Getting licensed with nothing to drive
June 25, 2006 7:20 AM   Subscribe

Does one require a car to obtain a driver's license?

While living in Denton, Texas, my Washington State driver's license expired. Assuming that borrowing a car from a friend is not an option, how might I get a Texas driver's license without a car to test in?
posted by EatTheWeek to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
 
Most driving schools will allow you to "rent" one of their cars for the driving exam. Many have cars that they keep at the licence bureau for the specific purpose.
posted by furtive at 7:25 AM on June 25, 2006


Texas allow you to get a non-driving Identification Card for I.D. purposes.

If you need the full deal, it depends on whether or not they will make you take the driving test. It looks like Texas does.
posted by fleacircus at 7:27 AM on June 25, 2006


It's different in each state, but I simply traded in my expired license from another state for a new one in this state. I never had to take a driving test.
posted by Captaintripps at 7:27 AM on June 25, 2006


EatTheWeak "While living in Denton, Texas, my Washington State driver's license expired."

When did it expire? If it was less than two years ago, you can get it reissed without taking the test.
posted by Bugbread at 7:31 AM on June 25, 2006


Er, sorry, I misread your question. Checking Washington's FAQ, it's a bit less clear: you can renew or extend your license while outside of Washington state, and the FAQ says you can do this after it expired, yet they recommend that you do the paperwork 30 days prior to the expiration. I guess that you can extend/renew after, but they'd prefer you do it in advance.

Either way (although it doesn't directly answer your question), the first thing I'd do is call up to DOL in Washington and ask if it's possible for you to renew your Washington license. Even if you would prefer a Texas license, it would be much easier to renew the Washington one and then use the new, valid Washington license in order to get a Texas one, since there would be no driving exam required in that case.
posted by Bugbread at 7:38 AM on June 25, 2006


Could you just rent a car? That seems like as good an option as any (assuming renewing your washington state license isn't an option, I would call up the local DMV and ask them exactly this question).
posted by muddgirl at 7:42 AM on June 25, 2006


Here in California, there are rental agencies that specialize in renting cars for DMV exams. They're located near DMV offices in working class areas and prevalent in cities with high levels of immigrant population. You can probably find the same in Texas unless they have laws that prohibit the practice.
posted by buggzzee23 at 7:49 AM on June 25, 2006


Texas License Process.

Since your WA license is expired you will need to take the PITA driving test in Texas, which would require a car and they will want to see the proof of insurance.

"Just renting a car" might be more difficult from the major places since they require a valid driver's license at the time of rental. There are some places near driver's test facilities that will rent an unlicensed person a car, but they will charge you a premium for that.

If I were you I'd hope WA will renew your license by the interweb or phone. Then you have a few years to get a TDL if you decide to stay here, and you won't have to take the road test.
posted by birdherder at 7:56 AM on June 25, 2006


Previously on Metafilter.
posted by hooray at 8:51 AM on June 25, 2006


In Iowa you can borrow someone's car, as long as the registration is valid.
posted by delmoi at 9:54 AM on June 25, 2006


At my Ontario driving school, you can book single lessons, and do the road test in an instructor's car. The advantage is that you can also have a quick lesson to make sure you're doing everything according to local rules. The disadvantage is that it costs a lot.
posted by easternblot at 10:23 AM on June 25, 2006


birdherder : "Since your WA license is expired you will need to take the PITA driving test in Texas, which would require a car and they will want to see the proof of insurance. "

It would require a car, but not proof of insurance unless it were your own car. From http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/faq.htm:
If you do not own a vehicle, you will not have to show proof of insurance, but will be required to complete an affidavit of non-ownership.
posted by Bugbread at 10:51 AM on June 25, 2006


I work at a driving school in Washington (paper pusher, not instructor), and we will let you use our cars for about $60/hour for a driving test. It works out to about 30 bucks for most people.

This is not in TX of course, so YMMV.
posted by rossination at 10:54 AM on June 25, 2006


Ummmm... at least for new drivers, the driving test is NO LONGER required.

Just go down to the DPS office here, or and ask them what you need to do. Take your expired license with you. You may need to simply take a written test and you're in.
posted by Doohickie at 11:39 AM on June 25, 2006


Dang... or just call them first. (Hit the Post button instead of the link button... sorry.)

Anyway, even though your license has expired, you may not need to take the test. Call them and they will fill you in.
posted by Doohickie at 11:40 AM on June 25, 2006


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