How do I get a hardship license?

A hardship license–also known as a minor restricted driver license (MRDL)–is a Texas driver license that you can get before you’re 16 years old or without holding your permit for a minimum of 6 months. In order to obtain a hardship license, you must show proof of why you need to drive as soon as possible. You can apply for a hardship license if you meet all of the following:

  1. You are at least 15 years old.
  2. You have completed all 32 hours of Aceable’s Parent Taught Drivers Ed course and have received a Certificate of Completion from us.
  3. You have completed 44 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction and practice.
  4. You have a qualifying hardship.

Qualifying hardships are:

  • Economic need (Example: You need to go to work to support your family, but no one can drive you to work)
  • Death-related emergency
  • Sickness/illness/disability of family members (physician’s statement required)
  • Enrollment in a Vocational Education Program* (certification from school required)

*Vocational Education Programs include classes that require you to drive to a location as part of an internship or training program. For example, if you were in a health care internship class and needed to go to the hospital to learn from the nurses and doctors there, but you did not have anyone to drive you, you would meet this hardship. If you are approved for a hardship license, it will expire on your next birthday. To apply for a hardship license, bring all of the following to your DPS:

  1. All the paperwork and documents needed to meet regular licensing requirements
  2. A parent or legal guardian
  3. A completed MRDL application 
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