Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed: Step-by-Step Guide

Updated March 8th, 2024

The most popular method of obtaining a license for Texas Teens ages 14-17 can be confusing for those completing it for the first time. This guide breaks down each step so you can understand the process. Our online course will also guide you though each step you need to take.

Step 1. Verify Eligibility

The first step is to ensure that both the instructor and the student are eligible. Click ‘View Details’ to read the requirements.

Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes

Student Eligibility

  • Students must be at least 14 years old. However, they must be 15 before they can get their Learner’s Permit at the Texas DPS.
  • Students must be enrolled in school (Homeschooling is valid).

Instructor Eligibility

You’ll need an eligible instructor to help you learn to drive in real life.

Your parent instructor can be your:

  • Parent
  • Step-parent
  • Grandparent
  • Step-grandparent
  • Foster parent
  • Legal Guardian; or
  • An individual designated by a parent, legal guardian, or judge
    • If your instructor is a designated individual, they must also have the following additional qualifications:
      • Must be at least 25 years old.
      • Cannot charge a fee for teaching.
      • Must have at least seven years of driving experience.

Your instructor must have:

  • A valid driver’s license for the last three years.
    • If the license is from out of state, a driving record of the past three years is required.

Your instructor cannot have the following:

  • A conviction of criminally negligent homicide.
  • A conviction of driving while intoxicated in the last seven years.
  • A suspended, revoked, or forfeited license due to traffic violations in the last three years.
  • Six or more points on their driver’s license.

 

If both you and your instructor are eligible, you can move on to Step 2!

Step 3. Order the PTDE Packet

The first step is to ensure that both the instructor and the student are eligible. Once you have read the requirements (Click ‘View Details’), you can proceed to Step 2.

Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes

Student Eligibility

  • Students must be at least 14 years old. However, they must be 15 before they can get their Learner’s Permit at the Texas DPS.
  • Students must be enrolled in school (Homeschooling is valid).

Instructor Eligibility

You’ll need an eligible instructor to help you learn to drive in real life.

Your parent instructor can be your:

  • Parent
  • Step-parent
  • Grandparent
  • Step-grandparent
  • Foster parent
  • Legal Guardian; or
  • An individual designated by a parent, legal guardian, or judge
    • If your instructor is a designated individual, they must also have the following additional qualifications:
      • Must be at least 25 years old.
      • Cannot charge a fee for teaching.
      • Must have at least seven years of driving experience.

Your instructor must have:

  • A valid driver’s license for the last three years.
    • If the license is from out of state, a driving record of the past three years is required.

Your instructor cannot have the following:

  • A conviction of criminally negligent homicide.
  • A conviction of driving while intoxicated in the last seven years.
  • A suspended, revoked, or forfeited license due to traffic violations in the last three years.
  • Six or more points on their driver’s license.

 

If both you and your instructor are eligible, you can move on to Step 2!

Step 2. Purchase a Texas PTDE Course

Purchase a State-Approved Parent Taught Drivers Ed Course. ParentTaught.com sells a course that is State-Approved.

Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes

Our course is self-paced and structured to accommodate your schedule. You can learn on the go with your phone, tablet, or computer.

Click here to purchase.

Step 3. Order the PTDE Packet

The Parent Taught Drivers Ed Packet must be purchased from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). It costs $20 and is your way of telling the State of Texas who will be the student’s official instructor.

Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes

What do I need to do?

The Parent Taught Drivers Ed Packet is required to be purchased from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR). This is a State of Texas requirement. But don’t worry; you can purchase the packet in under 5 minutes, completely online.

How do I do it?

  1. Purchase the Request for Parent Taught Driver Education Instructor Designation Service Application from TDLR.
    • The application costs $20. After you purchase the application, you will receive an email with a download link. Check your spam and junk folders if you do not see the email in your inbox.

Quick Tips

Step 4. Complete Lesson 1 and the In-Course DPS Written Test

Complete Lesson 1 and the In-Course DPS Written Exam, and we’ll email you a Learner License Certificate.

Estimated time to complete: 6 Hours

After completing 6 classroom hours (Lesson 1), you’ll be able to complete the In-Course DPS Written Exam. We have practice tests to help you prepare, as well as unlimited retakes at no additional cost.

Step 5. Get Your Learner's Permit at the DPS

After completing the In-Course DPS Written Test, we’ll issue you a certificate. Take this certificate and a few other documents to the DPS, where you will receive your Learner’s Permit.

