As is the case in many other states, Texas has specific laws geared towards teen drivers. For example, teenagers are subject to graduating driving privileges, which means that, as they get older, they are given more driving freedom and subject to fewer driving restrictions. This multi-stage process of teaching teens how to drive is designed to give them the practice and tools they need to safely navigate the roads when they come of age. Through this system, Texas teens gain exposure to various complex driving situations, easing them into full-time driving over the course of a year. Given how dangerous Texas highways are, it is imperative all teens go through this process and are given the necessary time to feel comfortable behind the wheel of a car. If we are going to see a decrease in the number of car accidents that take place in our great state, we must begin by teaching our young drivers how to stay safe and to keep other drivers in mind.
Understanding The Texas Driver’s License Process for Teens
In Texas, minors will acquire three different types of driver’s licenses, all of which will give them various driving privileges. These license types are as follows:
Texas minors who are at least 15 years old and have completed the required driver education training can apply for a learner license. This is the first step in the process for Texas teen drivers. Once they have a learner license, they will be able to drive while supervised by someone who is at least 21 years of age and has a driver’s license. This is intended to give young drivers the necessary experience to understand the laws of the road and feel comfortable behind the wheel. A teen’s learner license will expire on their 18th birthday.
Minor Restricted Driver License (MRDL)
The second license teen drivers can obtain is a minor restricted driver license, also known as a “hardship license.” This license is valid for one year (it expires on the teen’s next birthday) and is available to all individuals who meet the basic qualifying criteria. In most cases, individuals who are at least 15 years old, meet Texas driver education requirements, demonstrate a need to drive based on hardship or a different qualifying factor, and meet all standard licensing criteria are eligible. With this license, minors are able to drive to and from school and/or their place of work.
Last but certainly not least, a provisional license is available to all minors and expires on the applicant’s 18th birthday. With this license, teen drivers no longer require adult supervision when driving. That being said, they must still adhere to a curfew and passenger limitations, which state they cannot:
● Drive between midnight and 5 a.m. (unless it is an emergency)
● Have more than one passenger under the age of 21 who is not part of their family
● Use a cell phone or other wireless device when driving
If your teen driver has been in an accident, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Rad Law Firm. We will go over your case with you and advise you on how to proceed from here. We understand how stressful it can be to give your teen driver the keys, but together we can work to make our roads safer for everyone.