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Driver's License Information

Getting a Texas Driver's License

(you do not need a letter from the ISO verifying your enrollment to get or renew a Texas DL)

The issuing of drivers' licenses in Texas comes under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)  The Texas Drivers Handbook states that an individual can legally drive with a valid, unexpired driver license from another state or country for up to 90 days after moving to Texas.

What you are required to do to get a license depends upon your age.

If you are under age 25: you will first have to take the 6-hour Texas Adult Driver Education course. This course can be taken on-line. Here is the web site of one provider. There are several different companies that offer the course, but when you pass the final test, this provider will send you a certificate in the mail that excuses you from having to take the written test at the DPS Testing Station.

Take the certificate to the testing station along with the other documents listed below. You will have to take a vision test at the testing station.

If you are 25 or older: go directly to a DPS Testing Station. The Irving station is located at 1003 West Sixth Street, Irving, TX 75060 at Mac Arthur Blvd. (Go to the DPS web site to find other testing stations in the Metroplex.) There you will have to take the written test of Texas driving rules and a vision test.  Click here to access Texas Driver's Handbook


Limited Term License

International students are classified as temporary visitors.  Those who meet the requirements will be issued a driver license or ID card with Limited Term printed on it. The driver license or ID card will expire when the period of lawful presence expires. If the period of lawful presence is duration of status then the driver license or ID card will expire in one year or the end of your academic program, whichever is sooner. 

Requirements to Apply for the  License

  • Proof of identity - Bring your passport
  • Social Security Card - You must explain that you are an F-1 student and that you don't yet have an SSN and are not able to apply for one at the present time. You will be given an affidavit to sign affirming that you do not have an SSN.
  • Proof of Lawful presence in the US: Bring your I-20 and I-94 - print one from the I-94 web site 

Proof of Texas residency: Bring 2 of the following 

    • a residential rental/lease agreement*
    • Utility statement (including electric, water, natural gas, satellite TV, cable TV or noncellular phone bill) dated within 90 days of the date of application*
    • Current automobile insurance policy or an automobile insurance statement
    • Mail from financial institutions; including checking, savings, investment account and credit card statements dated within 90 days of the date of application

*If you do not have one of these because you are living in someone else's home, the International Student Services Office can provide you a letter to verify your address.

You will then be directed to either take the written test or be permitted to take just a vision exam (if you have a certificate from the 6-hour course described above or have a license from another US state) and sign up for the driving skills test. 

Requirements for the Driving Skills Test

Things You'll Need

Verification of insurance
Vehicle in good mechanical condition
Vehicle with valid registration and inspection
Proper identification

  1. Bring a vehicle for the driving test. The vehicle must have proof of liability insurance, have a valid inspection certificate (on the windshield) and pass inspection by the examiner before the driving test is given.
  2. Follow the examiner's instructions. The examiner will not try to trick you by asking you to do anything that is against the law.
  3. Control your vehicle safely and as directed by the examiner. You must understand and follow all traffic signs, be able to come to a quick stop without skidding the tires, parallel park and back the vehicle safely approximately 50 feet.
  4. Observe the other traffic and other conditions around you that might cause problems while you are driving. The examiner needs to see you looking in your mirrors often, watching for other drivers.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to stay in your lane of traffic. When approaching intersections, slow down and look both ways even if you do not have to stop. Passing and changing lanes are allowed if you can perform the maneuvers safely.
  6. Show your ability to use turn signals appropriately. Remember to use turn signals as directed in the Texas Driver's Handbook.
  7. Complete the driving test. The examiner will explain the errors made and how to correct them. A written record of your driving test will be given to you.

 Renewing License during Optional Practical Training (OPT)

You will need to have received your Employment Authorization Document (the EAD) in order to renew your license.  Unfortunately, at the present time, Texas DPS does not include the 60-day grace period (following OPT) when renewing licenses.