In Florida, there is more to getting a driver's license than simply taking driver’s ed. Florida requires that drivers under 18 hold a learner’s license for at least a year before they can even apply for a driver's license. Learning about all of the requirements beforehand can help make the licensing process go more smoothly and help you get driving down the road quicker.
When and How to Get a Learner's License in Florida
For drivers under 18 years old, there are a number of steps you must complete before you can get your official Florida driver's license. The biggest step is getting a learner’s license, which can be done as soon as you turn 15 years old.
The learner’s license will allow you to legally drive with a responsible adult and get practice operating a vehicle. Drivers between 15 and 18 years old have to spend at least 12 months with a Florida learner’s license before they can graduate to a regular license. So if you want to drive on your own when you turn 16 get started early!
To get a learner’s license, you must:
Complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) class, which is different from a driver’s ed Florida course. Florida requires new drivers to take this 4-hour drug and alcohol course from an approved provider to learn about the dangers of driving while impaired as well as other common driving hazards.
Complete a learner’s license application (signed by a parent or guardian if under 18) and pay the $48 application fee.
Pass a vision and hearing test.
Pass a permit knowledge exam. This is a multiple-choice exam that tests how much you know about Florida traffic laws and road signs. You can take the test at a local driver's license and motor vehicle service center or through a Driver Education Licensing Assistance Program (DELAP). BUT if you don’t want to wait in line or join a program you can take the official online Florida Permit Test using the Aceable app!
Bring documents that prove your identity, Social Security number and home address. All documents must be an original.
Ready to get a Florida learner’s license? Sign up with Aceable to take the TLSAE course on the only app approved by the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department!
What Are the Requirements for Getting a Driver's License in Florida?
Once you’ve had your learner’s license for at least a year (or you reach age 18, whichever comes first) it’s time to get your driver's license. To get a full-fledge Class E drivers license you must:
Have your parent, legal guardian or another licensed adult certify that you have 50 hours of driving experience, including at least 10 hours of night driving.
Have no moving violation convictions in the past year. If you do receive a moving violation citation you may be able to take a Florida Basic Driver Improvement Course to avoid a conviction.
Pass a driving skills test.
The last requirement is by far the biggest one. Before you schedule your driving exam you’ll need to make sure you can complete the tested skills.
What Should I Expect During the Driving Test in Florida?
After you’ve successfully completed all the prerequisites — the 4-hour drug and alcohol course, 50 hours of driving, the knowledge exam, etc. — you’re finally ready to take your driving skills test and get your license. So what should you expect on the test?
You may take your driving skills test either at a local driver's license and motor vehicle service center or at a third-party exam administrator. If you took driver’s ed through your high school DELAP, you might be able to take your driving skills test from your driver education teacher.
During the exam, you will need to perform a number of driving maneuvers, including:
Making a three-point turn. You’ll have to turn your car around in a 20-40 foot space.
Stopping at all stop signs. According to Tonya Dansby, owner of the XLR8 Driving School, this is one of the hardest skills for new drivers to conquer. “New drivers struggle with controlling the vehicle when fully stopping at stop signs," said Dansby. "Many fail to understand that the initial stop should be with the bumper lined up with the stop OR at the stop line.”
Yielding the right-of-way to pedestrians and emergency vehicles.
Parking correctly, both on a hill and in a parking space.
Stopping quickly and safely.
Backing up slowly for 50 feet.
Obeying all stop signs and traffic signals.
Making correct turns and lane changes.
Not following other cars too closely.
The examiner will score you based on your ability to successfully complete these maneuvers. If you complete them all successfully — congrats! You now have a sparkling new license to show off.
*This article was updated on 8/11/2020