The following information applies to individuals who are transferring a valid out of state driver license and/or applying for a new Texas driver license or identification (ID) card. Select the following link for a complete list of requirements and more information on how to apply for a Texas driver license.
How to apply for a Texas driver license
You may use our interactive REAL ID Document Check Application to assist in preparing you for your driver license office visit. Just follow the steps, and at the end, you will have a customized checklist of the documents to bring for your visit.
Transferring an Out of State Driver License to Texas
New Texas residents can legally drive with a valid, unexpired driver license from another U.S. state, U.S. territory, Canadian province, or qualifying country for up to 90 days after moving to Texas.
Prior to the end of the 90 day grace period, a new Texas resident must apply for a Texas license in person at any driver license office to continue to drive legally. When applying for the new Texas license the individual must surrender any unexpired driver license in their possession from another U.S. state, U.S. territory or a Canadian province.
For more information on general reciprocal driving provisions, please review the Driving Privilege Reciprocity page.
Adults (18 and Older)
Applicants who have a valid, unexpired driver license from another U.S. state, U.S. territory, or from Canada must surrender their out of state/country driver license and are not required to take the knowledge or skills exams. Texas also has license issuance reciprocity with France, Germany, South Korea, and Taiwan only. Applicants who have a valid, unexpired driver license from one of these countries are not required to take the knowledge or skills exams if they surrender their out of country driver license. However, if the applicant does not wish to surrender their out of country driver license, they must take and pass all required exams. The reciprocity only applies to passenger vehicles, not commercial vehicles or motorcycles. Foreign licenses not in English or Spanish will need to have a translation service or their consulate translate the information on the driver license prior to arriving. This translation requirement also applies for marriage licenses.
Applicants who have a valid, unexpired learner license from another U.S. state or U.S. territory, or Canada, France, South Korea, Germany or Taiwan and are applying for a Texas learner license, do not have to take the knowledge exam. Upon advancing from a learner license to a driver license, individuals must complete the Impact Texas Driver course and pass the skills exam. Individuals under 25 years of age must also complete driver education.
Applicants who have a driver license from any country other than the U.S., Canada, France, South Korea, Germany or Taiwan must take and pass both the knowledge and skills exams. Visit How to Apply for a Texas Driver License for a complete list of requirements and more information on applying for a Texas driver license.
Over 18 moving to Texas will require proof of:
- Identity (a valid out of state license can be used as a supporting document)
- Citizenship or lawful presence
- Social security number
- Evidence of Texas Vehicle Registration* for each vehicle you own. Registration must be current. Visit Texas DMV vehicle registration for more information. (New Residents who are surrendering an out-of-state driver license only)
- Proof of Insurance* for each vehicle you own
*If you do not own a vehicle, you will sign a statement affirming this.
Skills and knowledge exams are waived for applicants 18 and older who hold a valid out of state driver license, as are the ITD and adult driver education requirements.
Minors (Under 18)
Applicants under 18 who have a valid driver license or valid learner license from another U.S. state, U.S. territory or Canadian province do not have to take the knowledge exam. Applicants who surrender a valid license/permit from another state will be issued the equivalent Texas version of the document surrendered (i.e. a Texas learner license for another state's learner license).
Applicants under 18 from a country other than the U.S. or Canada are required to take and pass the knowledge exam. This includes France, South Korea, Germany and Taiwan because the reciprocity agreement with these countries does not apply to minors.
Note: Texas law requires that anyone issued a Texas learner license must hold that license for at least six (6) months or until he/she is 18 years of age, whichever is earlier. If a learner license/permit is exchanged for a Texas learner license, it must be held for 6 months. No credit is given for prior months the applicant held their permit from another state.
All applicants under 18 must take the skills exam even if they hold a valid driver license from another state or country. Please visit How to apply for a Texas Driver License as a Teen for all requirements and more information on driver licenses issued to Teen drivers.
Active Duty and Recently Discharged Military
U.S. military personnel on active duty or individuals discharged within the last 90 days with an expired driver license from another state may be exempt from the knowledge exam and skills exams.
To qualify for the exemption, applicants:
- Must present a valid military ID, and
- Provide proof that the state which issued the driver license has a military extension policy for which the individual qualifies. (The individual must contact the issuing state for correct documents). Visit our webpage on How to apply for a Driver License for a complete list of requirements and more information on how to apply for a Texas driver license.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
Applicants who are a member of a force or civilian component of a NATO country and present orders validating their status are exempt from the knowledge and skills exams for the same or lower class of license.
Obtaining a Texas Identification (ID) card
New Texas residents who want to apply for a Texas ID card must meet all of the requirements for a Texas ID card, including proof of Texas residency and identification requirements. Select the following link for a complete list of requirements and more information on how to apply for a Texas identification card.