Getting your valid driver’s license or learner’s license in Texas takes more than passing driver’s ed and turning in a certificate of completion from your adult driver’s education course. To get your Texas driver’s license, you will be required to give your local driver’s license office a few documents that prove you are who you say you are and that you live in Texas. This process reduces identity theft and protects the validity of the Texas driver’s license you’re about to get.
To get your Texas driver’s license, you also need these personal documents:
- Proof of your identity
- Proof you have a U.S. citizenship or lawful presence
- Proof of your social security number
- Proof you live in Texas (if you’re a new Texas resident or a first-time driver license applicant)
- Proof your vehicle is insured and registered in Texas (if you’re a new Texas resident or a first-time driver license applicant)
- And if you don’t own a vehicle, you just have to sign a statement saying so.
After you’ve finished your adult driver’s education course, collect the required documents and bring them with you when you visit your local driver’s license office. Please note that all driver’s license office services require an appointment.
Which documents count as a proof of identity to get a Texas driver’s license?
The Texas Department of Public Safety accepts plenty of types of documents to prove your identity.
You have a couple of options to prove your identity:
- You only need to show one document if it’s a primary identification document from the list below.
- If you don’t have a primary identity document, you need to show a secondary identification document, two supporting identification documents, and one secondary document to prove your identity.
Remember: Documents must be original or certified copies. Certified documents should not be laminated. No photocopies will be accepted. The identifying information, such as your birthday and full name, must match. If your name is different on some documents (from a marriage, for example), then you need to show one of the following documents that verify a legal name change:
- Marriage license
- Divorce decree
- Original or certified copy of a revised birth certificate
- Court ordered name change
- Department of State Health Services marriage verification letter
You can speak with a License and Permit Specialist to address any other inconsistent information on your documents.
What counts as primary identity documents so I can get a Texas driver’s license?
The following documents count for a primary, secondary, or supporting ID documentation:
- Valid, unexpired U.S. passport book or U.S. passport card
- U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization with identifiable photograph (N-550, N-560, N-561, N-570 or N-578)
- Unexpired Department of Homeland Security or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services document with verifiable data and identifiable photo, such as one of the following:
- U.S. Citizen Identification Card (I-179 or I-197)
- Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
- Machine Readable Immigrant Visa with temporary I-551 language and ADIT stamp
- Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- Unexpired U.S. Travel Document (I-327 or I-571)
- Advance Parole Document (I-512 or I-512L)
- I-94 stamped Sec. 208 Asylee with photo
- I-94 stamped Sec. 207 Refugee with photo
- Valid Refugee Travel Letter with photo, stamped by Customs and Border Protection
- American Indian Card (I-872)
- Northern Mariana card (I-873)
- Valid, unexpired foreign passport with attached visa (visa may be expired but passport must be valid) and valid Form I-94
- Unexpired U.S. military ID card for active duty, reserve or retired personnel with identifiable photo
You only need to show one of these primary documents (and it must be the original or an unlaminated, certified copy). And then you’ve proven your identity to the DPS! You don’t need to show other documents to verify your identity if you show one primary ID doc.
What counts as secondary identity documents so I can get a Texas driver license?
Your birth record is the secondary identification the DPS is looking for. They will also accept any official name change documents. Here’s the official list of secondary identification documents:
- Original or certified copy of a birth certificate issued by a State Bureau of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency from a U.S. state, a U.S. territory, the District of Columbia or a Canadian province.
- The DPS cannot recognize Puerto Rican birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010, as valid proof of identification or lawful presence, according to Puerto Rican statues.
- For U.S. citizens born abroad – Original or certified copy of Consular report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) (Form FS-240) or Certificate of Report of Birth (DS-1350 for FS-545) issued by the U.S. Department of State.
- Original or certified copy of a court order with name and date of birth indicating an official change of name and/or gender from a U.S. state, a U.S. territory, the District of Columbia, or a Canadian province
Birth documents other than the secondary identity documents listed above, may be accepted as a secondary identity document, provided it meets the following minimum requirements:
- Issued by a local or state government
- Lists bearer’s full name, date of birth, gender, and place of birth
- Lists parent(s) full names
- Has date filed with registrar’s office
- Has registrar’s signature
- Has embossed, impressed, or multicolored seal of registrar
Remember: The DPS will not accept any photocopies or laminated copies of these documents.
What counts as supporting identity documents so I can get a driver’s license?
You need two of these documents and your birth record if you don’t have a primary identification document:
- Social security card (actual card)
- Form W-2 or 1099
- Driver license or ID card issued by another U.S. state, U.S. territory, the District of Columbia or Canadian province (unexpired or expired less than two years)*
- Texas driver license or ID card that has been expired more than two years (actual card)
- Temporary Texas driver license or ID card (actual receipt)
- School records* (e.g., report cards, photo ID cards)
- Unexpired U.S. military dependent identification card
- Original or certified copy of marriage license or divorce decree (if the document is not in English, a certified translation must accompany it)
- Valid, unexpired Texas Voter registration card*
- Pilot license* (actual card)
- Concealed handgun license or License to Carry*
- Professional license issued by a Texas state agency
- ID card issued by a government agency*
- A valid consular document issued by a state or national government
- Texas Inmate ID card or similar form of ID issued by Texas Department of Criminal Justice
- Texas Department of Criminal Justice parole or mandatory release certificate
- Federal inmate identification card
- Federal parole or release certificate
- Medicare or Medicaid card (actual card)
- Selective Service card (actual card)
- Immunization records*
- Tribal membership card from federally-recognized tribe
- Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood
- Valid, unexpired foreign passport
- Insurance policy valid continuously for the past two years (e.g., auto, home or life insurance)
- Valid, unexpired Texas vehicle registration or title
- Valid, unexpired Texas boat registration or title
- Veteran ID card issued by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
- Original or certified copy of an abstract (shortened) birth certificate issued by a State Bureau of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency from a U.S. state, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia
- Hospital-issued birth record*
- Military records (e.g., Form DD-214, DD-215, NGB-22)
*The Texas Department of Public Safety will only accept this document if issued by an entity, government or institution from a U.S. state, a U.S. territory, the District of Columbia or a Canadian province.