above.


  2. Dakoda says:

    My mother and I live alone. I am in need of transportation to school and back so that I may help my mother with our household. At the moment I am having my mother drop me off to school before she goes to work, but this has become a hassle because she works on the opposite side of town. And after school i usually hitch a ride from a peer or ride the city bus to my moms work until she can get off. Also I plan on getting a job to help my mother out with bills as she can only work part time due to her returning to school to become an RN. Would i be eligible for a Hardship License to get back and forth to school and work?

    • Joshuas says:


      Obtaining a hardship license shouldn’t be an issue based upon your situation above. Due to your mother’s necessity for higher education, while simultaneously working “…on the opposite side of town,” a hardship license would allow for you to drive to and from school. Therefore, increasing your mother’s capability to pursue goals resulting in a higher income, as you would no longer be restricting her growth.

      The application for a hardship license can be found in the body of the article above.


  3. Madelyn says:

    Me, my mother, and three sisters live in a city, but they go to school in a different city. Would i be eligible for a hardship license to take them to school, considering the fact my mom works all night and doesnt get home until we’re already at school, and their school busses won’t run to our house because they go to a completely different school district.

    • Joshuas says:


      Obtaining a hardship license for this reason would be acceptable. You must remember, however, that if you are caught by the police driving your vehicle outside of the parameters of going to and from school, you may have your license suspended or revoked. Failure to use a hardship license correctly will result in complications when it comes to receiving your actual driver’s license in the future. Just letting you know!

      The application for a hardship license can be found in the body of the article above.


  4. Logan says:

    Me my mom and my two other siblings live in a city and go to different schools and my mom works 30 minutes away and has to be at work by 7:00 and we all go to school at different times and we always have to leave the house in a hassle so I can get a hardship I can drive my siblings to school so my mom is not late and I can also go to work and shopping for food when my mom is busy is this a good reason to get a hardships license

    • Joshuas says:


      Justification for a hardship license will usually include an unusual financial predicament. If not having a hardship license is preventing you from continuing/pursing a vocational education, then that would also be a valid justification. If receiving a hardship license results in your mother being able to earn more for the family, therefore lowering the households economic hardship, then your reasons should be fine for a hardship application.

      This website has a little bit further insight on receiving a hardship license: http://www.hardshipdriverslicense.com/texas

      The application for a hardship license can be found in the body of the article above.


  5. Haley says:

    I live with my mother and two sisters and I have to Walk my sisters to school in the morning and then get a ride from the bus to go to school then come back and walk and get my sisters and my mom doesn’t come home till late Would I qualify to get a hardship to drive myself and my sisters to and from school and I’m also looking for a job but that would be a hassle because my moms always at work and I would have no way to get there.

    • Joshuas says:


      This scenario does not sound like something that would qualify you for a hardship license, since you and your sisters are still able to attend school without one. If your mother is unable financially to sustain the family and requires your assistance in the form of you having a job, then you might very well qualify for a hardship license.

      The application for a hardship license can be found in the body of the article above.


  6. Marcus says:

    Im currently in school playing baseball. i have practice everyday of the week except sundays, along with baseball lessons and work to get to everyday after school. both my parents work and its hard for them to leave work to get me where i need to be. I’m currently 16. am i eligible for a hardship?

    • Joshuas says:


      Based upon the above scenario, you will not be eligible for a hardship license. The best course of action for you to take would instead be obtaining your permit prior to completing the test to receive your driver’s license.

      Please follow this link to a Texas Department of Public Safety website specializing in the procedures taken to receive your learner’s permit through a school: http://www4.esc13.net/drivers/courses-drivers/drivers-education/de-traditional-locations-a/

      Please follow this link to a Texas Department of Public Safety website specializing in the procedures required in parent-taught driver education: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/driverlicense/parenttaught.htm


  7. jessica says:

    My father isn’t legally allowed to see me, my mom has sever lupus and can drive but all daily tasks and shopping for necessities is very hard for her. My mom has to leave for work very early in order to provide for my brother and I. it has been very hard for me to get to school I have been having to ask friends and it is a hassle for them. my moms job has just recently required her -to stay late so I have to stay and wait after school for several hours. Very soon I will have no way to get to school. I am almost 15 and will be getting my permit as soon as possible. Do you think I am eligible to get a hardship license?

