How To Apply / Renew Your Texas ID Card or Texas Drivers License (2021)

apply/renew texas id

Contents

How To Apply / Renew Your Texas ID Card or Texas Drivers License 


In this guide, I will show you how to apply and renew your Texas ID card or driver’s license.

The Texas DPS Offices generally have a bad reputation, however, the state has seemed to take great strides to reduce some of the frustration for you. Whether you are new to the state or lost your card this guide will show you how to get an ID in Texas. 

Differences In Applying For Your Texas ID Vs. Renewing Your ID 

While both processes will go through the Texas Department of Public Safety, your options for applying for an ID/driver’s license are different from that of renewing. 

When applying for your ID or Texas driver’s license you will need to visit a local driver’s license office near you. 

If you simply need to renew your ID or Texas driver’s license you have the option of doing this by phone, online, or at a local driver’s license office. When renewing your Texas ID you have more options to do so when compared to first applying for your ID. 

Differences In Applying For Your Texas ID Vs. Texas Driver’s License

The requirements to obtain your Texas ID vs your driver’s license are also different. 

Both of these identification cards require proof of: 

  1. U.S. citizenship
  2. Texas residency
  3. Your identity
  4. Social Security number

The difference is that a Texas driver’s license also requires that you show proof of Texas Vehicle Registration and proof of insurance. 

How To Obtain Your Texas ID

This section will only pertain to your Texas ID. I will walk you through the steps of applying for your ID and show you how to renew your ID as well. 

How To Apply For Your Texas ID

These are the documents and steps that need to be taken in order to apply for a Texas ID card. 

What Documents Are Needed To Apply For A Texas ID? 

To apply for your Texas identification card you will need to first show proof of the following: 

  1. U.S. Citizenship
  2. Texas residency
  3. Identity
  4. Social Security number

apply/renew texas ID

6 Steps To Applying For An ID Card

Follow these 6 steps to apply for your Texas ID.

  1. Complete your Texas ID Card application
  2. Make an appointment at your local DPS office
  3. Show documents proving residency, identity, etc
  4. Provide your thumbprints
  5. Take your picture
  6. Pay the application fee for your Texas ID

Because you can apply for an ID in person you will need to find a DPS office to complete this process. Below I will discuss these steps in more detail. 

Step #1. Complete Your Application

You can download a Texas Driver License / ID Card application or complete an application at your DPS office. Downloading and completing your application prior to arriving is preferable, but not mandatory. 

Step #2. Make An Appointment At Your Local DPS Office

You can visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website and schedule an appointment to apply for your Texas ID. Steps # 3 – 6 of this process will take place at the DPS office.

Step #3. Show Documents Proving Residency, Identity, Etc

At the DPS office you will need to show proof of the following: 

  • Your completed Texas ID card application
  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Texas Residency
  • Identity
  • Social Security number

Step #4. Provide Your Thumbprints

In this step, you will have to place your thumbs on a glass scanner so that your thumbprints can be read. This measure is taken to guard against “fraud, ID theft, and other criminal activity” according to DPS spokesman Tom Vinger. 

Step #5. Take Your Picture 

Next, you will take a picture of your Texas ID card. A smile-less picture, because smiling or glasses are not allowed in DPS pictures. 

This is done because facial recognition software is used during your picture and it is unable to accurately read your face if you are smiling. 

Step #6. Pay Your Application Fee

If you are wondering what is the cost of a Texas ID, this chart will answer that question. 

ID Type Cost Explanation
Age 59 and younger: new $16 Expires after 6 years on birthday
Age 59 and younger: renewal $16 Expires after previous expiration date
Age 60 and older: new or renewal $6 Expires after 6 years on birthday
Replacement ID: lost, stolen, change of address $11 The current expiration date does not change

How Long Does It Take To Receive My Texas ID Card? 

Your Texas ID card will be mailed to you in 4 – 6 weeks.  While you wait on your ID card to be mailed you can use the temporary ID card that was provided to you at the DPS office. 

How To Renew Your Texas ID Card (Phone, Online, DPS Office) 

When renewing your Texas ID you have 3 options:

  • Call the DPS
  • Visit Texas.gov
  • Find a DPS near you

First, we’ll start with the phone option.

How To Renew Your Texas ID Over The Phone

To renew your Texas ID you’ll need to call the DPS at 866.357.3639.

The things you will need are:

  • Your ID – you’ll need to provide your ID number
  • Social Security Number
  • Credit card to pay your fees

They will ask you yes/no questions regarding any name or address changes which you can answer by simply dialing 1 or 2.

Once you have answered all of their questions, you’ll be prompted to use your credit card to make a payment. You can see the cost of the fees here.

How To Renew Your Texas ID Online

The process to renew or apply for a Texas ID online is just as easy as the phone option. You’ll start by visiting Texas.gov.

