Texas Driver's License Renewal

Texas Driver’s License Renewal Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Jul 02, 2021

Is your Texas driver’s license renewal period coming up? We know that the process and the different options can be confusing. However, there is no need to worry. We’ve compiled all the necessary information in this handy guide!

When Do I Need to Renew My Texas Driver’s License?

On June 1, 2020, Texas extended its expiration period to combat ever-growing wait times for your license. Instead of six years, a Texas driver’s license is valid for up to eight years, and it expires on your birthday.

It can be renewed two years before or after the expiration date. If you do not renew your license within two years of it expiring, you will have to retake the written and driving exams to get a new one.

If you are 85 or older, you will need to renew your license in-person at the Texas DPS every two years.

What is the Grace Period for an Expired Driver’s License in Texas?

Texas doesn’t have a grace period. If you are caught driving without a license, you can face up to $200 in fines and potential jail time.

During Covid-19, anyone with a scheduled appointment after April 15, 2021 can use the Contact Us page on the Texas DPS site to submit a request for a temporary license until the date of their appointment. You must state both the date of your appointment and that you are applying for a Temporary License.

Do I Have Special Renewal Requirements?

If you are a driver age 79 or over, you can only renew your driver’s license in-person at a DPS office. You must pass a vision test. The licensing and renewal specialist will look over your medical history responses to determine if additional testing is necessary.

If you are under 18, you must also renew in person. In addition, you must bring one of the following documents:

  • A verification of enrollment (VOE) form with a stamp or signature. Computer-generated signatures are okay!
  • High school diploma or GED
  • Most recent report card with the attendance record.

If you are upgrading your learner’s license to a provisional license, you also need to bring proof of completion of a state-approved driver’s ed program.

How to Renew a Texas Driver’s License

The Texas DPS allows you to renew your license in a number of different ways. If you’ve received an invitation, you can renew online, by phone, or by mail. If not, you’ll have to renew in person at your local DPS office.

We’ll go through all of the different options below.

In Person Renewal

If you plan to renew your driver’s license in person at a local DPS office, you’ll need to complete the following steps:

  1. Make sure you are eligible to renew your license. You can not renew if you have outstanding warrants or fines on your record, or if your license is suspended or revoked.
  2. Fill out the application form
  3. Make an appointment at your local DPS office.
  4. Present your application form, proof of identity, Social security number, and proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful presence.
  5. Pass Vision Exam
    • If you are over 79 or have any physical or mental conditions that could affect your ability to drive safely, you may be required to take additional written and driving tests.
  6. Provide thumbprints.
  7. Have picture taken
  8. Pay the required fees.

If the location does not print on-site, you will receive a temporary paper license that is valid for 60 days. Your new license will arrive in the mail within that time frame.

Requirements to Renew Online, by Phone, or via Mail

In Texas, you can renew your driver’s license remotely if you meet the following conditions:

  1. You renewed your driver’s license in person at a driver’s license office last time.
  2. You have a Class C, M, or CM driver’s license. You cannot renew a Class A, Class B, or commercial driver’s license online.
  3. Your driver’s license either expires in less than two years or has been expired for less than two years.
  4. You are at least 18 and your driver’s license has full privileges.
  5. You are younger than 79.
  6. Your vision, physical, and mental conditions have not changed in a way that affects your ability to drive safely since your last renewal.
  7. Your license is not suspended or revoked, and you do not have any warrants or unpaid tickets.
  8. Your Social Security Number is already on file.
  9. You are a U.S. citizen.
  10. You can provide the audit number from your card or answer security questions to verify your identity.

Online Renewal

You’ll need to have your driver’s license, a printer or email address, a valid credit card, and the last four digits of your SSN on hand.

  1. Visit the TXapps webpage.
  2. Verify your identity
  3. Review your license information
  4. Pay the required fee by debit or credit card with a Mastercard, Visa, Discover, or American Express logo.
  5. Print out the receipt and temporary paper license. The paper license is good for 60 days. Your license will arrive in the mail in 2-3 weeks. If you can not print the paper id right away, you can send it to your email. You MUST print the paper id for it to be valid.

Renewal by Phone

If you’re renewing by phone, you can call 1-866-DL RENEW (1-866-357-3639) to get started. You will need your current license, a valid credit card, and the last four digits of your SSN on hand.

If you renew by phone, you will NOT receive a temporary paper license. If you plan to drive, make sure to renew at least a month before your license expires. This will allow plenty of time for your new license to come in the mail.

Renewal by Mail

You can only renew your Texas driver’s license by mail if you receive an invitation to do so. If you live out of state, but your permanent address is in Texas, you can renew by mail. You can find the eligibility requirements and process on the dps.texas.gov website for out-of-state residents.

If you receive an invitation, you will need to complete everything in the instructions and mail the package to the address of your invitation. You will not receive a temporary paper license with this method. If you plan to drive, make sure to renew 4-6 weeks in advance to allow plenty of time for your license to come in the mail.

Texas Driver’s License Renewal Fees

The Texas DPS helpfully provides a full list of updated renewal fees for any kind of license. Here are the most common ones that might apply to you:

  • Age 18-84: $33
  • Age 18-84 with motorcycle: $44
  • Age 85+: $9
  • Disabled Veteran (60%): Free

Note: The renewal fees may change, so be sure to check the updated list on the Texas DPS website.

Do I Need a REAL-ID?

Starting May 3, 2023, a standard driver’s license will not qualify as your federal ID. The date used to be Oct 1, 2021, however, DHS announced another extension on April 27, 2021.

You need a federal id to enter certain government and military bases. You also need one to board domestic flights! If you need access to these areas, you will either need a REAL-ID or another federally approved id to do so.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about renewing your driver’s license in Texas. If you need help with any renewal exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource to help you refresh the rules of the road in a quick and easy manner.

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