Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program

September 28, 2020

The Graduated Driver License (GDL) program was implemented January 1, 2002 to allow new drivers the chance to improve their driving skills over time in lower-risk environments.

Phase One (Learner License)

Individuals who are under 18 years of age must hold a valid learner license or a minor restricted driver license (MRDL) (also known as a hardship license) for a minimum of six months prior to the issuance of a provisional Class C driver license. Under the GDL program, there is not a minimum time a person must hold a restricted motorcycle license before he/she can apply for a Class M license.

Individuals transferring/presenting a valid out-of-state learner license but not able to provide proof of successfully completing a teen driver education course, will be issued a Texas learner license. The Texas learner license must be held for 6 months or until the age of 18, whichever comes first, regardless of how long a learner license was held in another state.

If a learner license is suspended during Phase One, the initial six-month period increases by the number of days of the suspension due to the license being invalid during that time.

NOTE: Phase One does not apply to Class M holders.

Phase Two (Provisional License)

Phase Two restricts the driving privileges of individuals who are under 18 years of age.

Once the applicant has held a valid learner license or hardship license for a minimum of six months, reached the age of 16, completed both the classroom and behind-the-wheel portions of driver education, and completed the Impact Texas Drivers (ITD) requirement, they are eligible to take the driving test for their provisional license and "graduate" to Phase Two of the Graduated Driver License Program.

Individuals at least 16 years of age that transfer/present a valid out-of-state learner license and proof of successful completion of a teen driver education course will be eligible to take the driving test. Upon completing the required Impact Texas Drivers (ITD) Video and receiving a passing score on the driving test the minor may be issued a provisional license.

If you are between 16 -17 years of age and are transferring/presenting a provisional driver license, you will be issued a Texas provisional driver license.

These individuals may not drive a motor vehicle:

  1. With more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not a family member.
  2. Between midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless the operation of the vehicle is necessary for the driver to work, to attend or participate in a school-related activity, or due to a medical emergency.

Individuals who are under 18 years of age are restricted from using a wireless communication device, including a hands-free device, until they reach the age of 18, except in the case of an emergency.