There are over 26 million Americans who have a driver’s license. But before you can join that number, you have to get Florida driver’s permits, which takes some work. We’ve put together this guide to teach you everything you need to know before you get started.
So let’s dive in!
When Can You Get a Florida Driver’s Permit?
You can get your learner’s permit in Florida as soon as you turn 15. While most people learn how to drive when they’re a teenager, you can get a learner’s permit at any age.
But getting your permit takes a bit of work. Here’s what you’ll need to do.
How to Get Your Permit
Before you can get your permit and start learning how to drive, you’ll have to take and pass several different tests.
Here’s a quick guide of what you can expect during this process.
- Drug and Alcohol Course
The first thing you’ll need to do is take a drug and alcohol course. During this course, you’ll learn about the dangers of driving while intoxicated or drunk and other important traffic laws.
You can go through this course on your computer, but be sure to set aside a chunk of time. The course takes about four hours to complete.
- Vision Test
You’ll have to pass a vision test before you can move any further in this process. If you don’t pass this test, the DMV will recommend seeing an eye doctor and then returning later with glasses.
You don’t need perfect vision to pass this test. You can wear glasses or contacts if you have them.
However, if you wear glasses, this will be marked on your license. You’ll have to wear your glasses every time you drive.
- Hearing Test
The hearing test is similar to the vision test. If you need a hearing aid to pass the test, it will be marked on your license, and you’ll have to wear a hearing aid every time you drive.
- Permit Test
Now you’re ready to take the permit test.
This exam has 50 questions about various traffic laws, driving practices, and more. You must answer at least 40 of these questions correctly in order to pass.
If you don’t pass the exam on the first try, you might be able to take it again right away. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep studying and try again later.
Again, you can take this exam online from your computer.
The Document’s You’ll Need
Passing the permit exam is only part of the process. You’ll also need to provide a number of documents to prove your identity and your address.
Here’s what you’ll need.
There are a number of things you can use to prove your identification. For example, you can bring a passport, a state ID, or an original copy of your birth certificate.
- Social Security Number
Along with your identification, you’ll also need your Social Security number. But having the number memorized isn’t enough. Make sure you have your Social Security card or a W-2 form with your number on it.
- Proof of Address
You will need to have two separate documents that prove your address. These might include a bill with your name and address, a school transcript, or a Certification of Address form.
- Parent Consent Form
If you are under 18, you must also provide a parental consent form. Your parent or guardian must sign this document at the DMV where a license examiner can see them do it.
How Long Do You Have to Have a Permit Before You Can Get a License?
If you followed all the steps above, you should have your learner’s permit. Congrats!
But this doesn’t mean you can hop in the car and drive wherever you want whenever you want. There are several regulations you’ll have to follow as a new driver.
Here’s what you need to know.
Before you can get your license, you’ll need to drive with your permit for at least 12 months. During this time, you’ll have to drive 50 hours total, 10 of which must be driven at night.
You also can’t drive after sunset or before sunrise for the first three months.
At this point, you can get your driver’s license if you choose to do so. Or you can keep practicing with a permit until you feel comfortable.
Whether you get a driver’s license or not, you won’t have full privileges as a driver yet. For example, if you are still 16, you won’t be able to drive between 11 pm and 6 am. If you are 17, you won’t be able to drive between the hours of 1 am and 5 am.
You are only allowed to drive at these times if you have supervision from another licensed driver.
A teenage driver will have full privileges once they turn 18. At this point, they can drive at any hour of the day (or night) and have anyone in the car while they’re on the road.
What You Need to Know About Florida Driver’s Permits
Anyone can get Florida driver’s permits when they turn 15, but you won’t be able to drive by yourself completely until you turn 18. You’ll also have to pass several different exams before you can get your license, so make sure you spend plenty of time studying the rules of the road.
And just because you have your license doesn’t mean you can stop being careful.
Click here to learn what happens when you get points on your license.