Renewing Your Texas Driver License: Learn the Basics Now, Save Headaches Later

17 Nov

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Photo by Simone via Flickr

For many Texans, renewing a driver license is on par with paying taxes and standing in a never-ending line at the post office. However, if you understand the basics of license renewal in advance, it seems like less of a hassle when you receive that inevitable notice in the mail. Broken down step by step, here’s what you need to know about renewing you driver license in the state of Texas.

License Validity Period

Did you know that the amount of time that your Texas license is valid depends upon how old you are? If you are under the age of 18 when you first get your license, your license will expire on your 18th birthday. If you are between the ages of 18 and 84, your Texas license is good for six years. But once you hit the age of 85, you have to start renewing your license every two years.

When to Renew Your License

You can renew your Texas driver license up to a year before it expires and up to two years after it expires. This is also a great time to update your address if you’ve moved. If two years have lapsed since you’ve had a valid license in Texas, you are no longer eligible for renewal. At that point, you have to apply for a brand new license, pass a written test, and pass a driving test.

Special Circumstances

If your license is suspended, it’s not eligible for renewal and must be reinstated instead. If you’ve lost your license or it’s been stolen or damaged, you can request a replacement. Fortunately, you can still renew a lost, stolen, or damaged card if you have a record of your license number and audit number.

Renewal Methods

Did you know there are four ways to renew your license?

For many busy residents, renewing online is the quickest and easiest way to go. But to apply online, you will need a printer to print out your temporary license card. You can also renew your license by phone and provide the same required information as you would online. If you meet the eligibility requirements to renew your license by mail, you’ll receive a renewal notice from the Texas DPS. However, if you’re not eligible to renew online or by phone or mail, you’ll need to show up in-person at a Texas DPS office. Any driver under 18 or aged 79 or older must renew in-person.

Depending upon your situation, you may also have to pass a vision exam, a driving test, or provide additional documentation. Active duty military members that are stationed outside of Texas get an extra 90 days post-discharged to renew their licenses.

Renewal Fees

As with other sections of the license renewal law in Texas, your renewal fee depends upon your age. Drivers under 18 years old can enjoy an affordable renewal fee of just $6. Drivers between 18 and 84 will pay $25 and drivers 85 and older only pay $9. Cash, credit card, check, and money order are all acceptable forms of payment for license renewal.

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