Teen holding car keys

Get your license and get on the road!

Applying for a New Teen Drivers License in Florida

When young people get on out the road in Florida for the first time, it’s a significant life change. New rules and responsibilities come with your driving privileges, and those who aren’t ready for it run the risk of harming themselves and anyone else on the road. Because of this, teens who apply for a drivers license in Florida will have to follow a different process than adults do. While adults can very quickly acquire their full unrestricted license if they can pass their written and behind-the-wheel examinations, teens will have to follow a much slower path.

Florida Graduated Drivers License Program

Florida’s Graduated Drivers License program allows a teen to go through stages to increase his or her driver responsibility. It is essential to understand the basic principles of safe driving before obtaining a full or permanent drivers license. Increasing freedom will be given to teens as they age, starting as young as 15 years old.

Florida Learners License

At age 15, you are eligible to receive a Florida learners license. You must take an approved Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course, or driver education, and pass both written and visual exams proving your physical and intellectual abilities. You must practice with your learners license for 1 year before applying for an Operator’s License at age 16. During this time, you can only drive with a licensed adult over 21 years of age in the front passenger seat at all times. You can only drive during the daytime for the first three months, and even after that only until 10 p.m.

Florida Operators License

At age 16, you can apply for your Florida operators license, which allows you to finally start driving without adult supervision. This can occur only if you have had your learners license for at least a year and have logged at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice (10 at night). You will also have to pass a behind-the-wheel exam where you perform specific driving tasks.

If you pass you will be able to drive by yourself between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. while you are 16, and between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. while you are 17. You can still drive outside these time limits if you are accompanied by a licensed adult over 21, or are commuting to or from work or school.

Unrestricted E-Class License

Finally, after enduring the long wait and proving your safe driving abilities on the road, you will automatically be upgraded to a full unrestricted license on your 18th birthday. However, if you show irresponsible behavior during your teenage years, you could have your license suspended or revoked, and you will have to apply for a new license all over again when the revocation period has ended. The best way to ensure you don’t make any major mistakes on the road and pass your tests on your first attempt is to study the Florida driver’s handbook. With a lot of patience and practice, you’ll do just fine. Good luck!