So, you finally got your appointment for your driver’s permit and passed your driving exam. What’s next? In the state of Texas, drivers are required to log a certain number of training hours before being able to sit in for their driver’s license test. The best tool for the job? The Texas Department of Licensing and Registration’s (TDLR) downloadable behind-the-wheel instruction log.
Texas Behind The Wheel Training Requirements
Teen drivers are required to train during both daytime and evening hours. There are also other restrictions on the passengers who can be in the car with you while you’re logging driving time. Teens need to complete the following behind-the-wheel practice requirements:
- At least 7 hours of behind-the-wheel training with your driving instructor
- At least 7 hours of in-car observation as part of your driver’s training
- 30 hours of supervised driving practice with a licensed adult
- 10 hours of supervised nighttime driving practice with a licensed adult (as part of the overall 30 hours)
Texas requires teens train in several specific areas and mark them off on their practice logs. Licensed adult drivers who are practicing with teen drivers are required to sign off on these tasks as well. Training requirements include:
- Getting the vehicle ready, starting the vehicle, placing the vehicle in motion, and stopping
- Searching for the intended path of travel
- City driving
- Handling multiple-lane roadways
- Additionally, behind-the-wheel training prevents drivers from using mobile devices when learning how to drive.
While it’s not required by the state of Texas, it’s also important for teens to practice driving through different types of weather. Using the skills and knowledge of the licensed adult driver who is riding with the teen is a perfect way to complete this task.
And of course, if you’re a teen driver working on logging your hours, always keep your learner’s permit with you as you drive.
Proof of Completion is Required
The state of Texas requires teen drivers to provide proof that they’ve satisfied the behind-the-wheel requirements. That’s where TDLR’s log sheet comes in. The form is simple and easy to use and provides explanations of the recommended training topics and specific length requirements.
It’s worthwhile to note, however, that Texas mandates teens practice driving for only 1 hour each day. That means that only 1 hour of behind-the-wheel instruction will count toward the 30-hour requirement, regardless of the number of hours that are actually driven that day.
Highway and City Driving
There are some situations in which drivers are going to be driving in the city and sometimes on the highway. To complete the behind-the-wheel training, new Texas drivers must complete 5 hours of city driving and 5 hours of highway driving as part of their training.
There are many dangers, threats, and hazards on the road. These hazards don’t only come from other drivers, such as drunk drivers or those with road rage, but often from the environment, as well. Going above and beyond the driving log requirements – practicing more than what is required – will help provide soon-to-be licensed teen drivers a lifetime of safe driving.