Before you get behind the wheel of a vehicle in Texas, you should be familiar with the state’s driving regulations. The regulations are established by the Texas Department of Transportation, the agency that's responsible for traffic management. The Texas Department of Transportation works in partnership with the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to establish and enforce driving regulations.
The Texas Department of Transportation was established in 1991 as a result of the mergers of the Texas Department of Highways and Public Transportation, the Texas Department of Aviation and the Texas Motor Vehicle Commission. According to the Texas Department of Transportation website, the agency's goals are to reduce traffic congestion, enhance a driver's safety while driving on roads, increase economic opportunities within the state, preserve Texas' transportation assets and improve Texas's air quality. The Texas Department of Transportation also oversees the state's aviation, rail and public transportation systems.
Every driver in Texas must be licensed to operate a motor vehicle. If you’re new to the state, you can exchange your out-of-state driver's license for a Texas driver's license. You have 30 days after moving to the state to make the exchange. You could be fined if caught driving with an out-of-state license and an out-of-state vehicle tag.
Texas residents who are applying for a driver's license must provide their identification and vehicle registration and pay the appropriate fees to the Texas Department of Public Safety. Applicants who are 15 to 24 years old must complete a driver safety course that has been approved by the Texas Education Agency.
Texas requires every driver to have minimum liability insurance to operate a motor vehicle. The minimum coverage is $25,000 for injury or death of one person in one accident, $50,000 for injury or death of two people, and $25,000 for property damage in one accident. Your vehicle must be registered with the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles. You can register your vehicle online, by U.S. mail or in person. When registering your vehicle, you must submit proof of liability insurance.
Rules of the Road
Texas drivers must abide by regulations when operating a motor vehicle. The regulations apply to traffic laws, speeding laws, and alcohol and drug laws. Failure to abide by these rules could result in fines, license revocation and jail time.
It's against the law to drive while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Each driver must obey the posted speed limits.
- Texas Department of Motor Vehicles: New Residents
- Texas Department of Public Safety: New law affects 18- to 24-year-old driver license applicants
- Texas Department of Public Safety: New Driver License Requirement
- Texas Department of Public Safety: House Bill 84
- Texas Department of Public Safety: Identification Requirements for a Texas Driver License or Identification Certificate
- Photo Credit ROAD image by Nisakorn Neera from Fotolia.com
Texas DOT Requirements for Road Widths
The Texas Department of Transportation is the principal regulating body that enforces and oversees road maintenance and construction in the Lone Star...
DOT Regulations on Driving Hours
The U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are responsible for developing and enforcing federal regulations concerning drivers...
DOT Regulations for Pull Behind Trailers
Pull behind trailers are subject to the standards set forth by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Title 49 of the United...
Log Book Requirements for Texas
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration administers log book requirements for all U.S. states. Some exceptions to federal law apply to Texas...