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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in Florida

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Important Information on New Driver's Licenses

Types of Florida Drivers Licenses

Are you new to Florida, or perhaps you're older than 18 and ready to drive the state roads and get a new car? Then it's time to get your very first Florida drivers license. It is against the law to drive without a driving license in Florida, therefore be sure to follow our instructions about how to get drivers license credentials, what documents you'll need for the DMV and where to get your new FL drivers license.
First things first, which license to drive are you trying to get? You can apply for drivers license credentials of three different classes:

  • Class E - This is the standard, non-commercial driver's license apply for.
  • CDL - A CDL is a Commercial Driver's License, and is used by Floridians who want to become professional drivers.
  • Motorcycle - A motorcycle license is not a separate drivers license. Instead, when drivers pass the necessary motorcycle tests, they are issued a new FL drivers license with a motorcycle endorsement printed on the front.

How to Get a New Driver's License in Florida Under 18

If you are younger than 18, and are anew resident of Florida interested in driving, it is the law to get a Florida drivers license.If you are applying for drivers license forms, you must prove your knowledge of the road skills and follow these steps:

  1. You must follow the Florida Graduated License system. You will be exempt from enrolling in the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Course (TLSAE) if you had a license or driving permit from another state, however, if this is your first license ever, be sure to enroll and complete the course. The TLSAE is a four-hour long course dedicated to teaching students about drugs, alcohol and their effects on your body and driving abilities. You can take this driver prep course online or in person, or even at school if your curriculum provides it.
  2. Once the TLSAE is completed, you can take the written drivers test in Florida to receive your drivers permit, and after the required time period, take the road skills to get your Intermediate license. On your 18th birthday, your driving permit will automatically turn into a full-privileged drivers license.
    • Note: The TLSAE course institution will electronically submit your certificate of completion to the Florida DMV, so don't worry if you have not received a paper certificate.

Four Steps to Getting a Standard Drivers License

If you are a teenager who has never obtained a FL drivers license before, then you should be mindful of the fact that there are a few steps you will need to follow before you are granted a full, standard driving license. Generally speaking, the state of Florida requires that you complete the following over the span of a few years:

  1. Get a learners permit (if you're younger than 16).
  2. Pass the vision and driving road skills test.
  3. Get an intermediate drivers license (if you're younger than 18).
  4. Get a full-privileged operational driver license (If you're 18 or older).

Fortunately, if you are 18 or older, and recently moved to Florida with a valid out-of-state license, you will not be required to take a written or driving exam.

Applying for a Driver's License in Florida

You will also need to bring in the appropriate documentation when you're getting drivers license credentials. After filling out a drivers license application, you will be asked to present a few, essential proof of identity documents. The list below will help the drivers license agent verify that you are who you say you are, while also confirming your legal status in the country and residence in the state.These documents are required of military personnel and civilians alike:

  • One form of primary identification:
    • U.S. birth certificate
    • U.S. passport
    • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
    • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-570/Form N-561)
  • One proof of Social Security Number
    • Social Security card
    • W-2
    • Pay check
    • SSA-1099
  • Two proofs of Florida residential address
    • Deed/mortgage/lease
    • FL voter registration card
    • Bank statements
    • Utilities bills
  • One proof of legal presence (non-U.S. citizens)
    • Green Card a.k.a. I-551 Form
    • I-551 stamp on passport
  • Payment of the $48 drivers license fee
  • Parent or guardian signature if you are under 18

DMV.com Note: Keep in mind that during your visit to get your driving license, you can also apply for your voting registration, which acts as a proof of residency and gives you voting privileges.

Florida Driver's Education

In order to receive a drivers license in Florida, the DMV requires drivers to prove their knowledge of the Florida road rules. Getting the proper drivers education will ensure that you pass those tests with flying colors, leaving you a more confident and safer motorist. You will be required to drive 50 hours with your learners permit, 10 at night, and many residents learning to drive enroll in accredited driver's teaching schools. You can start getting prepared by reviewing the Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test.
Fortunately, if you are 18 or older and recently moved to Florida with a valid out-of-state license, you will not be required to take a written drivers test or a road skills test.
Note: The course provider will electronically submit your certificate of completion to the Florida DMV, so don't worry if you have not received a paper certificate.

Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test

When it comes to getting your driver's license, the only obstacles in your way are the written drivers test and the road test. Since you can't get your drivers license online, you want to prepare as well as you can to ace the driving exams with flying colors in person. Fortunately, we have designed a fool-proof, three-step process to get you ready to be a fully operational driver in Florida.
Step One: Review the Official Florida Driver's Manual with the hard copy or online. This manual is chock full of road laws, driving rules, motorist tips and more. It's a lot to take in, but it's important you review every page of the driving manual to get to the next step.
Step Two: Get the Florida Driver's Study Guide and absorb its content. Our team of DMV.com has learned the Florida driver manual cover-to-cover to produce a concise and comprehensive drivers study guide for you. Inside its contents, you will find:

  • The most important road rules that you will be tested on.
  • Traffic signs with high-definition, color photos.
  • How to read pavement markings.

Once you go through the Driver's Study Guide, we recommend also taking advantage of the Driver's Practice Test. This practice DMV test is made up of over 100 questions that will quiz you on the Florida road rules and traffic laws. By practicing first, you will get an idea of how the questions on the DMV written test will be, as well as realize which driver subjects you need to study more.

