The Graduated Driver License (GDL) program was implemented January 1, 2002 to give new drivers the chance to improve their driving skills over time in lower-risk environments.
Individuals who are under 18 years of age must hold a valid learner license or a minor restricted driver license (MRDL) (hardship) for a minimum of six months prior to the issuance of a provisional Class A, B or C driver license. Under the GDL program, there is not a minimum time a person must hold a restricted motorcycle or moped 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. This Texas learner license must be held for 6 months or until the age of 18 whichever comes first, regardless of previous time learner license 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 because the license is invalid during that time.
NOTE: Phase One does not apply to Class M or MRDL holders.
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, has reached the age of 16 and has completed both the classroom and behind-the-wheel portions of driver education, they are eligible to "graduate" to Phase Two and apply for a provisional license.
Individuals transferring/presenting 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 skills examination. Upon receiving a passing score on the skills exam the minor may be issued a provisional license.
These individuals may not drive a motor vehicle:
Individuals who are under 18 years of age and obtained their driver license on or after September 1, 2009 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.