TX ID, Driver's License and U.S. Laws

Texas ID and Texas Driver's License

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) issued driver license and state ID cards and serves as most people's primary identification document. Our office provides free trips to the DPS throughout the semester, check UIW International Student & Scholar Services Facebook for info and updates.

International Students and Scholars may drive with a valid, unexpired driver's license from another state or country for up to 90 days after moving to Texas. You can also use an International Driver's Permit (IDP) to drive up to 90 days as well. Although the IDP is typically valid for one year, please keep in mind that you are only allowed to drive in Texas without a Texas driver's license for up to 90 days.

Mexican nationals can use their Mexican Driver's license to drive a Mexican registered car with Mexico state plates for more than 90 days. However, Mexican licenses are not valid after 90 days in Texas when driving U.S. registered vehicles with U.S. state plates.

Applying for a Texas ID card:

For the ID Card, you will need to complete steps 2, 4, and 5 below. You must have been a resident of Texas for at least 30 days to apply for a Texas ID Card or Driver License.

Applying for a Texas Driver License (TDL):

  1. Study the Texas Driver Handbook, published by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), as you will need to take a written exam.
  2. What to Bring:
    Note: The Enrollment Verification Letter, UIW Transcript & DPS application must show the address: 4301 Broadway Street San Antonio, TX 78209 (if you are living on campus). If you are living off campus, you must have two documents with matching address (like a bank statement or phone bill and the Enrollment letter or Transcript)
  3. Printed and Signed DPS application Form
  4. $16 USD cash, personal check or debit/credit card
  5. Passport and Visa Stamp
  6. I-94 print out from CBP website (if you arrived by air) OR original I-94 card (if you arrived via US land border crossing)
  7. For J-1 Students: Form DS-2019
  8. For F-1 Students: Form I-20 with Field 3 showing “Continued Attendance”.
  9. UIW Transcript or UIW Enrollment Verification Letter – Request from UIW Registrar’s Office (allow 1-2 days for processing). Note: the Enrollment Verification Letter, UIW Transcript & DPS application must show the address:4301 Broadway Street San Antonio, TX 78209 (if you are living on campus)
  10. Mail from US financial institution (bank statement) with your UIW address (this document must be more than 30 days old)
  11. Provide proof of Texas vehicle registration and proof of liability insurance for your car if you own one.
  12. Complete required forms available at any Texas Driver License office.
  13. Pay the required application fee.
  14. Pass a vision exam – take your glasses or contact lenses if you need them to drive
  15. Pass a written exam – the exam consists of two parts, road rules and road signs. The passing score is 70% on these two sections.
  16. Pass a driving exam** – upon passing the written exam you will need to schedule a driving exam (please note that you will usually not be able to take this road test on the same day). You will need to provide your own car for the driving test.
  17. For individuals between the ages of 18 to 24, you will also require proof of having taken an approved driver's education course. For approved courses, click here.


  • Contact the DPS office if you do not receive the license within 60 days.
  • Any time you move, notify DPS of your change of address within 10 days. You will have to go to a DPS location in person to update your address on your driver's license or state ID.
  • Obey all laws when driving. Do not take unnecessary risks. Be a polite and considerate driver.
  • Alcohol and drugs, even prescription or over-the-counter drugs, and mixing medications, can affect your driving skills. Penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) and Driving under the influence (DUI) are strictly enforced.
  • Always carry your driver's license when driving.

U.S. Laws and Arrests

Common alcohol-related arrests:

  • drinking under the age of 21
  • providing alcohol to someone under the age of 21
  • driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI)
  • public intoxication (Walking or biking while intoxicated)

Possession of controlled substances (illegal drugs or prescription drugs) and paraphernalia – can all result in arrest.

Many arrests can result in jail time. If you are arrested, you seriously endanger your chance of obtaining another US visa in the future. You also run the risk of being permanently barred from the US. If you are arrested, contact ISSS immediately!

Also, be respectful of others' boundaries. Do not engage in sexual assault or any forms of physical assault. Be alert , be smart and be careful while in the US. Report any incidence of sexual assault immediately to university police.

University of the Incarnate Word is committed to providing an environment that emphasizes the dignity and worth of every member of its community and that is free from sexual misconduct, harassment, stalking, and bullying. Therefore, the university will not tolerate physical abuse, threats of violence, physical assault, or any form of sexual assault, including but not limited to acquaintance or date rape, domestic or dating violence, or stalking.

UIW Student Handbook outlines other rules and laws students must adhere to on and off UIW campus

The University of the Incarnate Word provides all students, faculty, staff, administrators, and San Antonio community members the ability to bring their concerns and observations to the attention of university officials through the use of the following reporting systems.

To report a student conduct, gender/sex discrimination, general complaint, administrative department complaint, behavioral intervention, or academic issue, click on Report An Incident. .To report all other issues, including police and maintenance reports, use this link .