Driver's License Guide When Moving To Texas

While relocating to Texas can be a rewarding decision, out-of-state moves can be stressful due to logistical issues. Of course, one of them is transferring your out-of-state license to Texas. As a new resident, the first thing you must do is transfer your driver's license to Texas. Transferring your license may appear to be a difficult task, but don't worry. This guide will provide you with the information to make the process simple and painless.

Transferring Your Driver's License To Texas

For up to 90 days after moving to Texas, you can drive with a valid, unexpired driver's license from another U.S. state or Canadian province. However, before the grace period expires, you must apply for a valid Texas license and surrender your out-of-state credentials. As a new Texas resident, you must register your vehicle and obtain a TX driver's license from the DMV and DPS. Before applying for a driver's license, you must first register your vehicle(s). These tasks will necessitate visits to your local DPS office and your county tax office, which handles DMV matters. Once there, you'll be required to submit various documents and pay the required fees. Once you become a resident of Texas, you may want to register as an organ donor and vote. Both of these registrations can be completed at a DPS office near you.

Step-By-Step Process Of Transferring Your License

Step-by-step instructions are provided below to help you complete a Texas driver's license transfer.

Step 1: Schedule an Appointment

It's best to make an appointment at your local Department of Motor Vehicles to make your life easier. Schedule your appointment one to two weeks before the date if possible. Of course, you can walk into your local DPS without an appointment, but you may spend the entire day there.

Step 2: Know Your Requirements

After successfully registering your vehicle in Texas, you must gather a few identification documents before visiting the DPS. Here is a complete list of what you will require:
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or, if you are not a U.S. Citizen, evidence of a lawful presence
  • Proof of Texas Residency
  • Proof of Identity
  • Social Security Number Verification
  • Your valid driver's license from the state where you previously resided. If you want to avoid retaking your driving test, you must surrender this.
  • You must provide proof of Texas vehicle registration for each vehicle you own.
  • Insurance documentation for each vehicle you own
  • A completed application for a Texas driver's license. The Application for a Texas Driver License or ID Card
  • The application fee is $16 (for those under the age of 18), $25 (for those between 18 and 84), or $9 for those over 85. (over 85).

Step 3: Vehicle Inspection

New residents with a valid out-of-state driver's license have 90 days to transfer it to Texas, but vehicle owners only have 30 days to register their vehicle. You must have your car inspected at a Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) certified inspection station before registering it in Texas. Vehicles in Texas must be inspected annually to ensure that all safety features are operational. Remember to bring your proof of insurance with you to complete this step.

Step 4: Vision Test

When transferring your driver's license, you will be required to pass a vision test. A trained DPS clerk will administer the test, or you can bring an Eye Test Report from a specialist such as a qualified physician, nurse, or optician. If you require glasses or contact lenses, make sure to bring them. A 20/40 in one eye or better is required to pass the vision exam.

Step 5: Vehicle Registration

After completing your inspection, the next step toward becoming a legal Texas driver is registering your vehicle at your county tax collector's office. You'll need the following items to accomplish this:
  • Proof of your vehicle's completed inspection
  • Your insurance card and printed policy (if you still have an out-of-state plan) ensure adequate coverage.
  • 130-U application form that has been completed
  • Your vehicle's title or other proof of ownership
  • Though registering your car in Texas is a relatively simple process, keep in mind that the initial registration fee can exceed $200.

Step 6: Turn Your Old License

Turning in your out-of-state ID for a brand new Texas driver's license is the final step toward becoming a legal Texas driver. To do so, you must go to a Texas DPS office. Though the DPS does not accept appointments for this type of visit, residents of the state's busiest metropolitan areas (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin) can sign up for the DPS's waiting list online. You must bring the following items to your appointment with the DPS:
  • Original documents proving your identity, social security number, and legal status are required.
  • Evidence of your Texas residency
  • The registration of your vehicle and your insurance card
  • Your out-of-state driver's license, which you must surrender.

Step 7: Wait For Your Temporary License

After you've completed the requirements and steps outlined above, you'll have to wait for the DPS to process your Texas driver's license transfer application. Because it will take several weeks to create your new license card, you will be issued a temporary license in the meantime. This will allow you to freely and legally drive around the state of Texas.