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Graduated Driver License (GDL) Program

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.

Phase One (Learner License)

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 successful complete of 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 (Provisional License)

Phase Two restricts the driving privileges of individuals who are under 18 years of age.

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:

  1. With more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not a family member.
  2. Between midnight and 5:00 a.m. unless the operation of the vehicle is necessary for the driver to work, to attend or participate in a school-related activity, or due to a medical emergency.

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.