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There are many ways to renew your driver’s license in the state of Texas, but finding which renewal methods you are eligible for can be a confusing matter. We have created this easy-to-follow guide to make your license renewal as easy and painless as possible.
When should I renew my driver’s license?
On every driver’s license is an expiration date which the license must be renewed by; failure to do so can cause you to acquire costly fines. Drivers, age 18 to 84 must renew their license every six years, whereas individuals over 84 will need to every two years; the expiration date always falls on the driver’s birthday.
In Texas driver’s licenses can be renewed up to two years before OR after the listed expiration date, just as long as it is valid.
Licenses held by non-citizens have different expiration guidelines than those with citizenship; according to the Department of Motor Vehicles, “Temporary Licenses are valid for the entirety of an individual’s legal stay OR 1 year if your legal stay is ‘duration of status.’”
Ways to Renew a Driver’s License
There are four methods for which you can renew your license, you can either do so in person at your local Department of Public Safety Office, or if you are eligible, forgo the lines and submit your documentation by mail, telephone, or online. Individuals are only eligible for mail-in, phone, or online applications if their most recent renewal application was submitted in person; the only exception to this rule is for out-of-state residents or deployed military personnel
In-person Renewal Process
The in-person renewal process is a very straightforward one. First, you will complete and submit form DL-43; after that, you will be asked to take a vision test, this will determine if you have any restrictions (such as glasses while driving, etc.). Once you have passed your vision test, you will submit your thumbprint (this is usually taken with a scanning device), have your ID photo taken, and provide payment for the renewal fees.
You will be required to present your current license and proof of identity, as well as proof of citizenship OR legal residence (if not previously verified). You will also be asked to provide your social security number; if that information is not on file, you will be asked to verify your social security number with supporting documents (such as a social security card, W-2, or academic transcript).
When is an in-person renewal required?
In-person renewal is required for minors, holder’s of provisional licenses, individuals over 78 years of age, and driver’s who have not yet provided proof of citizenship or legal residence. An in-person visit will also be required for any driver wishing to transition to a REAL ID card.
Here is a handy chart to determine if you should upgrade to the REAL ID: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/wcm/connect/752daa43-e212-4c6c-8cca-e414ec72b783/FederalCompliantInfographic.pdf?MOD=AJPERES&CVID=
Am I Eligible for Online Renewal?
You are eligible if…
- Your most recent renewal application was submitted in person
- You have a Class C OR a Class CM driver’s license
- Your license is valid and not more than two years over the listed expiration date
- You have documented US citizenship on file with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety
- You are over the age of 18 and under the age of 79
- You have no new medical issues or limitations that affect your ability to operate a motor vehicle
- Your social security number is on file with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety
Requirements for online renewal
- You must provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number
- A valid Texas-issued driver’s license number
- A valid audit number ( this can be found at the bottom of the license, on the same side as your picture)
- A debit or credit card for payment of renewal fees
- A printer (Emailed copies will not be issued, you must print your temporary issue license at the time of online renewal. If you don’t have a printer, then you will need to renew over the phone or in person.
|Type of License Renewal||Renewal Fees|
|Under 18 years old||$16|
|18 to 84 years old:||$25|
|Age 85 and up||$9|
|License with motorcycle endorsement||$8 (plus renewal fee)|
|Temporary license (non-U.S. citizens)||$25|
Accepted Forms of Payment
Renewal fees paid in person are accepted in the form of cash, check, major credit cards, and money orders made payable to “Texas Dept. of Public Safety”. License renewal completed by telephone or online will require a major debit or credit card. Renewal submitted by mail should include a check or money order made payable to “Texas Dept. of Public Safety.”
Suspended licenses and Expired Licenses (over two years past the expiration date)
Licenses that are suspended or are more than two years past the expiration date CANNOT be renewed. A vision, driving test, written exam, and an application for a new driver’s license will be required for reinstatement; you will also be expected to pay reinstatement fees at the time of your application.
Lost, Damaged, or Stolen Driver’s License
Licenses that have been lost, damaged, or stolen can be renewed only if the driver can provide the driver’s license number and audit number that is listed on the missing or damaged card.
Out-of-State Residents and Active-Duty Military
Military Personnel who are stationed outside of Texas are automatically issued a 90-day extension for expired license which goes into effect after their return or discharge.
To renew a license while currently deployed you will need to fill out Form DL-16P (also known as the Out-of-State or Out-of-Country Packet) and Form DL-16 (Application for Out of State or Out of Country Renewal/Replacement/Change of Texas Driver License or Identification Card). If the last renewal was not submitted at a DPS office, then completion of Form DL-63 (Explanation for Eye Specialist) is also required.
Out-of-state members who need to renew a class A, B, or D license should complete Form CDL-2 (Exemption Certification for Class A or B Non-CDL Supplement to Texas Driver License Application).
Military members who have a license more than two years past expiration date should also include the expired license, front and back copies of their military ID, and a completed Form DL-14A (Application for Texas Driver License or Identification Card).
All documents should be mailed to: Department of Public Safety, P.O. Box 149008, Austin, TX 78714.
Need more help?
To find all the forms you need and a step-by-step walkthrough of where to send them as well as fees you might need to pay, download our guide above, or just click here.