Licensing & State Laws

To get your driver’s license in Florida, you’ll move through three licensing stages. As you progress, you’ll also need your parents’ permission at each step.

Learner’s License

At age 15 you can apply for a learner’s license in the state of Florida. You must pass the written, and vision tests, and have a signed parent consent form.

With a learner’s license, you may only drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older who has a valid driver’s license or older supervising and sitting in the front seat.

Intermediate License

When you turn 16 and 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), passed a behind-the-wheel driving test, completed a vision test and provided proof of practice driving time, you can apply for this intermediate license. You must also have completed a driver education course approved by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. A legal guardian must accompany you to the DMV to sign the application form, or their signature must be notarized on the form.

When you have an intermediate license and you are 16 years old, you may only drive between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m., and if you are 17 years old, you may only drive between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m., unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and sits in the front passenger seat, or if you are traveling to or from work.

Full License

At age 18, you can obtain a full unrestricted driver’s license if you have had no major traffic convictions during the previous 12 months. Such violations include driving under the influence, drag racing, and reckless driving.

Now is a good time to set up a parent-teen driving agreement to help you and your parents establish expectations related to both their rules and the laws in your state.

For more information on the licensing process and state laws, visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is in charge of licensing for all drivers in the state.

  • Conducts the written exam and road test for your learner’s License and intermediate license.
  • Provides study materials to help you get ready for the exams.
  • Keeps track of your license status and can suspend your license if you get too many tickets, don’t keep insurance on your car or commit other violations.

Your parents will do most of the rule setting and enforcement as you learn to drive. But state and local police are involved, too.

Police enforce traffic laws and investigate crashes. By enforcing traffic laws and requirements on seat belt use, distracted driving, drinking and driving, and teen licensing laws, police keep everyone on the road safer. Breaking the law can lead to fines, license suspension and other penalties.

  • If pulled over by the police, expect to present your driver’s license, the vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
  • If stopped as a driver or passenger, always cooperate and be respectful with law enforcement.
  • If in any kind of situation involving law enforcement, talk to your parents about it immediately afterward.

If you get a ticket or are involved in a crash, you may need to appear in court, whether you believe you were at fault or not. This is serious stuff: Judges often assess fines and suspend driving privileges for traffic offenses.

Police and courts are there when things go wrong. You and your parents can help keep things right.

  • Use a parent-teen driving agreement.
  • Keep your parents in the know about who you ride with.
  • Let your parents know when and where you’re headed.