Florida Driving Laws 2024 – A Crash Course on All You Need to Know

Florida Driving Laws - A Crash Course on All You Need to Know

It doesn’t matter if you’re a new driver or an experienced one, keeping up to date with Florida driving laws is important. 

And we’re here to give you a crash course on all you need to know. 

To make it easy, we’ve classified the laws into 3 categories: 

  • FL driver’s licenses
  • FL driving laws
  • FL road rules

For each category, we’ll talk about the important details. But if you need more information, then we’ll link each section to our more comprehensive guide to the topic. 

So shall we?

Florida Driving Laws by Category

Here are the full articles for each topic we’ll cover here. 

FL Driver’s License:

FL Driving Laws:

FL Road Rules:

Let’s explore each of these.

Florida Driver’s License

You can’t get behind the wheel without your driver’s license. 

So let’s tell you all you need to know about this ID card.

How to Get a Driver’s License in Florida

15 is a magical number for teenagers in Florida. After all, that’s when you can start working on your driver’s license.

However, minors 15-17 years old must earn the following credentials:

  • A learner’s license
  • An intermediate driver’s license
  • A full-privilege driver’s license

Here’s what you need to do to get your learner’s license in Florida:

  1. Go through the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) program from an accredited provider.
  1. Visit a local Driver License Center to process your application.
  1. Bring the necessary documents:
    1. Proofs of identity (1), residence (2), and Social Security number (1)
    2. A signed Parental Consent Form (HSMV 71142)
  1. Pass the vision and hearing test.
  1. Pass the knowledge exam. NOTE: You can choose to take this online or at your local high school or driving school. 
  1. Have your photo taken.
  1. Pay the $48 fee.
  1. Receive your learner’s license. 

Now, here’s how to get your intermediate license:

  1. Be at least 16 years old.
  1. Hold your learner’s license for 12 months or until you reach 18 years old (whichever comes first).
  1. Maintain a clean driving record.
  1. Complete the required supervised driving hours (50 in total, 10 of which must be at night).
  1. Go to a Driver License Center to take your driving test. It’s best to call ahead of time and see if an appointment is needed. 
  1. Bring the necessary documents:
    1. Proofs of identity (1), residence (2), and Social Security number (1)
    2. Certification of Driving Experience of a Minor (HSMV 71142) signed by your parent or legal guardian.
  1. Pass the driving test. NOTE: You can either take this at the service center, from a third-party provider, or your local high school or driving school. 
  1. Exchange your learner’s license for an intermediate one.

So, how do you get a full-privilege driver’s license in Florida?

If you already have an intermediate license, you only have to wait for your 18th birthday. All restrictions are lifted then.

However, if you’re already 18 and getting your license for the first time, here are the steps:

  1. Complete the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course.
  1. Apply for a full-privilege driver’s license at a local Driver License Center.
  1. Submit the required documents (proofs of identity, Florida residence, and Social Security number).
  1. Pass all the required tests:
    1. Hearing and vision
    2. Knowledge exam
    3. Driving test
  1. Pay the $48 licensing fee.
  1. Have your photo taken.
  1. Receive your full driver’s license. 

Florida Driver’s License Renewal

Every 8 years, you’re due for a driver’s license renewal. 

In Florida, you can renew it in two ways: online or in-person.

Here are the steps for each.


  1. Log in or create an account on the MyDMVPortal page.
  1. Follow the prompts on the screen.
  1. Pay the $48 renewal fee (you must add $15 if renewing an expired license).
  1. Receive your new credential through the mail within two or three weeks.

In Person:

  1. Decide which DMV Office you would like to visit and schedule an appointment.
  1. On your schedule, apply for renewal and submit documents proving the following:
    1. Your identity
    2. Your Social Security number
    3. Your Florida address
    4. Your change of name (if necessary)
  1. Pay the $48 renewal fee (tax collector’s offices charge an additional $6.25, except if you’re a veteran).
  1. Get your new license.

