If you are planning to take the driving examination portion of your driver’s license application, you might be wondering how to take this test without a car of your own. Fortunately, Texas’ laws allow you to take the exam using another person’s car with just a few additional required documents.
You can use someone else’s car for the driving exam in Texas, as long as you have the required documents to prove both permission and financial responsibility as defined by the Texas Motor Vehicle Safety Responsibility Act.
If you want to use another person’s car for your driving test in Texas, there are a few things you should know first:
- The required documentation you need
- If the vehicle insurance covers you
- If you qualify as an exception to this rule
Can You Drive Someone Else’s Car at Your Driving Test?
The short answer is yes; you can drive someone else’s car at your driving test. However, you will need extra documentation, and you may have to provide proof of your permission to drive the vehicle.
The State of Texas identifies as “a permissive driving state,” meaning they allow permissive users on car insurance policies. Until 2013, “named driver” policies were allowed in Texas that could potentially disable a person from driving a car they didn’t own, but those policies are now prohibited.
Permissive Driving State
A permissive driving state allows insurance to cover unnamed individuals with permission to drive the car. Even if your name is not on the car’s insurance policy, you will still be covered if you have permission from the vehicle owner.
Named Driver Exclusion Policies
Until recently, named driver policies were available to purchase at a discounted rate for coverage to specifically-named drivers. Now, a person may have a named-driver exclusion only if it applies to one specifically-named individual and not a class of people.
So unless the owner has requested you as ineligible for coverage on the policy, you will be covered by the vehicle insurance.
Even though Texas is a permissive driving state, you still have to provide the documentation to prove financial responsibility by the owner and your permission to drive the vehicle.
You should be ready to provide this documentation:
- Proof of Financial Responsibility (Insurance) or Exemption
- Proof/Statement of Permission to Drive Vehicle
- Proof of Insurance for Owner’s Vehicle
- Identification Documents
Proof of Financial Responsibility
To apply for a license you must submit proof of financial responsibility or a statement declaring your exemption from this policy. If you do not personally own a vehicle, you are exempt from needing proof of insurance.
Proof of Permission
You will also be required to show proof of your permission to drive the vehicle- this could be in the form of a written statement from the owner. This confirms your ability to be covered by the owner’s insurance and acts as a supplement to the insurance policy stating your coverage.
A copy of the owner’s insurance policy is mandatory as documentation proving that anyone can drive the vehicle with the owner’s permission, including proof of financial responsibility for the owner of the car. Any vehicle used in the driving examination must have insurance on file.
Along with the additional documents discussed, you will need to bring the usual identifying documents required for your application. The documents can include your proof of address, birth certificate, social security number, and previous driving record.
Exceptions and Special Circumstances
There are specific circumstances in which you might not be able to drive another person’s car, or you might have additional documentation to complete in order to do so.
If you are a minor, using a different type of vehicle than you are testing for, or are a new Texas resident surrendering your old out-of-state license, you may be required to complete extra steps to take the driving test.
If you are below the age of 18, you must have your application signed by your parent or legal guardian in the presence of the examiner or a notary. You and your guardian are required to read through information regarding distracted and inebriated driving.
You are required to drive the same class of vehicle in the driving exam listed on your license application. For most people, this will be Class C.
- Class A: Testing class for Class A vehicles such as 18-wheelers
- Class B: Testing class for Class B vehicles such as dump trucks and buses
- Class C: Testing class for Class C and D vehicles such as personal cars
If you are upgrading from one class to another, you will still be required to bring the type of vehicle applicable to the test. There will also be a $10 fee assessed to upgrade your license to a higher class designation.
New Texas Resident
If you are a new Texas resident looking to update your out-of-state driver’s license, you must submit additional documentation for any other vehicles you might have. If you own an unused vehicle, you will still have to submit proof of registration in Texas for that car.
Car for Texas Driving Test FAQ
Does the owner of the vehicle need to come with me?
No, the owner does not have to be present for you to use the car. However, if you do not have a driver’s license yet, you will need someone to drive you to the test.
Are there any extra fees associated with using someone else’s car?
No, there are no fees assessed for the use of someone else’s car.
Can I drive the car to the testing site?
You can drive the car to the testing site if you already have a license. Otherwise, you will need someone to drive you there and back home if you do not pass the exam.
Texas Department of Public Safety- Scheduling a Road Test https://www.dps.texas.gov/section/driver-license/faq/section-2-scheduling-road-test#:~:text=Yes%2C%20you%20may%20use%20a,registration%20laws%20in%20that%20state.
Texas Driver Handbook
Fleming Law- What is the Texas Safety Responsibility Law? https://flemingattorneys.com/safety-responsibility-law
Freeway Insurance- Texas Bans Named Driver Auto Policies https://www.freewayinsurance.com/knowledge-center/auto-insurance/understanding-auto-insurance/texas-bans-named-driver-auto-policies-in-2020/
House Bill 1773