Once you land on the home page, click the DRIVERS tab in the navigation menu.

renew texas ID

From here you’ll be taken down the page to a section that looks like this. Select the Driver License/ID Renewal/Replacement Option

renew texas id

At this point, you will need to enter your DL/ID number, DOB, etc to start the process. Once you have completed each of the necessary steps, you’ll pay the required fee. Again the cost of fees can be found here.

How To Renew Your Texas ID At A DPS Office

1. Gather These Personal Documents To Apply/Renew A Texas ID

Before you complete the application or visit a Houston DPS Office you should spend time collecting the needed documents to apply/renew your Texas ID.

Below are the things that you will need to provide proof of:

  • US Citizenship
  • That you are a Texas resident
  • Identity
  • Social Security Number

2. Complete An Application To Apply/Renew Your Texas Identification Card

Once you have gathered proof of your identity, residency, citizenship, etc it’s time to complete your Texas ID application.

Application To Apply/Renew Your Texas ID

If you cannot print this application your local Houston DPS Office can provide you with copies.

3. Find A Houston DPS Office Near You

The Department of Public Safety is the state agency that manages identification cards and driver licenses, therefore you will have to find one near your home.

Below is a map of the Houston DPS offices available to you:

Houston DPS Offices 

Below are the addresses and telephone numbers of each Houston DPS office.

  • Baytown DPS – 5420 Decker Dr, Baytown, TX 77520 – 281.424.1339
  • East Houston – 11039 East Freeway #B, Houston, TX 77029 – 713.633.9872
  • Far North – Spring DPS – 4740 Spring Cypress, Suite 100, Spring, TX 77379 – 281.517.1620
  • Far NE – Humble DPS – 7710 Will Clayton, Humble, TX 77338 – 281.446.3391
  • NW Houston – Dacoma DPS – 4545 Dacoma, Houston, TX 77092 – 713.683.0541
  • North Houston – Veterans Memorial DPS – 8418 Veterans Memorial, Houston, TX 77088 – 281.449.2685
  • Rosenberg DPS – 28000 SW Freeway, Rosenberg, TX 77471 – 281.517.1630
  • SE Houston – Highway 3 DPS – 10810 Galveston Rd, Houston, TX 77034 – 281.929.5300
  • SW Houston – Gessner DPS – 12220 South Gessner, Houston, TX 77071  – 713.219.4100

If you live outside of the Houston area, go here to find your nearest Texas DPS office.

4. What Happens At The Houston DPS Office

Here is the process of what happens at the Houston DPS office when you are attempting to apply/renew your Texas ID card.

1. You will provide them with the documents we discussed above. This includes the application, proof of US citizenship, Texas residency, identification, and social security number.

2. You will have to provide your thumbprints.

3. Your picture will be taken.

4. You’ll pay the application fee

What Are The Application Fees For A Texas ID Card? 

The cost of a Texas ID will be determined by your age. Below is a listing of the cost per age and the expiration date when your ID expires:

Age / Type of Card Cost Expiration Date
59 and younger new card $16 Will expire after six years on birthday
59 and younger renewal card $16 Expires six years after previous expiration date
60 and older new or renewal card $6 Expires after 6 years on your birthday
Replacement ID Card $11 Your current expiration date does not change

How To Obtain Your Texas Driver License 

In this section, I will show you how to apply for your driver’s license and walk you through the steps of renewing your license. 

First, we will start with the process of applying for a driver’s license. 

How To Apply For A Texas Driver License

To apply for your driver’s license you will need to provide documents proving your identity, your car’s registration, and insurance. 

To help you gather all the necessary documents for your visit to the DPS you can use a tool called the REAL ID Document Checklist.  This tool will ask you a series of questions and at the end, you will be provided with a customized checklist of documents that you will need to bring to your appointment. 

What Documents Are Needed To Apply For A Texas Driver License?

To apply for a driver’s license in Texas you will need to prove the following. 

  1. U.S. Citizenship 
  2. Texas Residency
  3. Identity
  4. Social Security Number
  5. Proof of Texas Vehicle Registration –  You can register your vehicle by visiting the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles website
  6. Show proof of car insurance

Driver Education Needed To Apply For A Texas License

If you have never had a Texas driver’s license, you will need to complete the following driver education courses to obtain a license. 

  1. The Impact Texas Driver Program (ITD). This is a driver’s awareness and education course that shows you the consequences of reckless driving in order to make Texas roads safer for everyone. 
  2. Driver Education Course. You will also need to show proof of completing the 6-hour course.

8 Steps Of Applying For A Texas Driver License 

Follow these 8 steps to apply for your Texas Driver License: 

  1. Complete a driver license application
  2. Make an appointment at your local DPS office
  3. Provide documentation proving residency, identity, vehicle registration, car insurance, etc
  4. Pay the application fee for a Texas driver license
  5. Provide your thumbprints
  6. Take your picture
  7. Pass a vision exam
  8. Pass both driving knowledge and driving tests

Here are more details about these steps. 