How to Get a CDL in Florida

What if you want to drive commercial vehicles? 

Well, then you need a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

In Florida, getting a CDL involved 2 credentials:

  • A commercial learner’s permit (CDL permit)
  • A commercial driver’s license (CDL)

First up, here’s how to get your CDL permit in Florida: 

  1. Ensure you meet all the requirements for a commercial driver.
  1. Decide on your CDL class and endorsements.
  1. Self-certify your CDL through the CDL Self-Certification System. 
  1. Choose a Driver License Service Center and check if you need to make an appointment.
  1. Present the following documents on your visit:
    1. A valid Florida-issued driver’s license
    2. Two proofs of your address in Florida
    3. Your DOT Medical card (if applicable)
    4. Your driving record
    5. Your Social Security number
  1. Pass the vision screening. 
  1. Pass all necessary knowledge exams. 
  1. Receive your CDL permit. 

To upgrade your CDL permit to an official CDL, you must:

  1. Hold our CDL permit for 14 days or longer.
  1. Undergo the required ELDT program.
  1. Schedule your CDL skills test.
  1. On your appointment, pay the testing fee and pass the CDL skills test.
  1. Go to a Division of Driver’s License office and submit the following documents:
    1. Two proofs of your Florida address
    2. Your valid CDL permit
    3. Your CDL test pass score
    4. Your DOT Medical Card (if applicable)
    5. Proof of your Social Security Number
  1. Pay the $75 licensing fee.
  1. Receive your CDL.

Florida Driver’s License Classes

Here’s a rundown of the different driver’s license classes in Florida.

Commercial Driver’s Licenses:

  • Class A CDL: to drive combination vehicles with a Gross Combined Weight Rating of over 26,000 pounds and towing a unit heavier than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B CDL: for heavy, straight vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating exceeding 26,000 pounds or any such vehicle towing a unit weighing less than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C CDL: to operate a vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less that you use to:
    • Carry 15 passengers (excluding the driver) or more.
    • Transport hazardous materials in quantities requiring placarding

Non-Commercial Driver’s Licenses:

  • Class E: to drive any vehicle that doesn’t require a commercial driver’s license and 2- or 3-wheeled motor vehicles with engine displacements of under 51ccs.
  • Motorcycle-Only: to drive 2- or 3-wheeled motor vehicles with engine displacements exceeding 50ccs.

How to Get a Florida Driving Record

If you need to get ahold of your Florida driving record, you can request it online, in person, or by mail. Here’s how to do it…


  1. Go to Florida’s Driver License Check page and encode the required information (it’s best to have your driver’s license ready).
  2. Follow the prompts.
  3. View your driving history.

In Person:

  1. Decide which Driver License Service Center you want to visit (don’t forget to check if you need to make an appointment).
  2. Request for your Florida driving record. 
  3. Pay the appropriate fees:
  • $8 for a 3-year driving record ($10 if certified)
  • $10 for a 7-year driving record

NOTE: County tax collector offices charge an additional $6.25 service fee.

  1. Get your Florida driving record.

By Mail:

  1. Download a copy of the Driver License Record Request Form and complete it.
  2. Enclose the correct fee, depending on the driving record you requested:
    1. 3-year driving record: $10 ($8 if uncertified)
    2. 7-year driving record: $10
  3. Send everything to the address below:

Bureau of Records

2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 52

Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0575

  1. Wait for your driving history to arrive by mail.

Florida Driving Laws

Knowing the different driver’s license classes and how to get them is one thing. But if you’re already on the streets, it’s crucial to understand the various driving laws in Florida. 

So let’s peek into this. 

Florida Vehicle Registration

Before anything else, you must ensure that your car is registered. 

Remember, you only have 10 days to do this. However, this timeline only applies to those who purchased second-hand vehicles or are new Florida residents.

For brand new vehicles, your dealer registers it for you. So you don’t need to worry about that.

