Drivers Ed in Florida
Never had a FL drivers license? All first time drivers in the State of Florida are required by law to take a Florida drivers ed course prior to applying for a Florida drivers license. DMV.ORG recommends FloridaDrivingCourse.com as a good choice for Florida drivers ed.
First-Time Driver (D.A.T.A.) - FloridaDrivingCourse.com Enroll in the FloridaDrivingCourse.com four-hour class from the privacy of your own home and complete it at your convenience. This course will allow you to learn about how alcohol and other drugs affect your ability to drive, FL laws and responsibilities, safe driving techniques, and how to increase your awareness on Florida's roadways. After completing the online course, you will be prepared to take your FL drivers license written exam online at your local Florida DMV office.
Learning to drive is a big step for any teen, but the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has created a lot of help along the way. Check out Applying For a New License on this site to get the specific details about how to apply for your learner's and operator's licenses.
Education Comes First
Before you get any kind of license, you need to learn the rules and some basic skills. A good place to start is the Florida Driver Handbook, which contains a lot of valuable information about driving laws and procedures. Here's just some of what you'll find in the handbook:
If you're taking a driver's ed course at school, that class will usually cover the first-time driver education requirements set by the State of Florida. Check with your school board to make sure.
If your school doesn't offer driver's ed, you'll need to take a required Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course through a private company, such as Florida Driving Course, before applying for your learner's license. The state has compiled a list of approved course providers on the DHSMV Web site.
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Driving Independence, Step by Step
Because the State of Florida is serious about ensuring the safety of teens (and everyone else) on the highways, legislators have come up with a process that allows first-time drivers to gain experience and freedom gradually. Here are the steps you'll take:
Learner's license: You have to be at least 15 years old to get this instructional permit, which only allows you to drive during daylight hours and accompanied at all times by a licensed driver who's at least 21 years old. You'll be required to have this license for a year, during which you must get at least 50 hours of driving experience, with 10 of those hours being at night. You'll need to have a parent or guardian sign a statement saying you did indeed get at least the minimum hours of experience.
Operator's license: Once you're 16, you can take your on-road driving test and get your operator's license, which allows you to drive alone in the car between the hours of 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. (If you're driving to or from work or accompanied by a licensed driver who's at least 21, you can drive during restricted hours.) When you turn 17, you'll get a little more freedom, and be allowed to drive alone between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m., unless driving to or from work or accompanied by a licensed driver who's 21 or older.
Regular Class E license: At age 18, you'll be able to drive alone at any time or day or night. But even though you have an unrestricted license, you should know that the state will penalize you more harshly for certain infractions, until you are 21. See the }Teen Drivers section on this site for more information about the penalties for younger drivers. The increased penalties aren't to keep you down; they're mainly to send a serious message about the need for safe and experienced driving.
Other Driver Education Courses
4-Hour Basic Driver Improvement (BDI & TCAC)
If you have a Florida driver's license or you received a ticket in Florida, then the four-hour Basic Driver Improvement (BDI & TCAC) course is for you! By taking this class, you can keep points off your record for the current violation, you can hold onto your same insurance rate if the citation was not associated with an accident (statute 318.14 (9)), and you can maintain your safe-driver status. Just make sure you are only attending a driver improvement course once every 12 months and no more than five times in a ten year period.
Mature Driver Program
If you have a Florida Driver's License and are 55 years of age or older, you are now eligible to complete a 6 hour motor vehicle accident prevention course that will allow you to receive a mandatory reduction on your insurance rate for three years. (Florida Statute 627.0652).
Eight-Hour Immediate Driver Improvement
If the court or a judge has ordered you to take a traffic class, then the Florida 8 Hour Judge Ordered course is for you! Simply register for the course and start immediately.
Florida 12-Hour Advanced Driver Improvement
If you have had your Florida Driver's License Suspended or Revoked (Non-DUI Related), the 12-Hour Advanced Driver Improvement Course is for you! This course is required for those who have received point suspensions for 12 points in 12 months, 18 points in 18 months and 24 points in 36 months. It is also required for those persons who have been identified as Habitual Traffic Offenders (also known as HTO). This course addresses many court referral requirements as mandated by judges or via standing administrative orders.
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