The right to drive a motorized vehicle is something most take for granted. They just assume that anyone can jump in a car and take off down the road. This is not the case. Everyone who is on the road in Texas needs to be licensed to drive.
If caught behind the wheel without proper authorization, you can be jailed. Now, hopefully that got your attention. So, before you decide to drive in the Lone Star State make sure that you are eligible to do so.
Following are some considerations the authorities use to decide just who can drive in Texas.
Age of the Driver
The state is fair with young people. In general, anyone over the age of 18 can apply for a standard adult license. If under this limit, you can get a provisional license, only if have driven under a learner’s permit for at least six months.
A 16-year-old can hold a Texas license only if they have the right to drive in another state. Of course, they must pass the full state driving test to qualify for this reciprocity arrangement.
You can begin taking driver education at age 14 and then the next year apply for a learner’s permit.
If 15-years-old and in need of a full license in order to get to work, school or care for a family member, then you can request a Minor Restricted Driver License (MRDL), better known as a hardship license. If given this special permit, you can only drive within the bonds set by the issuing authority. For example, if you claim you need to drive to work, you can only be in the car to and from the job. If caught having driven to a party, for example, you could lose the license.
It is highly recommended that anyone who wants to be a safe driver take a TX Driving Safety Course, regardless of age.
Mental and Physical Ability
People whose mental capacity negatively affects their ability to drive will not be given a license. Texas reserves the right to withhold licenses for those with diminished mental skills or anyone who is prone to frequent seizures. Likewise, a person whose vision makes them a threat as a driver cannot expect to receive a license here.
Drivers who have been ticketed multiple times or caught making a serious traffic mistake that puts lives in danger can have their licenses suspended. This punishment is especially becoming common for those arrested on charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Drivers can petition a suspended license if they feel the punishment creates an undue hardship. Perhaps they need to driver an elderly parent to receive medical treatment, for example. The state may grant relief for this sort of reason.
As a border jurisdiction, Texas deals with many foreign drivers. The authorities recognize foreign licenses for up to 90 days. After that, a new resident must apply for a Texas-issued license.
If you are a commercial driver, you must be from Canada or Mexico. Other commercial licenses are not recognized within Texas.
Start Driving in the Lone Star State
Now that you know whether you can drive here, it is time to get started. If need be, take any exams or courses to get the required permission.
This is a beautiful region. Enjoy the wide-open spaces along the roads. And, as always be safe.