Estimated time to complete: 1 Hour

Where

You’ll need to go to your local DPS office to get your learner license.

Cost

A learner license costs $16, and this fee is paid to the DPS, not ParentTaught.com. You can pay with a money order, cash, credit, or check.

What To Bring

  •  

Step 6. Complete the Rest of the Course Lessons

Finish Lessons 2 through 12 inside the course. Our online course is structured as concurrent, so you can complete your driving hours (Step 7) at the same time.

Estimated time to complete: Varies

Complete the remaining 26 classroom hours, to meet the mandated 32 hours classroom instruction.

Step 7. Complete the Behind-the-Wheel Hours

Finish your 44 driving hours.

Estimated time to complete: 44 Hours

14 hours with your Instructor

With your designated instructor, you’ll need to complete the following:

  • 7 hours of in-car observation sitting beside the instructor, watching the instructor demonstrate certain points of instruction
  • 7 hours of in-car observation driving and demonstrating to the instructor that you have learned the points of instruction

You’ll log these hours in your driving log. You can use the Driving Manager course resource to assist you and your instructor.

30 additional practice hours

With any licensed driver over the age of 21 (or your instructor), you’ll need to complete the following:

  • 30 hours of Behind-the-Wheel driving practice, of which at least 10 hours must be at night with a licensed driver 21 years of age or older in the vehicle at all times

You’ll log these hours in your:

Instruction Limits

You may only complete two hours of Behind-the-Wheel instruction per day. So, completing your 44 hours will take a minimum of 22 days.

Step 8. Complete the ITTD Course

The Impact Texas Teen Drivers program (ITTD) is a free, two-hour video provided by the DPS that covers the dangers of distracted driving.

Estimated time to complete: 2 Hours

What do I need to do?

The Impact Texas Teen Drivers program (ITTD) is a free, 2-hour informational video that shares the dangers of distracted driving along with real-life stories of teens who have lost their lives. It is provided by the Texas DPS, not ParentTaught.com. You have 90 days from the date you successfully complete the program to pass the driving test. The course can be accessed from this link: https://impacttexasdrivers.dps.texas.gov/ITTD/.

How do I do it?

  1. Schedule your Driving Test Appointment at a nearby DPS
  2. Sign up for the ITTD Program
  3. Complete the ITTD Program and print a paper copy of your certificate.
    • The certificate must be dated within 90 days of the drive test.

Quick Tips

  • If you do not pass your driving test, you will be required to complete the ITTD program again.
  • Schedule your driving test first, so you know your certificate date will be valid.
  • You don’t have to complete the 2-hour video all at once. There are eight different sections.

Step 9. Pass the Driving Test and Get Your Provisional License at the DPS

You can get your Provisional Driver License once you’ve completed the above steps, and have had your Learner License for six months.

Estimated time to complete: 1 Hour

Requirements

Make sure these steps are completed before you apply for your license:

  • Have your learner’s permit for six months (Unless you are 18+)
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Complete Driver Education (Our course!) and your 44 driving hours
  • Complete the free “Impact Texas Teen Drivers” course within 90 days of your driving test

If you meet the above requirements, schedule an appointment online.

Where

To get your Provisional Driver License license, you’ll need to go to your local DPS office.

Cost

A Provisional Driver License costs $16, and this fee is paid to the DPS, not ParentTaught.com. You can pay with a money order, cash, credit, or check.

What To Bring

When you are ready to apply for a provisional driver license and have completed all the learner license requirements, you will need to visit a driver license office and provide additional documentation.

  • (Printed in Color)

