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, reached the age of 16, and completed both the classroom and behind-the-wheel portions of driver education, they are eligible to take the driving test for their provisional license and "graduate" to Phase Two of the Graduated Driver License Program.
Individuals at least 16 years of age that transfer/present 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 test. Upon receiving a passing score on the driving test 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.