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How to Get a Driver’s License in Florida (A Complete 2022 Guide)

How to Get a Driver’s License in Florida (A Complete Guide)

Getting your driver’s license is a big milestone.

And working towards it can be an exciting time. 

However, since each state has different requirements, you might get a bit confused. 

This is why, today, we’re going to focus on how to get a driver’s license in Florida. Here, we’ll give you a complete guide. We won’t leave anything out. 

With this, you’ll know exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it. 

Sounds good?

Then let’s get started!

Florida Driver’s License Requirements 

You can start working for your driver’s license at the age of 15. 

If so, you will have to go through the complete Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws. This program consists of 3 stages, namely:

  • Learner’s license
  • Intermediate driver’s license
  • Full-privilege driver’s license

Let’s go through each stage one by one. 

How to Get a Learner’s License in Florida

Here are the steps to getting your learner’s license in Florida:

  1. Complete the required Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course through an approved provider (click here for approved providers). Once finished, the school will submit your certificate of completion to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV)
  1. Apply for a learner’s license at your local Driver License Service Center (click here for locations). It’s best to contact a service center and ask if appointments are required. 
  1. Bring the required documents, including:
    1. Proof of identity
    2. 2 proofs of residency
    3. Proof of social security number
    4. Parental consent form (HSMV 71142). This form must be signed by your parent or legal guardian in front of a Driver License Service Center employee or Notary Public. Note: this is NOT required if you are married or an emancipated minor (must show proof)

Click here for a complete list of what specific documents you can bring.

  1. Take and pass a vision and hearing test
  1. Have your picture taken
  1. Take and pass the knowledge exam. You can do this at the service center, in a classroom, or online (click here for approved online/classroom exam providers). If you do it online, you need to submit a Parent Proctoring Form (HSMV 71144). Again, this form must be signed by your parent or legal guardian in front of an employee. 
  1. Pay the learner license fee of $48

With that, you will receive your learner’s license.

A learner’s license will allow you to practice driving. However, you should have a licensed driver at least 21 years old in the passenger seat at all times. 

Another thing. For the first 3 months, you are not allowed to drive at night. After 3 months, you are not allowed to drive over 10 pm. 

How to Get an Intermediate Driver’s License in Florida

Once you turn 16 years old, held your learner’s license for 12 months, and don’t have any convictions for moving violations, you can apply for your intermediate driver’s license. 

Here’s how to apply:

  1. Complete at least 50 hours of supervised driving, 10 of which should be done at night. To show proof, your parent or legal guardian must complete and sign the Certification of Driving Experience of a minor (HSMV 71142).
  1. Apply for an intermediate driver’s license at your local Driver License Service Center (click here for locations). Again, it’s best to contact a service center and ask if appointments for a driving test are required. 
  1. Submit the required documents, including:
    1. Proof of identity
    2. 2 proofs of residency
    3. Proof of social security number
    4. Certification of Driving Experience of a minor (HSMV 71142). This form must be signed by your parent or legal guardian in front of a Driver License Service Center employee or Notary Public. 

Click here for a complete list of what specific documents you can bring.

  1. Take and pass the driving test. You need to bring your own vehicle that is insured and has a valid license plate. 
  1. Surrender your learner’s permit

You have now upgraded to an intermediate driver’s license.

With this license, you can drive solo. However, there are still some restrictions, such as:

  • If you are 16 years old, you are only allowed to drive between 6:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Exceptions are if you are traveling to and/or from work or school OR driving with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old in the front seat.
  • If you are 17 years old, you can drive alone anytime, EXCEPT between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. However, you can drive if you are traveling to and/or from work or school OR driving with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old in the front seat.
  • If you are 18 years old, all these restrictions will expire and it will automatically become a full-privilege driver’s license. You don’t need to exchange it. You can simply wait for the renewal date to receive the new, full-privilege driver’s license. 

And there you have it!

You will now be a fully licensed driver in Florida. 

Congrats!

How to Get a Full-Privilege Driver’s License in Florida

What if you want to get your first ever license but you’re already 18 years old or older?

Here are the steps for you:

  1. Complete the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course (click here for approved providers). Your approved provider will automatically send your certificate of completion to the FLHSMV. 
  1. Apply for a full-privilege driver’s license at your local Driver License Service Center (click here for locations). If you are over 18 years old, you can choose to apply for a learner’s license first if you want supervised driving practice. If so, you DON’T have to hold it for 12 months, only until you feel ready to take the test. 
  1. Bring the required documents:
    1. Proof of identity
    2. 2 proofs of residency
    3. Proof of social security number

Click here for a complete list of what specific documents you can bring.

  1. Take and pass a vision and hearing test
  1. Take and pass the knowledge exam. You can take it at a Driver License Service Center, in a classroom, or online. Click here for authorized third-party exam providers.
  1. Take and pass the driving test. 
  1. Have your picture taken
  1. Pay the license fee of $48
  1. Surrender your learner’s license (if applicable)

When you complete all these steps, you will be handed your full-privilege driver’s license, also called the Class E Florida license. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Got other questions? Then let’s answer some of the most frequently asked ones about driver’s licenses in Florida. 

Can I still get a driver’s license in Florida even without a Social Security Number (SSN)?

Yes! If you do not have an SSN, you can bring a letter from the Social Security Administration confirming that you were never given or issued one.

When do I need to renew my driver’s license in Florida?

Your Florida driver’s license is valid for 8 years. If you are over 79 years old, the renewal period shortens to 6 years. 

I have a valid out-of-state driver’s license. Do I have to retake the written or driving test to get a Florida driver’s license?

No. If you present a valid out-of-state driver’s license the department accepts them so long as you have taken the written and driving exams from that state. However, vision and hearing tests are required for every out-of-state driver. Other tests might be necessary based on any issues that indicate that the driver may not be able to drive a vehicle safely.

Conclusion

So that was your complete guide on how to get a driver’s license in Florida. 

To recap, you can work towards your driver’s license at the young age of 15. However, you will have to go through the full GDL Law, which includes a learner’s license, intermediate driver’s license, and finally a full-privilege driver’s license. 

If you start working for a license and you’re already 18 years old or older, the process becomes easier and faster. 

Whichever you are, make sure to follow the necessary steps we listed here. 

And what are you waiting for?

Now that you know everything, you can get started right away!

Good luck!

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