Failing to register your vehicle on time earns you a delinquent fee. The amount varies depending on your license tax but ranges between $5 to $250.

So do the following to register your car:

  1. Gather all the necessary documents. These may include an Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration, proof of insurance, an insurance affidavit, a notice of sale or bill of sale, and other things.
  2. Go to a local service center to process your initial registration.
  3. Submit the necessary documents.
  4. Pay the $225 initial registration fee.

NOTE: Your cost may increase because of additional charges, such as:

  • $5 for mopeds
  • $10 for motorcycles
  • $7.50 for antique automobiles or motorcycles
  • Depending on their weight, you may pay $14.50 to $32.50 for automobiles and trucks and $160.75 to $1,322 for heavy trucks.
  • License plate fee of $28
  1. Get your license plates and tags. You will also receive a temporary vehicle title — the official document will arrive through the mail.

Florida Texting and Driving Law

Distracted driving accounted for 8% of all fatal accidents in Florida from 2017 to 2019. And one of the most common distractions for drivers is mobile phones. 

To address this, the State of Florida implemented its Wireless Communications While Driving Law on July 1, 2019.

The law prohibits drivers from texting, emailing, or sending instant messages while driving. However, the law does not limit it to cell phones — you cannot do the same on other electronic communication devices, such as laptops or tablets.

Remember, Florida’s law on texting and driving has primary enforcement. Police officers don’t need any reason to pull you over besides seeing you use a wireless communication device while behind the wheel.

A first offense is a non-moving violation. Although it will cost you a $30 fine, you won’t get any points on your license.

Subsequent offenses will result in a $30 fine plus 3 points on your driving record. 

Florida DUI Laws

Your blood alcohol content (BAC) determines whether or not you’re driving under the influence. 

In Florida, the following BAC levels will result in a DUI charge:

  • .08% or higher for drivers who are 21 years old and older
  • .02% or higher for underaged drivers (those below 21)
  • .04% or higher for drivers that hold commercial licenses 

Drivers 21 and older face the following penalties for a DUI:

OffenseBAC of at least 0.08%BAC of at least 0.15% or has a minor in the car
First$500 to $1,000$1,000 to $2,000
Second$1,000 to $2,000$2,000 to $4,000
Third$2,000 to $5,000At least $4,000
SubsequentAt least $2,000At least $4,000

Besides the fines, you may also face imprisonment. Some courts may also require you to undergo an alcoholism or drug abuse treatment program.

These are the same penalties for underaged drivers with BAC levels of 0.15% or higher. However, Florida has a Zero-Tolerance Policy for underage DUI, which explains why the threshold is significantly lower.

Here are the consequences for underage drivers with BACs lower than 0.15%:

OffenseBAC lower than 0.15%Refusal of Breath, Urine, or Blood Test
First6-month license suspension1-year license suspension
Succeeding1-year license suspension18-month license suspension

Florida Car Seat Laws

Safety should be everyone’s priority, and one way of doing that is by ensuring everyone buckles up in a moving vehicle. 

In Florida, the driver and the front-seat passenger must always wear seatbelts. However, for those sitting at the back, it’s only mandatory if you’re under 18 years old. 

But what about children? Do they also use seatbelts? 

If they’re 5 and younger, they must be in a federally-approved child restraint device. In short, you need to use a car seat.

Here’s a bit more detail:

  • Children 3 years old and younger must be in car seats, whether front- or rear-facing.
  • Children between 4 and 5 may already use booster seats if they outgrow car seats.
  • Children 6 and older don’t need to use car seats anymore. However, they must use your vehicle’s seatbelts.

Florida Parking Laws

Parking laws in Florida are straightforward.

