Renewing Your License at 18

Going to the Texas Department of Public Safety is not fun. I think a lot of us can agree that missing school (they are only open on weekdays), driving more than eight miles from Hockaday to the closest DPS and waiting in those infamously long lines is not how we want to spend our day. A couple of seniors even admit they have been driving with an expired license because they just do not have time to renew it. I mean what is the point? We got our license when we were 16, renewed it when we were 17, and now the DPS wants us to drive all the way out there just to take another picture almost identical to last year’s?

Never fear. According to the TXDPS website, if you are 18 or older you can renew your license online. They have nine requirements:

  1. You renewed your driver license in person at a driver license office last time.

  2. You have a Class C or CM driver license. You cannot renew a Class A, Class B or commercial driver license online.

  3. Your driver license either expires in less than one year, or it expired less than two years ago.

  4. You are at least 18 years of age and your driver license is not a provisional or learner license.

  5. You are younger than 79 years of age.

  6. Your vision and your physical and mental condition have not changed since your last renewal in a way that affects your ability to drive safely.

  7. Your license is valid (not suspended or revoked), and you do not have any warrants or unpaid tickets.

  8. Your Social Security Number is already on file.

  9. You are a U.S. citizen.

When I saw this, how could I not be excited? Not only could I stay in my bed to do this, but it would take no more than 10 minutes. This is every driver’s dream. Therefore, I went online the day before my birthday, typed up all my information, and requested to renew my license.

Denied. I tried again. Denied again. I thought that maybe it was denying my request because my license was not expired. So, I tried again on my birthday. Denied. I tried renewing it over the phone. Denied, the first time and the second time.

Three weeks later I went to the DPS office off Northwest Hwy. (I suggest going there; it is very clean, and there were no lines even in the middle of the day). Getting my license finally renewed, I asked the employ there why I could not do it online. Her response, not only extremely frustrating but very true, was that you have to be older than 18 to get your license renewed online.

Moral of the story is the TXDPS online site misstated the age limit to renew a license online. So if you are going to renew your license, go to the new DPS on Northwest Hwy. It is very nice, efficient, and it only took me half an hour to get my license renewed.

– Gretchen O’Brien
Blog Comments

Its actually even more frustrating at times than this story says! With the new laws, I didn’t have to renew at 17, thankfully. A month before my 18th birthday, I went online and the website said that I could renew up to a month before I turned 18. My birthday was on a Sunday, so I knew I needed to do that or I’d end up driving with an expired license. About 3 weeks before my birthday, I used my free period (all 80 minutes of it) to go to Carrolton’s DPS. Though I didn’t have to wait long, I got up to the register only for the lady to tell me I couldn’t renew it.
“No,” she said, “It probably will just give you another provisional license.” (that’s the other thing that this story fails to mention. You can’t renew online at 18 because before 18 you have a provisional license, so it was pretty obvious you couldn’t do that). “Come back when you’re 18.”
“I can’t, my birthday is a Sunday”
“Too bad, you will have to have someone drive you here.”
“So what you’re really saying is that driving w/ an expire license is ok.”
“No! You’ll get a huge fine!”
“But you just told me I can’t renew it? So what else am I supposed to do?”
“You can’t drive, you’ll have to have someone else take you!”
So depressed and angry after wasting my free period, I went home. The Monday after my birthday, I called the DPS to make sure they were open (it was Columbus Day, and we didn’t have school). They were open, yay! But I was sure glad I had called:
“sorry, all the computers in the state right now, with no estimated time of being fixed, so we can’t renew any licenses at this time.”
I called 4 times that day, and the next day, but the computers never were fixed. I stopped trying and now I’m just driving with an expired license. Whoops.
Seriously, I don’t have any more time to waste on you, DPS.

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