Florida Permit Requirements

When applying for your Florida driver permit with DHSMV, it is helpful to know the permit requirements.  Make sure you have the met the requirements and that you have the required documents ready.

In Florida the teen driver learner permit is officially known as a learner license.  There are several important steps that you need to be aware of to get your Florida learner license.  First you must be at least 15 years old to apply for a learner permit.  Since you must hold that permit for one year to receive a regular driver license, it is a good idea to start the process early by also finishing the required driver education course before turning 15, and then getting your permit as soon as possible after turning 15.

Here are the requirements you must complete to receive your permit.

  • Complete the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course.  This 4-hour class is most frequently offered through a private driving school, although some high school driver education classes may also meet the requirements.  See Understanding Driver Education in Florida.
  • Once you go to the Florida HSMV office to apply for your permit you must have a Parent Consent form http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/HSMV71142.pdf signed in person by your parent or guardian at the HSMV office.  This provides proof that your parent is taking responsibility for your safe driving.  If your parent or guardian cannot make it to the office to sign in person, you will need a signed and notarized copy.
  • There are a number of paperwork requirements to provide proof of ID, residence and Social Security number.  You will need to bring:
  • a valid birth certificate (not a copy).  This will prove your identification and date of birth.  A valid passport will also meet these requirements.
  • 2 proofs of residence.  These can be documents such as utility bills, voter registration card, a health insurance card with your address or a current transcript from your school.  Since many 15 year olds do not have this documentation, your parent may provide the 2 proving documents and sign a statement that you live with them on this form. http://www.flhsmv.gov/html/CertificationofAddressHSMV71120.pdf
  • Your social security card.  A W-2 form or a paystub with your social security number on it also works.
  • The fee for a driver license in Florida is $48.  While this may seem steep, remember that it covers the entire licensing process, including receiving your permit and license.  Additional fees will apply if you need to retake a written or driving test.
  • You will need to take a vision and hearing test.
  • There are two separate written tests, the Road Rules test and the Road Signs test.  Both are 20 question multiple choice tests.  See What to Expect from the Permit Test for more information. 

Once you have received your learner license you are subject to strict rules under the Graduated Driver Licensing law.  You must always drive with a supervising licensed driver at least 21 years old in the front seat.  For the first 3 months you may drive during daylight hours only.  After that you may drive until 10PM.  You will need to get at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice, with at least 10 of those hours at night.  You can use this form http://www.flhsmv.gov/teens/booklets/FLDriversGuide_09_log.pdf to document your driving practice.

In order to receive an actual Intermediate driver license you must hold the learner license for at least one year, with no traffic tickets.  Any moving violation starts the year clock over again.  Upon passing the driving test, 16 year olds may drive from 6 AM to 11 PM, unless going to and from work.  At 17 the time restrictions are 5 AM to 1 AM.  Upon reaching 18 these restrictions are lifted.  However be aware that the Intermediate license may be further restricted or revoked if you receive too many points from moving violations, you are caught driving with any alcohol in your system, have a tobacco violation or are truant from school.