  • The person who is your officially designated instructor (they need to physically come with you)
  • Your Parent/Legal Guardian (they need to physically come with you)
    • This is most likely the same person as your designated instructor
  • Your Learner’s Permit
  • Proof of PTDE Program Guide Packet Purchase
    • The first page of your PTDE Program Guide Packet.
    • If you can’t find the packet or lost the receipt, go to the TDLR website to find it again. If you still can’t get it to work, you need to call the TDLR at 800-803-9202.
  • Application for an Original Texas Driver License
    • Form DL-14B if you are under 17 years and 10 months of age.
    • Form DL-14A if you are above 17 years and 10 months of age.
    • Complete the driver license application before arriving for your appointment. (This form is also available at all driver license offices)
    • Do not sign until at the DPS and instructed to do so!
  • 14 Hour Behind-The-Wheel Instruction Log
    • This denotes the time spent with your Designed Instructor
  • 30 Hour Driving Log
    • Found on Page 12 of your PTDE Program Guide Packet
  • Proof of Texas residency
  • Proof of identity and lawful US presence
    • US Passport, or US certificate of citizenship (full list)
    • OR
    • Birth certificate AND Social Security Card AND Report Card/Immunization Record/School ID
  • A Car (for your driving test), it also needs to have
    • Proof of Car Insurance
      • For the car you’re taking the driving test in, your name is NOT required to be on the insurance.
    • A Current Registration Sticker
    • Two License Plates (one in the front and one in the back)
  • Glasses or Contacts
    • Only if you are required to wear them while driving
  • Driving Shoes
    • No flip flops or heels
  • Social Security Card
    • Originals only, no copies allowed
  • Verification of Enrollment (VOE)
  • $16 Provisional Driver License Fee
  • Impact Texas Teen Drivers (ITTD) Program Certificate of Completion
  • Bring a parent or legal guardian or bring the notarized application signed by the parent or guardian and visit your local driver license office. Visit Driver License Services – Appointments to make an appointment at a driver license office.
  • Evidence of lawful presence, if you are not a U.S. Citizen
  • Proof of Identity
  • Evidence of successfully passing the driving test (if you took the driving test at a driver training school, the results must be provided by the school in a sealed envelope and provided to DPS at the time you are applying for your license)
  • If the DPS says you need another form (for example, forms DL-90A, DL-90B, or DL-91A), please email TPSTprogram@dps.texas.gov with the full name of your child, the DPS location, and the issue you are having. These forms have been phased out. Please note: We cannot resolve issues with your local DPS office.

You may complete the driving test requirements at the DL office or through a Third Party provider. Read about testing in other languages and driving test requirements.

After you get your Driver License

Once your driver license has been issued, you will receive a temporary driver license. Before leaving the driver license office, review the printed information on your temporary driver license for accuracy. If any of the information is incorrect, notify the License and Permit Specialist. Your new card will arrive in the mail in approximately 2 – 3 weeks. To check the mailing status of your card, visit the DPS mailing status web page.

Click the mark complete button at the bottom of this page to finish the course!

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between the DPS, TDLR, and Course Provider?

Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)

  • What They Do: The DPS makes sure parents are eligible to teach driving by providing an online system to check criminal and driver records. They also verify the parent instructor’s driving record when processing the student’s learner and provisional licenses. Plus, they give the thumbs up to the TDLR’s Parent Taught Driver Education Program as a legit way to meet the training requirements for a driving permit or license.
  • Key Services: Issues driver permits and licenses.

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR)

  • What They Do: The TDLR is the heart of the Parent Taught Driver Education Program. They manage the whole show by selling applications for parents to become designated instructors and ensuring driver education providers are up to snuff.
  • Key Services: Operates the program and licenses driver education providers.

TDLR-Approved Provider

  • What They Do: These are the folks who create and sell the course materials parents use to teach their kids. They make sure you’ve got everything you need to teach effectively and issue the all-important Texas Driver Education Certificate of Completion.
  • Key Services: Provides course materials and issues certificates needed for learner and provisional licenses.

Parent, Legal Guardian, or Designee

  • Your Role: As a parent instructor, you’ll make sure you’re eligible to teach, apply for the instructor designation from TDLR, pick a TDLR-approved course, and buy the course. Then, you’ll guide your student through both classroom and behind-the-wheel lessons, help them pass the written exam, and support them in getting their learner and provisional licenses at the DPS.
  • Key Responsibilities: Verify eligibility, complete teaching course, and assist the student through the licensing process.

We hope this breakdown helps clarify each party’s role in the Parent-Taught Driver Education journey. Remember, you’re not just teaching your teen to drive; you’re guiding them toward responsible and safe driving habits for life. Happy teaching!

Glossary

If you’ve read anything about Texas Parent Taught Drivers Ed before, you’ll know there’s lots of jargon. But to keep things simple for now, here are a few key terms and concepts you should know.

PTDE:

ITTD:

Learner License:

Provisional License:

PTDE Program Guide Packet:

Written Test:

Behind-the-Wheel Test:

Learn more industry jargon in our PTDE Glossary.

Satisfaction Guarantee

We want to make sure you are happy with your purchase. You are eligible for a full refund if your purchase was within the last 30 days and you haven’t earned any certificates.

Parent Dashboard

Share your Parent Dashboard link. No login required so parents and instructors can quickly view your progress and log driving hours.

[parent_dashboard_link1]