In the Sunshine state, you cannot stop, stand, or park in the following areas:

  • On the roadway opposite a vehicle parking at the edge or curb of a street (double parking)
  • On a sidewalk, crosswalk, any railroad track, or bicycle path
  • Within an intersection
  • Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb
  • Within 30 feet of a curb
  • Alongside or opposite any street excavation or construction
  • On highways or any bridge or other elevated structure on a highway
  • Within a highway tunnel
  • Areas where control devices prohibit stopping
  • On a paved roadway, the shoulder of a limited access facility, or the pavement portion of any connecting ramp
  • On a disabled parking slot (except for those with a permit)

Parking, standing, or stopping on a highway outside municipalities is a moving violation charge. You must pay a $60 fine within 30 days unless you contest it in court.

On top of that, you also get 3 points on your driver’s license.

However, stopping, standing, or parking in other prohibited areas won’t add any points to your license since these are non-moving violations. That said, you still have to pay a $30 fine.

Lastly, the consequences are more severe if you park in a disabled parking space without a permit. Not only will your fine be anywhere between $250 to $500, but you might also face jail time.

Florida Road Rules

Now that we’ve gone over essential information about Florida driver’s licenses and driving laws, it’s time to explore the road rules. 

Florida Road Signs

You’ll see a variety of road signs in Florida. 

Their colors and shapes can give you an idea of their purpose.

For example, a red sign means you must stop or yield the right of way. But you’ll also see it in Do Not Enter and Wrong Way signs.

Orange typically means you’re entering a construction area, while yellow is for warning signs.

Regarding shapes, vertical rectangles show road rules, while horizontal ones provide directional information.

A crossbuck tells you that you’re approaching a railroad crossing.

Florida road signs come in four groups:

Regulatory signs tell you what you can and can’t do in an area.
Warning signs help you anticipate hazards you may encounter on the road.
Informational signs give directions to destinations, service facilities, parks, or historical sites.
Construction or maintenance signs provide instructions when you’re in Zones of Caution.

Besides signs, you must also consider traffic signals. 

There’s the standard traffic signal, where red means stop, yellow means proceed with caution, and green means go.

Lastly, there are pavement markings, which help you determine the following:

  • Whether or not you can switch lanes or pass other vehicles
  • Where you may turn
  • Which lanes are for bicycles
  • Where crosswalks and stop lines are

Florida Road Rules

You must expect to share the Florida roadways with other vehicles. In line with this, you must also know how to act accordingly to ensure that you and your passengers remain safe.

Here are the various parties that share the road with you and what you should do:

  • Pedestrians: yield the right way, especially in marked crossings, driveways, and intersections.
  • Bicycles: keep at least three feet of space between you and a cyclist and treat them like a slow-moving vehicle. Avoid honking at them and using your high beams if they’re approaching.
  • School buses: you cannot pass a bus when it activates its stop signal — this applies to vehicles in both traffic directions if you’re on a two-way road or highway. If you’re using a roadway with a raised barrier, only vehicles traveling in the same direction as the school bus must stop.
  • Emergency vehicles: you must yield the right-of-way to emergency vehicles, such as ambulances and fire engines. However, you must ensure you aren’t blocking intersections when you pull over. Florida has a Move Over Law, which ensures you provide emergency vehicles ample space by slowing down and switching to adjacent lanes if possible.
  • Funeral processions: yield the right-of-way to vehicles and pedestrians who are part of the procession. You cannot drive between them because you might disrupt them.
  • Public transits: yield the right-of-way to a public transit vehicle pulling out of its designated bay and reentering the traffic flow.
  • Trucks: stay out of their No Zones because it puts you in danger. Never tailgate. Also, avoid using your high beams when you’re behind it as it might blind the driver if it reflects on the side mirror.

Some Parting Words

Yes, we know it’s a lot, but now you know everything there is to know about Florida driving laws. 

Remember, there’s something for everyone here, regardless of what you need — whether about driver’s licenses, driving laws, or road rules.

And if you need more information, we provided links to the full guides. 

But with this quick summary of everything, we hope that you got a good idea of the different laws, rules, and whatnot. 

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