Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Florida
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Applying for a New Teen Driver's License in Florida
In an effort to minimize the risks associated with first-time drivers on the road, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) has implemented a graduated driver licensing (GDL) law.
The program requires all teen drivers to achieve certain milestones prior to obtaining a driver's license. Many of these milestones are based on age and experience.
REAL IDs in Florida
The Florida DHSMV began issuing federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses in 2010. REAL IDs allow you to use your license for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings. For details on FL REAL IDs, see the DHSMV's guide and FAQs.
New to Florida?
If you're new to Florida and have held a driver's license in your previous state, you may transfer it without having to take the written exam and driving test.
For more information, please contact the Division of Driver Licenses' Customer Service at (850) 617-2000.
If you have an out-of-state learner's permit or intermediate driver's license, you may transfer it for a Florida learner's license or provisional license. Follow the steps outlined in the “Florida Learner's Permit" and “Provisional License" sections below.
FL Graduated Driver's Licensing (GDL) Law
If you're under 18 years old, you must complete the following stages of the Florida GDL program:
- Learner's permit.
- Intermediate driver's license/provisional license.
- Full privilege driver's license.
Until you obtain your full driver's license, you will have to follow certain driving restrictions, which are detailed below.
- Learner's permit: 15 years old.
- Intermediate license/provisional license: 16 to 17 years old.
- Full privilege driver's license: 18 years old.
Florida Learner's Permit
In order to apply for a Florida learner's permit, you must be at least 15 years old and have completed the Florida Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course. For more information, visit our Driver's Ed in Florida page.
For your REAL ID-compliant driver's license, visit your local Division of Driver Licenses office with:
- A completed Parental Consent for a Driver Application of a Minor (Form HSMV 71142).
- Proof of your:
- Identity (e.g. certified U.S. birth certificate).
- Social Security number (e.g. Social Security card).
- Completion of a TLSAE course OR your out-of-state learner's permit.
- All TSLAE providers electronically report your exam results to the DHSMV, so you don't need a paper certificate.
- Florida residential address (2 documents).
Is my permit REAL ID-compliant?
Yes! Florida's learner's permits and driver's licenses are compliant with the REAL ID act.
For more information, use the GatherGoGet system. The DHSMV also has a list of acceptable documents for each requirement depending on whether you are a:
Once you provide the required documents mentioned above, you'll need to pass the following:
- Vision exam.
- Hearing test.
- DMV written test.
- You may take and pass the written test online through a third-party vendor. HOWEVER, you may be asked to re-take the test at your local Division of Driver Licenses office when you submit your proof of having passed it, as the state randomly selects test-takers to repeat it in person.
In order to help you prepare for the written exam, the Division of Driver Licenses suggests that you study the Florida Driver Handbook. Another excellent way to prepare for the written test is to study with the assistance of an online practice test. These comprehensive study guides will help you pass the exam on your first attempt.
Driving Restrictions and Behind-the-Wheel Practice
With your Florida learner's permit in your possession, you can only drive during daytime hours for the first 3 months. After this time, you will be allowed to drive until 10 p.m.
You must always be with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and is sitting in the front passenger seat.
Before moving on to your provisional license:
- You must practice driving for at least 50 hours.
- 10 hours of the total 50 hours must be driven at night.
Florida Provisional License
To move on to your intermediate driver's license, you must:
- Be at least 16 years old.
- Have had your Florida learner's permit for at least 1 year without incident.
- Have completed a minimum of 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience (10 hours must be at night).
You must visit a Division of Driver Licenses office and:
- Submit your FL learner's license or out-of-state learner's permit.
- Pass a driving test OR present a DMV road test waiver from your Driver's Ed course.
- Submit certification that you've completed the required behind-the-wheel hours.
Provisional License Driving Restrictions
Depending on your age, you'll need to follow certain driving restrictions while on your intermediate driver's license.
- 16 years old: You may drive unsupervised, but only between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m.
- 17 years old: You may only drive unsupervised between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m.
Regardless of your age, you can drive at any time of day if:
- You're supervised by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old.
- You are driving to and from work.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents that lead to injury and even death. Remember to always keep your attention on the road when your are driving. You can learn more about the dangers of driving distracted by visiting our section on Distracted Driving.
Full Unrestricted Driver's License
Once you turn 18 years old, your provisional driver's license will turn into a full-privilege driver's license. You will no longer need to follow any driving restrictions or have a licensed driver supervising you.
Keep track of your progress and share it with your friends with our new Florida driver's license checklist.