It’s the Law
It’s the LawSay Yes To Dallas
- Driving Laws
- Gun Laws
- Labor Laws
- Smoking & Drinking Laws
- Marriage & Divorce Laws
- Education Laws
- Real Estate Laws
You have 90 days to obtain a Texas driver’s license after moving to the state. If you are over 18 and already have a valid, unexpired license from another state, you won’t have to take the driving or knowledge test. To obtain your new Texas license, you must:
- Submit an application to your local Department of Public Safety
- Provide proof of Texas residency
- Submit a valid form of ID, such as a passport, unexpired military ID card, or U.S. Citizen Identification Card
- Pay a $25 fee
In Texas, you are required to have liability car insurance. It’s OK if your auto insurance was issued by another state, but it will have to meet the minimum coverage required. In Texas, all drivers must have at least $25,000 in coverage for property damage, $30,000 for each injured person, and $60,000 for injuries per incident.
Vehicle inspections are still a part of the registration process and are performed at Official Vehicle Inspection Stations licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Inspections must be done 90 days of registering your vehicle. Emission testing is required in 17 Texas counties which must comply with federally mandated clear air requirements.
in 2013, the State of Texas changed the vehicle inspection and registration requirements, eliminating the inspection sticker. Residents must have their vehicle inspected within 90 days of renewing the state vehicle registration sticker. Under the one-sticker system, it now serves as both the inspection and registration sticker. You can register your vehicle online, by mail, or in person.
Texas does not require drivers or passengers of motorcyclists to wear helmets. The state also does not require helmets for bicyclists. However, city regulations vary on the latter, and the city of Dallas requires helmets for bicyclists ages 17 and younger.
There are no legal restrictions to purchasing a gun in Texas. You do not need to obtain a license to own a firearm or register a firearm that you own. It is legal to carry a shotgun or a rifle without having a handler’s license. Handguns can be carried in some places without a Texas Concealed Handgun License (CHL).
You may carry a concealed handgun in most places in Texas if you have a CHL, but you must carry the CHL with you. Texas has reciprocity agreements with 30 states. However, there are some places and circumstances you cannot carry a handgun legally even with a CHL. Owners of any establishment can prohibit handguns on their properties if they post a legal notice.
RIGHT TO WORK
Texas is a right-to-work state. That means you cannot be denied employment for participation or nonparticipation in a labor union/ organization. Your employer cannot discriminate against you for choosing to join or not join a union. Texas is also an employment-at-will state, which means the employer or employees can terminate employment at any time, for any reason, with a few exceptions.
USE & PURCHASE OF TOBACCO
You must be older than 18 years of age to purchase tobacco products in Texas.
Smoking is not allowed in public places in Dallas, including city parks, libraries, buses, or within 15 feet of any pedestrian entrance. The city of Dallas has also banned smoking in bars and restaurants. However, many of the surrounding communities do allow smoking in bars.
The legal age to purchase and consume alcohol in Texas is 21. In Texas, driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher is considered driving while intoxicated (DWI). It is illegal in Texas to have open containers of alcohol in the passenger area of your vehicle while you are driving or parked on a public highway.
DRY VERSUS WET AREAS
A wet area is one in which sales of alcoholic beverages are permitted at all times. A dry area is one in which some or all alcoholic beverage sales are restricted some or all of the time. There are also partially wet areas in which beer and wine sales are legal, but the sale of liquor is not. DFW is a complicated patchwork of all of the above.
MARRIAGE & DIVORCE REQUIREMENTS
To get married in Texas, you need to be at least 18 years old. Apply in person at a Texas County Clerk’s Office to receive your marriage license. Texas is a no-fault divorce state, meaning you do not have to prove a wrongdoing to be granted a divorce. Texas does not stipulate that a couple must be separated for any period of time prior to getting a divorce.
COMMON LAW MARRIAGE
Texas recognizes comon- law marriages. You and your partner simply need to either file a Declaration of Informal Marriage or agree that you are married, live together in Texas, and represent to other people that you are married to each other.
As of the summer of 2015, the State of Texas recognizes marriage, civil unions, and domestic partnerships between individuals of the same gender, per the U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Texas does not require kindergarten. However, children ages 6 and over must attend school.
Texas requires students to take standardized tests in grades 3-8 and high school end-of-course (EOC) exams. The tests are called the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STARR) system. The number of EOC tests a student is required to take depends on what that student plans to do after graduation.
The Texas Homestead Exemption reduces taxes by lowering a home’s taxable value. All school districts offer a $15,000 homestead exemption, and some taxing units offer a separate exemption based on a percentage of a home’s assessed value. The homestead exemption applies only if the property is the owner’s primary residence. There are additional exemptions for people over 65. Also under the Texas Homestead Exemption your residence is protected from the forced sale by creditors, with the exception of the lender, the IRS, or a contractor who works on your house and increases its value. When you buy a house, call the county appraisal district and ask for the forms for declaring your homestead.