Texas Drivers Education Online

Written by Michael Purser

The state of Texas requires all new motorists under the age of 25 to complete an approved driver education program. Fortunately, the Lone Star State gives you plenty of options — including online drivers ed. Find out how to prepare for your first license with a state-approved online driver education course.

Education Requirements for First-Time Motorists

Adults between 18 and 24 must complete six hours of driver education to get their license. Teens under 18 must take a much longer 32-hour program and complete 44 hours of behind-the-wheel practice with an eligible parent/guardian or driving school instructor.

Texans can start a driving school program as young as 14 but cannot obtain a learner license until age 15. You can only sign up if you are currently enrolled in school or have already obtained your high school diploma/GED. All state-approved courses provide 32 hours of instruction on traffic laws, driving skills, vehicle operation and safety principles.

Adults benefit from abbreviated first-time requirements. Adult drivers ed covers many of the same topics as the teen course but isn't as comprehensive. If you don't think you can learn everything you need to know about driving in just six hours, you can still choose a 32-hour program.

New motorists who are 25 and older are not legally required to complete an instruction course. However, doing so is strongly encouraged.

Online Options

Texas doesn't have a one-size-fits-all solution for training new motorists. To meet the various needs of students, the Lone Star State allows for in-school classes, third-party classroom instructors and online driving school.

SafeMotorist offers three online drivers ed courses approved by the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration (TDLR). We make it easy to choose the online course that is right for you. Our programs are tailored to your unique needs, but all share the same benefits, including:

  • Online instruction that's accessible 24/7
  • Automatic progress saving so you can start and stop lessons at any time without losing your place
  • 100% online, mobile-friendly lessons you can study at your own pace
  • Online tests and quizzes — no in-person testing

Learn online to avoid commuting to a classroom, changing your schedule or worrying about attendance. Just sit down, pick the course that works best for you and start learning.


If you're a teen who wants to get your learner's permit online with the help of a parent or guardian, our Parent-Taught Drivers Ed (PTDE) program is the perfect choice. This driving school course includes 32 hours of instruction and 44 hours of parent-led behind-the-wheel practice.

Before you start, your parent, guardian or other chosen adult instructor will need to submit a PTDE request and wait for the TDLR to approve.

After you complete the first lesson module, you can take the knowledge test to receive your DE-964 certificate. Then you can apply for your learner's permit at the nearest Department of Public Safety (DPS) licensing office.

Finish the remaining 26 hours of instruction, finish your behind-the-wheel practice, wait six months and then you can apply for your license!


If you prefer to take matters into your own hands, enroll in our Self-Taught Drivers Ed course. Just like students who choose the parent-taught course, you can apply for your permit as soon as you complete the first six hours of instruction, pass the permit knowledge test and receive your DE-964 certificate.

Enjoy self-guided classroom instruction at your own pace in this driving school program without an accompanying adult. You can complete all 32 hours across all 12 modules on your own. Pass the quizzes and complete the exam at your leisure.

After completing this portion of your education, you still need 44 hours of supervised practice. That means you will need to either recruit a parent/guardian or sign up for behind-the-wheel training with a certified instructor at a commercial driving school.


Once you turn 18, you can skip the 32-hour course in favor of a Texas Adult Drivers Ed course. This six-hour primer offers foundational lessons in right of way, traffic control devices, cooperating with others on the road, impaired driving and managing risk.

It doesn't cover every topic found in the teen driving courses, but it will help you get your bearings behind the wheel and prepare you for your first license. If you want a more comprehensive education, you can still choose the self-taught option.

Once you finish the lessons and pass the test, you can schedule your license appointment at the nearest DPS licensing office.

Everything Else You Need

By the time you complete your chosen course, you're most of the way through the licensing process. There are a few more steps before you get your license in the mail. And teens have to do even more. The provisional license is part of the Texas graduated license (GDL) program.

Whether you are applying for your full or provisional license, you must complete the Impact Texas Drivers (ITD) Program. You must pass a written knowledge exam and a road skills test. There is also a vision exam.

For paperwork, you will need to fill out a license application before your appointment, pay a fee, provide your thumbprints, have your picture taken and produce documents that prove your:

  • U.S. citizenship or lawful presence
  • Texas residency
  • Identity
  • Social Security number

Failure to do any of the above will result in more appointments and might require repeat tests or additional fees. Come prepared.

While our convenient Texas online drivers ed courses can't solve the paperwork headaches that come with applying for a license, they will make it easy to satisfy the driver education requirement and start practicing. Start learning today — the open road awaits!