A hardship license (previously known as Minor Restricted Driver License or MRDL) may be issued to a minor who establishes the necessity to drive and may have restrictions based on the qualifying hardship.


An application for a hardship license (DL-77) must be executed by an authorized adult on behalf of the minor. Both the adult and the minor must sign the form and present it in person at the driver license office. Only a parent, guardian, or person having custody of a minor may make application on behalf of a minor. If the minor does not have a parent, guardian, or custodian then an employer or county judge may apply on behalf of the minor.


A person applying for a hardship license must:

    1. Be at least 15 years of age but not more than 18. 

    2. Complete and pass a driver education course (a driver education course includes both the classroom and behind the wheel phase), vision, knowledge, and driving exams. 

    3. Meet all other requirements for a first time driver license (original) applicant. For more information, please visit the DPS website, www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/teenDriver.htm.

DPS may require supporting documentation or conduct an investigation to confirm the information provided on the application.

DPS will issue a hardship license if it is determined that:

     1. Failure to issue the hardship license will result in an unusual economic hardship for the family of the minor applicant. 

     2. The hardship license is necessary due to an illness, disability, or death of a family member. 

     3. The hardship license is necessary because the minor applicant is enrolled in a vocational education program that requires a license for participation.

     4. A court order requiring issuance of the hardship license is presented.

To apply for a hardship  license, bring all of the following to the DPS:

     1.  All the paperwork and documents needed to meet regular

          licensing requirements.

     2.  A parent or legal guardian.

     3. A completed DL 77 application (can be downloaded or picked up

         at any DPS office.


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