Car Accidents

Teen Driving Laws in Texas

Posted by: Kemmy Law Firm

The driving laws for teen drivers in Texas are different from those of adult drivers. With less experience, teen drivers need to follow specific rules and regulations if they hope to remain licensed and eventually go on to obtain an official Texas driver’s license.

What is the Legal Age to Drive?

According to Texas driving laws and the Texas Department of Public Safety, teens who reach the age of 15 are eligible to obtain a learners license if they are enrolled in a graduated driver licensing (GDL) program.

However, before your teen can obtain a provisional license, they must have earned their learner license for a minimum of six months. They also must have completed the terms of the GDL program, including passing a written exam. The provisional license is available once a teen driver reaches the age of 16.

What is the Graduated License Program?

The Texas Graduated License Program is an opportunity for teen drivers to learn the rules of the roads and gain driving experience in a safe environment before they are eligible for and can be granted full driving privileges. There are three stages of the GDL program including:

  • Obtaining a learner’s license via safe driving experience, supervised driving, and a driving test
  • Obtaining a provisional license with unsupervised driving and opportunities to address driving in potentially high-risk situations
  • Obtaining a standard driver’s license that does not have any restrictions or provisions

Here is more:

Learner License

Any driver under the age of 18 is required to obtain a learner license before a provisional license or a standard driver’s license—both are available beginning at age 15. You must have your learners license for a minimum of six months before the state issues your teen a provisional driver’s license.

To be granted a learner’s license, teen drivers are required to pass a vision test, a sign recognition test, and a written test that gauges the teen’s knowledge of state driving and traffic rules and regulations.

Teens who are awarded a learner’s license can drive supervised with a licensed adult driver who is at least 21 years old. The adult driver must also sit in the front seat to comply with Texas teen driving laws.

Provisional License

Provisional licenses are available for teen drivers under 18 who have previously earned a learner license. Your teen driver must have held a learner license for a minimum of six months to qualify.

Teens hoping to earn a provisional license must be at least 16 years old and have completed the driving and classroom instruction of a driver’s education program. Provisional licenses can only be granted once a teen driver has completed the Impact Texas Drivers (ITD) requirement and officially graduated the GDL program.

Provisional licenses require a minimum of 30 hours of supervised driving instruction and a minimum of 32 hours of educational instruction within a classroom. The requirements associated with a provisional license include:

  • Only operating a vehicle between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. unless it is necessary for medical reasons, emergency reasons, or to drive to work or a school-related event
  • Being prohibited from driving with more than one passenger under 21
  • Being prohibited from using any type of electronic communication device, including hands-free devices, unless there is an emergency, until reaching the age of 18, at which point the state’s standard driver’s license rules and regulations apply

Penalties for Violating Teen Driving Laws in Texas

If convicted of a traffic offense or found guilty of refusing to follow the license restrictions in question, teen drivers may find their driving privileges suspended or revoked.

Teen drivers may also be fined and face additional criminal charges depending on the circumstances of their case. For instance, if a teen driver is accused of having even a small amount of alcohol in their system when stopped by police, they could face charges for underage drinking, which carry harsh criminal penalties if convicted.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Texas for Help Today

Car accidents involving teen drivers are increasingly common. If your teen has been involved in a collision caused by someone else’s negligence, they are at risk for being taken advantage of.

You could take steps to protect them and ensure your teen is compensated for their damages when you contact a dedicated Texas car accident lawyer at Kemmy Law Firm for help. Schedule your free consultation today when you complete our quick contact form or call our office at 210-750-1019.

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