Licensing & State Laws

Florida’s multi-stage licensing process allows teens to gradually gain exposure to complex driving situations, easing them into driving over an extended period of time. The learner’s license and intermediate stages are key steps.

Learner’s License

At age 15, teens can apply for a learner’s license in the state of Florida. The teen must have completed a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Course; pass the written, vision and hearing tests; and have a signed parent consent form.

With a learner’s license, teens may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older supervising and sitting in the front seat. For the first three months, teens may only practice during daylight hours; then, teens may practice no later than 10 p.m. Teens are required to practice driving for at least 50 hours, including 10 hours at night, with a parent or a legal guardian, before they’re allowed an intermediate license.

Intermediate License

When teens turn 16, have had a learner’s license for at least 1 year without any traffic violations and have completed 50 hours of practice driving, 10 of which must be at night, they can apply for the intermediate license. They also must pass a behind-the-wheel driving test, complete a vision test and provide proof of practice driving time. Legal guardians must accompany their teens to the DMV to sign the application form, or their signature must be notarized on the form.

At the intermediate stage, driving privileges are based on age. For a 16-year old, driving is allowed between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. For a 17-year old, driving is allowed between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. Outside of these timeframes, teen drivers must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old in the front passenger seat, or must be traveling to or from work.

Full License

At age 18, teens are eligible for a full unrestricted license. The state does not place night or passenger limits on those with unrestricted licenses. However, AAA encourages parents to maintain their own rules.

All first time drivers in Florida must take a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse course and a written exam to receive a learner’s license.

A parent-teen driving agreement can help you enforce licensing rules that the state and your family set. An agreement helps you and your teen understand the rules of the road and sends a clear message that driving is an earned privilege that your family takes seriously.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is in charge of licensing for all drivers in Florida. The FLHSMV conducts the written exam and road test needed to get a driver’s license. It also provides study materials to help your teen get ready for the exams.

State and local police enforce traffic laws and investigate crashes. Remind your teen that police can and will enforce all requirements on seat belt use, drinking and driving and other laws. Breaking the law can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties. Talk to your teen about these and other consequences, and explain what to do if stopped by police.

  • If stopped by the police, teens should expect to present a valid license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
  • If stopped as a driver or passenger, teens should always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
  • If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, teens should talk to their parents about it, because this can create a learning experience.

If your teen gets a ticket or is involved in a crash, it could lead to a court appearance. Judges deal seriously and directly with teen traffic violations. They can assess fines and suspend driving privileges for traffic offenses—even for a first offense.