New Florida Residents

If you need a new resident drivers license in the state of Florida, then you are probably aware that you will be required to transfer your out-of-state license. Obtaining a FL drivers license only entails a few, simple steps whereby you will be required to present proof of identity, your Social Security Number and take a couple of tests.
Florida typically does not require new residents to take a written drivers test or a road test. Instead, you will be asked to take a vision exam, and possibly a hearing test as well if the DMV deems necessary.
When scheduling your appointment at a DMV address, make sure to bring the following with you:

  • Your original Social Security card (if you are a U.S. citizen)
  • Proof of primary identity, such as a passport
  • Proof of secondary identity, such as your out-of-state license

For a full list of required documents, you may visit Florida's GatherGoGet to review additional information. By also having your new driver's license payment and ready to go, you will be able to get your FL license in no time! Thereafter, make sure to also register your out-of-state vehicle (you may even choose to get your own personalized plates) and inform the DMV of your new address.
Once moving to Florida, be aware that you will have 10 days to complete your new registration and 30 days to obtain a new driver's license.

Locate a DMV

Have you completed the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Course (not needed if you are older than 18 and have a valid out-of-state license)?
If you have a learners permit in Florida, have you completed the required 50 behind-the-wheel hours, making sure that 10 hours were at night?
If you have to take the written exam to get a new Florida drivers license, have you studied for the written test?
Then make an appointment at your local Florida DMV office. Most DMV locations allow residents to make an appointment on their online portal or over the phone. We recommend that you still book an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles early in the day to eliminate unexpected wait times.
You'll also need to bring certain proof of identity documents to get a new Florida drivers license.

Out of State Florida Driver's License Validity

If you are in the process of permanently leaving Florida, the requirements to obtain a new drivers license will vary, depending on the requirements and rules set forth by the state you are moving to. You will want to contact a DMV address close to your new residence ahead of time, in order to find out whether or not you will be required to complete a written drivers test or a road skills drivers license test.
Additionally, it is also important for you to know the documents in which you will need to present. For example, a DMV representative may ask you to bring items such as your Social Security card, US passport, current drivers license, etc.
Save yourself the time and hassle by getting in contact with nearby DMV locations once you have settled in to your new home state. Keep in mind that each state has its own time limit for the period in which you can transfer your out-of-state driving license without any penalty.

Buying a Car

New to Florida, but don't have a car to drive? This is a state made for driving, so browse cheap auto deals right away. There are many types of vehicles you can choose from. Consider your needs:

  • Are you single, or do you have a family?
  • How far is your work commute?
  • Do you like to go away on road trips during the weekend?
  • Are you the adventurous type, and need your vehicle to carry bikes, kayaks or other equipment?
  • What's your style: sleek, environmentally-friendly, or big?

After you have determined your auto style and driver needs, there is one important factor left to consider when buying a car. What is your budget? You may be interested in buying a brand new vehicle, or perhaps your funds can only support a used car right now. No matter what your finances look like, you'll be able to purchase a car, so you can get on the road, and enjoy the vast lands of Florida.

Car Insurance

Whether you bought a new car or have brought an out-of-state vehicle into Florida, it's time to get strong Florida car accident insurance. Florida has the highest number of uninsured motorists, creating risks on the roads for themselves and other drivers, therefore it is important to look into cost-effective auto accident insurance to protect you and your family.
Keep an eye out for online portals that show different car insurance quotes from different providers. The key to getting the best auto insurance is meeting the minimum liability requirements, yet not stopping there. The bare minimum can leave you with thousands of dollars in damages and medical bills if you are involved in a serious accident. You want affordable vehicle insurance coverage that guarantees to protect you through any type of accident, especially in a state where you run a high chance of colliding with someone who doesn't have insurance to cover those bills.
Remember that if you have a commercial driver's license, the minimum liability requirements may vary.

How to Prepare for a Written Driving Test

If you need to take a written drivers test or road skills test in Florida, rest assured that you will be able to get through the process without any hassle.
First things first, whether you are getting a standard drivers license or a commercial drivers license, you need to make an appointment with your local DMV office. DMV.com recommends you book a time early in the morning at a DMV address, because more likely than not, you will still have to deal with a bit of a wait time later in the day.
Second, be sure to bring the right documents with you:

  • One form of primary identification:
    • U.S. birth certificate
    • U.S. passport
    • Consular Report of Birth Abroad
    • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-570/Form N-561)
  • One proof of Social Security Number
    • Social Security card
    • W-2
    • Pay check
    • SSA-1099
  • Two proofs of Florida residential address
    • Deed/mortgage/lease
    • FL voter registration card
    • Bank statements
    • Utilities bills
    • Insurance card
  • One proof of legal presence (non-U.S. citizens)
    • Green Card a.k.a. I-551 Form
    • I-551 stamp on passport

When you're younger than 18, you will need your parents or legal guardians to come in person and sign your drivers license application.
The written drivers testis made up of 50 questions in Florida, and you will have to get 40 correct (80 percent) in order to pass. To best prepare for it, you want to:

The exam will be available to you in English, Spanish and Haitian-Creole, and you will also have to pass a vision exam. You will be required to take a vision test at the local DMV. If your vision is worse than 20/40, you will be required to operate vehicles with corrective lenses. You will be asked to get these lenses before taking any other driving exams, notably the driving test.
On the date of the written drivers test, you want to arrive at least 10 minutes in advance at a DMV address just in case of any last-minute issues. If you fail your written drivers exam, you will be required to retake it on another date and pay the $10 fee. Remember, if you're coming in for your road skills test, you'll have to provide your own car that is fully insured.

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