Teen Driver Education FAQs
What are the details of the latest Driver Education law changes?
The TEXAS GDL law is comprised of Three Phases and went into effect January 1, 2002:
Phase I (Permit Guidelines) New changes went into effect September 1, 2009.
- Student must be at least 15 years old.
- Student must complete the following Driver Education program:
32 hours of classroom instruction
7 hours of driving instruction/7 hours of observation
- Student must drive with permit for six months. (Example: If the student is 16 when they receive their permit they would not be eligible for license until they were 16 ½).
- Licensed driver must be 21 years of age to accompany student driver while driving with permit (previous age was 18).
- Written test and driving test given in this phase. (Even if you have completed the driver education course, you will be required to take the driving test at DPS.)
- In addition, students must log in 20 hours (10 of these at night) of driving with a licensed Texas driver during this 6 month period before taking the DPS driving test. Driving logs will be made available to students attending Longhorn Driving School.
Phase II (License Regulations)
Student must be minimum 16 years old or older.
- Student must hold permit for six months.
- Student will go to DPS, present driver education certificate and required documents and schedule to take the driving exam.
- Student will receive a Class C license with restrictions as follows:
- Student must drive one year in this phase before moving to Phase III. The one year period begins the day the student receives the Class C license with the following restrictions:
- No night driving between 12:00 a.m. (midnight) and 5:00 a.m. except for work, school-related activities, or a medical emergency.
- No more than one passenger in the vehicle under 21 years of age who is not a family member.
- No cell phone or electronic device is allowed to be used while driving the vehicle (until student is 18 years old).
Phase III (Final Phase)
Student must be a minimum of 17 years old to be eligible for this phase (due to the driving requirement of one year in Phase 2).
Student will go to DPS and present Class C license that indicates that s/he has driven in Phase II for one year.
Student will then be issued a Class C license with restrictions 1, 2, and 3 above removed.
No driving test or written test required in this phase.
Review of GDL Changes:
- Licensed driver must be 21 years or older (instead of 18 years old,) to accompany permit driver in the front seat.
- Students will drive a minimum of six months in both Phase I and Phase II before being eligible for advance.
- 16 ½ will be the youngest age a student can receive a regular non-restrictive Class C license in Texas.
- Curfew from 12:00 a.m. (midnight) to 5:00 a.m. in Phase II.
- No more that one passenger in the vehicle under 21 years of age who is not a family member in Phase II.
What kind of cars do we drive?
All our vehicles have automatic transmissions and are cars that are well-maintained for safety and appearance. They are large and safe vehicles. They are all equipped with dual brake systems and additional rear-view mirrors.
When do I get my permit?
After completing the first six hours of classroom (Lessons 1,2, & 3), you will be issued a DE-964 form. The permit may be obtained one of two ways. The parent and child may go to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) where the student will take a permit test and a vision test, and complete all documentation and notarizing on their own; or all of the permit procedure may be completed by Longhorn Driving School for a small processing fee. All students are now required to go to DPS to get thumb prints and a picture for their permit.
What do I need to take with me to get a permit?
1. Notarized DPS Application with your parent’s signature
2. $16.00 for DPS
3. Birth Certificate or Passport
4. Social Security Card
5. TEA Verification of Enrollment (VOE) form from your school (or GED paperwork)
**Note** A VOE is only good for 30 days from the day it was issued, unless you pick one up during the final 5 days of school before summer vacation.
6. DE-964 Form (issued by Longhorn Driving School)
When do I get to start driving?
After you have been issued a permit by the DPS, you may begin supervised driving. After you have completed the classroom portion, you may begin scheduling your drive times. Currently, our schools schedule drive times differently at each site. The students will receive instructions for scheduling during the time they are attending the classroom portion. Please phone our office if you need further information concerning scheduling of drive times.
How much do I drive in the behind-the-wheel part?
Each lesson is two hours and consists of one hour of driving and one hour of observation.
With whom do I drive?
We generally schedule two students in the vehicle with an instructor. You may drive with a friend, if you both schedule at the same time. Otherwise, we will pair you up with another student.
How quickly can I finish driving?
Your completion of all 7 lessons will determined by your level of skill in performing the driving task. The completion time is usually no sooner than thirty days from your first driving lesson; however you have one full year from the last day of your class to complete your 7 lessons.
Please note: Summer is the PEAK enrollment period and in-car instruction times could be subject to availability.
What happens if I lose my permit?
You must have a valid permit to take a driving lesson. You will not be able to drive until you get a replacement at the DPS.
What times are available for driving?
We have instructors available seven days per week - after school on weekdays and times on weekends. During the summer, we drive from 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. on most days. (You will not drive seven days/week; your lessons will be spread out over several weeks.)
Do I have to continue going to class once I receive my permit?
You must continue coming to the two-hour classroom sessions until you have completed all 32 hours of classroom.
What happens if I have to miss a lesson of class?
In the classroom, you may not miss more than five (5) sessions. We encourage no absences, however we will help you with make-ups. Make-up classes can be scheduled in the office or by phone.
How do I pay for these lessons?
Payments for the driver education course can be made in two easy installments. First payment is due at registration. Final payment is due during the last week of class.
We accept checks, cash, or money orders in the office at this time.
How can I make sure that I get enrolled in a class?
The first 36 students who fill out a contract and make their first payment are guaranteed a place in each class. Many classes fill up early, so it is important to pre-register to guarantee a place in the class. Phone our office for more details.
What do I need to take with me to get my driver's license?
You will need to take your permit, your social security card, the DE-964 Form from Longhorn Driving School, a TEA Verification of Enrollment (VOE) form from your high school (no more than 30 days old), and $11.00.
You must be 16 years of age or over, have completed a full course of drivers education, have held your permit 6 months, and be enrolled in school to receive your license (if you have graduated, you need to take your graduation diploma to the DPS with you).
When does my permit and/or license expire?
Your permit is valid for 2 years from the date it is issued. It is illegal to drive on an expired permit or license. If you turn 18 and have not finished the driver education program, you must renew your permit before you can continue.
Do I get an insurance discount for taking drivers education?
YES! You may get a 10% discount on your automobile insurance because you took the full drivers education course. Ask your insurance agent for details. Girls usually receive the discount until they turn 21 and boys usually receive the discount until they turn 25!
You may even receive 5% MORE discount if you purchase the special DADAP (Drug and Alcohol Driving Awareness Program) certificate offered by Longhorn Driving School. Ask about this in the LDS office.
How can I contact the Texas Education Agency?
The Driver Training Division (512) 936-6777 email:
Can I be picked up from my school?
During the school year, we provide pick-up service to some area high schools. Phone our office to check if your high school is on our list for the current school year.