drivers license

How to Transfer Your Out-of-State Driver’s License to Texas as a New Resident

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated May 14, 2021

Texas is a big, striking, and distinctive state that attracts people with its southern charm and unique cowboy culture. There are many reasons to love Texas and even more to make it a permanent home.

The first thing you need to do as a new resident is to transfer your driver’s license to Texas. Transferring your license can seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry. This guide will equip you with the knowledge necessary to make the process as easy and smooth as possible.

When do You Need to Transfer Your License to Texas? 

You can drive using a valid, unexpired driver’s license from another U.S. state or Canadian province for up to 90 days after moving to Texas. However, before the end of that grace period, you must apply for a valid Texas license while surrendering your out-of-state credentials.

How to Transfer an Out-of-State Driver's License to Texas

Below you’ll find step-by-step instructions detailing what you’ll need to do to complete a Texas driver’s license transfer.

1 – Schedule a DPS Appointment

To make your life a whole lot easier, it’s best to schedule an appointment at your local Department of Motor Vehicles. If possible, schedule your appointment one to two weeks before the date. Of course, you may simply walk into your local DPS without an appointment, but you may end up staying there all day.

2 – Fill out Necessary Documents

You must make sure you have all the necessary license transfer documents before heading to the DPS to avoid unnecessary headaches or delays. Be sure to bring the following credentials:

  1. Proof of:
    1. Texas Residency
    2. Identification
    3. Social Security Number
    4. U.S. Citizenship or Evidence of the lawful presence
    5. Proof of Texas Vehicle Registration
    6. Proof of Vehicle Insurance
  2. A Valid Out-of-State Driver License
  3. A completed Texas driver’s license application.
  4. Pay Application Fee.

3 – Pass the Vision Test

You will be expected to pass a vision test when transferring your driver’s license. A trained DPS clerk will administer the test, or you could bring an Eye Test Report from a specialist such as qualified physicians, nurses, or opticians. 

Make sure you take your glasses or contact lenses with you if you need them. The minimum score to pass the vision exam is a 20/40 in one eye, or better.

4 – Receive Your New Temporary License

After you’ve completed the requirements and steps above, you will have to wait for your Texas driver’s license transfer application to be processed by the DPS. It will take a few weeks to create your new license card, so you’ll be given a temporary license instead. This will allow you to drive around the state of Texas freely and legally.

What if You’re Under 18?

If you’re under 18 and you have an out-of-state driver’s license, you’re in luck! You will not be required to take the written exam. However, minors moving to Texas from a country other than the US or Canada will be required to take and pass the knowledge exam. 

All applicants under the age of 18 will be required to take the driving skills exam, regardless of whether you have had a license before or not. 

You will be granted a new Texas driver’s license once you surrender your old credentials.

License Transfer for Military Personnel

Military members looking to transfer their out-of-state driver’s license can also do so with the Texas DPS. Individuals who have been recently discharged and hold an expired license may also be entitled to a license transfer as well. US military personnel may be exempt from the skills and knowledge exams. 

To qualify for this exemption, you must:

  1. Present a valid military ID
  2. Provide proof that the state which issued the driver license has a military extension policy

That’s It!

Moving to a new state is a dream come true for many individuals and their families. It may seem like a daunting task to transfer your driver’s license to Texas, but completing this process is straightforward and doesn’t require a lot of effort if you know what to do. We hope this guide has helped you out and that you now know everything you need in order to make your trip to the DPS a success. 

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