    • Joshuas says:


      The situation you describe falls perfectly into the criteria for eligibility of a hardship license!

      Please fill out the application for a hardship license, which can be found in the body of the article above.


  8. Ashlynn says:

    I’m the oldest sibling in my family, I’m 15, and my parents work everyday 7-5 and I need transportation to and from school. They make I guess normal income but it’s a real hassle for my family, and the bus isn’t in range to pick us up (I live in the country, it’s complicated) Am I eligible? It’d take a lot of the weight off my family’s shoulders. I have my permit, though!

    • Joshuas says:


      I hope you are having a nice day so far!

      Since your situation is negatively influencing your ability to effectively attend vocational education, you meet the criteria for a Hardship License. In the “Details & Justification” section, located at the top of the second page on the H. License document that you will be filling out, be sure to elaborate on the counties lack of affording you suitable bus transportation.

      The Texas Department of Public Safety acknowledges, like most do, how high of a priority accessible education is to the public. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Adhere to the rules accompanied with a H. License AT ALL TIMES. The penalties for violating Hardship License regulations, will still have adverse lasting effects even after you obtain your Driver’s License.

      Follow this link to your Hardship License application: http://www.dps.texas.gov/internetforms/Forms/DL-77.pdf

      If you require any additional assistance, please feel free to continue the conversation!


  9. Jeffrey Poff says:

    Im 19 and im living at a friends with her mom and brother. I wasn’t able to get any help from my parents to get a drivers license. Im working and i cant get rides from people anymore cause they’re busy with working out of town. I help pay for things around the house like rent and food. I just graduated from school but i need transportation to work. If i lose my job due to no transportation the bills wont be payed. Will i be accepted for a hardship license?

    • Joshuas says:


      A hardship license is a preliminary certification to drive prior to receiving your driver’s license. Unfortunately, you are too old to apply for a hardship license. Age restrictions will prevent your hardship application from getting accepted.

      Best of Luck,


  10. Natalie says:

    My mom works mornings for 6 to 6. She is gone before school starts. I have a younger brother and sister but in April I also had a baby of my own. In order to continue school I would have to get my son to daycare and find a way to get myself, brother and sister to school. Its atleast a two mile walk to school and much farther to get to the daycare. Would I be eligible.?

  11. Joshuas says:


    From what I can ascertain, you are taking on most of the responsibilities of a parent while also being one. You would be eligible for a hardship license because it would drastically increase the sustainability and integrity of your family. Do not abuse this responsibility of holding a hardship license. You will face times of peer-pressure from your friends to have you drive them around. Don’t do it. Violating hardship license regulations will result in lasting repercussions.

    Copy and paste this link into your web browser to print off the hardship license application:

    Best Wishes,


  12. Lauryn says:

    I am 15 and my mom has foster kids that go to school in the city we live in and my school is in another city and there is no bus or transportation for me and I don’t have transportation for my job could I get a hardship?

  13. Joshuas says:


    If the above scenario accurately describes your current situation, then you are eligible for a hardship license since your vocational education is being impeded.

    Best of luck on your hardship application!


  14. Miami says:

    I will be turning 15 within a few days. I go to the international baccalaureate program at a school almost 20 miles from my house. I’ve looked into it and it is a “vocational school.” My father has odd work hours and is active most of the day as he owns a business, and my mother has microscopic polyangiitis, making certain day to day activities, such as the one-way 40 minute commute in traffic to take me to school, difficult for her. She spends an average of over 2 hours in the car everyday to take me to and from school and theatre rehearsals. Getting a hardships permit would mean almost half as much gas money for my now struggling family and avoid her the hassle of such a long commute in morning and afternoon traffic. Would I be elligible?

    • Joshuas says:


      If your access to education, vocational schooling, is impeded by adverse fiscal or health situations, then you are eligible for a hardship license. Based upon the scenario you have presented, it is plain to see that you meet the requirements for hardship license issuance!

      Copy and paste this link into your web browser to print off the hardship license application:

      Wishing you the best of luck!


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