How to Start the Texas Graduated Driver’s License Program

How to Start the Texas Graduated Driver’s License Program

Texas, like most states, implemented the GDL program with the goal of reducing fatal traffic accidents involving teens. The program is very effective because it allows new driver’s more time to develop important skills and defensive driving techniques that they need to stay safe on the road. The system has three steps that start at age 15 and continue until age 18.

Age 15

If you are enrolled in a certified driver education course, you can apply for your learner’s permit by taking and passing a knowledge and vision test as well as a sign recognition test.

While you have the permit, you may only operate a moving vehicle when you are accompanied by your driving supervisor. Your supervisor must be a licensed driver age 21 or older who has been licensed for more than one year. You will have the permit for at least six months while you accumulate at least 30 hours of driving experience with ten of those hours being driven at night.

Age 16

After having your permit for at least 180 days, you are eligible for your intermediate license that has nighttime and passenger restrictions that must be obeyed.

You are not allowed to drive after midnight or before 5:00 a.m. unless your driving supervisor is in the front passenger seat
You may not have more than 1 person in your vehicle who is under the age of 21 unless they are a member of your immediate family
You may not use a cell phone at all when you are operating a vehicle

Age 18

You are eligible for full driving privileges and an unrestricted license at age 18 if you successfully completed the intermediate phase of the GDL.

Be aware that driver’s education must be completed by anyone under the age of 18 before an unrestricted license will be given.

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