Step #1. Complete Your Driver License Application

You can download a Texas Driver License application to complete at home or complete an application at your DPS office. 

Step #2. Make An Appointment At Your Local DPS Office

You can visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website and schedule an appointment to apply for your Texas ID. Steps # 3 – 8 of this process will take place at the DPS office.

Step #3. Provide Documentation Proving Residency, Identity, Vehicle Registration, Car Insurance, Etc

Show proof of the following documents: 

  1. Texas Driver License application
  2. U.S. Citizenship
  3. Texas Residency
  4. Identity
  5. Social Security Number
  6. Texas Vehicle Registration
  7. Proof of Car Insurance

Step #4. Pay The Application Fee For A Texas Driver License 

This chart will explain the costs of a Texas Driver License

License Type Cost Explanation
Under 18: new $16 Expires on 18th birthday
Age 18 to 84: new $33 Expires after 8 years  on birthday
Age 18 to 84: renewal $33 Expires 8 years after previous expiration date
Age 85 and older: new  $9 Expires after 2 years on birthday
Age 85 and older: renewal $9 Expires two years after the previous expiration date
Disabled veterans (60%): new or renewal Free Requirements for this exemption

Step #5. Provide Your Thumbprints

Thumbprints are needed to guard against “fraud, ID theft, and other criminal activity”

Step #6. Take Your Picture 

In step 6 you’ll take your picture.

It is true that the DPS will not allow you to smile in your picture. This is done because facial recognition software is used during your picture and it is unable to accurately read your face if you are smiling. 

Step #7. Pass A Vision Exam 

Driving requires good vision so it’s really important that you can see the road! 

Step #8. Pass Knowledge And Driving Tests

You can schedule both your driver knowledge and driving tests by visiting the Texas Department of Public Safety website

How To Renew Your Texas Driver License 

You can renew your driver license in 3 ways: 

  1. Phone
  2. Online
  3. DPS Office

How To Renew Your Texas Driver License By Phone

Before calling to renew your license, make sure that you have the following:

  • Your ID – you’ll need to provide your ID number
  • Social Security Number
  • Credit card to pay your fees

If you have these things, then you can call 866.357.3639 to renew your Texas driver’s license by phone. 

They will ask you yes/no questions regarding any name or address changes which you can answer by simply dialing 1 or 2.

Once you have answered all of their questions, you’ll be prompted to use your credit card to make a payment. You can see the cost of the fees here.

How To Renew Your Texas Driver License Online

To renew your license online, you will need the following: 

  • Your current driver license number or card
  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
  • Credit Card for your payment

You can renew your license online by visiting the Texas Department of Public Safety Driver License Division website

Cost To Renew Your Texas Driver License 

Service Cost
Renew Texas driver license $33
Renew Texa ID $16
Replace or change the address on license or ID $11
Change emergency contacts $0

How To Renew Your Texas Driver License At A DPS Office

To renew your license at a DPS office refer to the 8 Steps of Applying For A Texas Driver’s License section of the article for step-by-step directions. 

How Do I Change The Address On My Texas Driver License or ID?

You can change your address by visiting the Texas Department of Public Safety website and requesting the change online. 

The cost of changing your address is $11. 

How Do I Replace A Lost or Stolen Texas ID or Driver License?

You can replace your lost or stolen Texas ID or driver’s license by visiting the Texas Department of Public Safety website and requesting a new ID online. 

The cost to replace your Texas ID or driver’s license is $11. 

Conclusion

If you need to apply, renew or replace your Texas ID you have 3 options:

  • Call the DPS renewal line at 866.357.3637
  • Visit Texas.gov
  • Find a DPS near you

Calling or applying/renewing online are the least time consuming, but the DPS offices are still available for anyone who LOVES waiting in lines.

If you have questions regarding applying or renewing your Texas ID you can always contact the DPS at 512.424.2000 or visit the Texas Department of Public Safety website.

Nick Bryant is a Counselor with 11 years of experience working in community health. He enjoys concerts, walks with the doggo and wife, mocking Dallas Cowboy fans, and sharing community resources. Jump on the Houston Case Managers email list to receive weekly community resource guides delivered directly to your inbox.

5 thoughts on “How To Apply / Renew Your Texas ID Card or Texas Drivers License (2021)

  1. Howie Reply

    i just got out of the texas prison system, where i was given a texas identification card and the address on it was the prison i was at…..

    I lost it without being able to even use it.

    i dont know what my id number is and id like to get one sent to the sunrise church in austin where i can recieve mail at….

    please advise….

    i have no id or birth or ssn card to aid in this only my prison paperwork

    • Nick Bryant Post authorReply

      Hi, Larhonda hope all is well. I would say the easiest way to apply for a Texas ID is online…especially during COVID.

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