Last week, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) began offering an alternative issuance process for Texas learner license holders, as well as alternatives for individuals seeking a commercial learner permit (CLP) or additional endorsements on their commercial driver license (CDL). These changes come as Texas driver license (DL) offices remain closed due to COVID-19. (Read more about office closures and DL extensions due to the closures in this press release.)
LEARNER LICENSE UPDATE
(Please note: This only applies to individuals who already have a learner license and are in the DL system.) If a person currently has a learner license or a license restricted to driving with a licensed operator in the front seat (LOFS), through the new alternative issuance process, this individual will be able to submit the following documentation to DPS to have the restriction removed.
- A minor or adult driver education course certificate, as required for all teen drivers under 18 and all adult drivers under 25;
- An Impact Texas Driver (ITD) program certificate showing completion of the distracted driving course;
- The results of a driving test completed by a Third Party Skills Test (TPST) provider;
- A completed DL application; and
- A check or money order for the fee.
Due to school closures, the Verification of Enrollment will not be required for minors to complete this process.
The above documents can be mailed or emailed directly to DPS. Detailed information about the process, what documents are needed, and how to send them to DPS can be found online at www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/LOFS.htm. Once all documents are received and entered into the system, a new license without the LOFS restriction will be issued. It’s important to note that if the required documents are emailed to the department, the fee must still be mailed.
THIRD-PARTY TESTING FOR CLP/CDL
In response to COVID-19, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is allowing Third-Party Skills Test (TPST) providers to conduct knowledge tests for individuals seeking to obtain a commercial learner permit (CLP) or an endorsement on their CDL. This change is effective until June 30, 2020.
DPS is working with current CDL TPST providers to temporarily allow them to administer knowledge tests to their students or employees only. This allows a student or an employee of a CDL TPST provider to take knowledge tests from their school or employer to receive a CLP or an endorsement(s) on their CDL. Instructions have been provided to all CDL TPST providers, and individuals must contact a CDL TPST provider to begin the knowledge testing process.
All other CDL applicants will still need to schedule an appointment for testing with a local DL office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
REMINDER ON DL OFFICE CLOSURES, EXPIRATION DATE EXTENSION
Effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, DL offices across the state were closed until further notice due to COVID-19. Additionally, due to the current public health disaster, the expiration date of Texas DL/CDL/ID/Election Identification Certificates (EIC) cards have been extended. This means that if your Texas DL/CDL/ID/EIC card expires on or after March 13, 2020, it falls under the period that encompasses the State of Disaster Declaration related to COVID-19 and will remain valid for 60 days after which time DPS issues a public notice that the extension period for this disaster declaration has been lifted.
It’s important to note that this extension applies to the expiration date only. A person who is not eligible to drive due to active enforcement action (suspension, revocation, or denial) may use the card for identification purposes only.
For additional information related to the impact of COVID-19 on DL services, please visit our website at www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/covid-19.htm.