How to Replace Your Drivers License in Florida
Florida replacement driver’s license services are provided by the state’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). In general, many motorists need to replace driver’s license documents at some point due to theft, loss or damage of these credentials. It is strictly illegal to operate a motor vehicle without a valid copy of a driver’s license.
Thus, it is crucial that motorists replace these documents as soon as possible after misplacing them. Additionally, replacing driver’s license credentials can help residents restore their primary form of identification, which may be needed for daily errands or tasks. In the sections below, you will learn how to replace a driver’s license in Florida and determine which method best suits your needs.
When is a replacement drivers license required in Florida?
As a legal Florida resident, you must obtain a driver’s license replacement immediately after realizing that the document has gone missing for any reason. You must also request a duplicate driver’s license if your original document becomes mutilated to the point that the text or photograph are indecipherable.
Whether you have a stolen, damaged or lost driver’s license, the replacement methods are the same, although you may be able to waive the applicable fees if your license was stolen and you have a police report that verifies the theft.
How to Replace Your Drivers License Online in Florida
The Florida DHSMV offers U.S. citizens and verified immigrants the opportunity to obtain a driver’s license copy online through its secure portal. When filing an online application, you will be asked to enter your last name, date of birth, street address, Social Security Number (SSN) and driver’s license number.
After that, simply follow the prompts to replace a lost driver’s license and pay the associated fees. All FL replacement driving license fees incurred online must be paid by a valid credit or debit card and will have an additional convenience fee added to the total.
How to Replace Your Drivers License by Mail, Phone or Email in Florida
You may replace a lost driver’s license in Florida by mail, phone or email only if you are temporarily out-of-state and need a replacement credential mailed to your out-of-state address. If preferred, you may also request this kind of driver’s license copy online through the state online portal described above.
You may also apply by mail, phone or email to receive a 90-day temporary duplicate driver’s license, which will remain valid until you return to Florida and get your permanent driving credential. A temporary replacement driving license is free, and to obtain it, you must simply write a letter requesting this type of permit. The letter must be sent to a specific mailing address from the DHSMV.
If you wish to apply for a temporary duplicate driver’s license over the phone, you must call a particular DHSMV number. Otherwise, you may email your request using the state-issued form available online.
How to Replace Your Florida Drivers License in Person
If you are wondering how to replace driver’s license credentials in a simple and fast way, you can simply visit your local driver license office and apply in person. Moreover, residents with non-immigrant status are required to replace a driver’s license in person, and need to provide proof of legal presence before obtaining a new credential.
Since Florida is a REAL ID-compliant state, all applicants must bring identification documents that appear on the DHSMV’s list of acceptable forms of identity.
Additionally, your Social Security Number (if applicable) must match the name on your current copy of a driver’s license. Therefore, make sure that you update any Social Security records before replacing driver’s license documents at a DHSMV office. In any case, in order to replace a driver’s license in person, you must bring the following to your appointment:
- An original birth certificate, U.S. passport or another document proving ID.
- A Social Security card or another document proving your Social Security Number (SSN), if applicable.
- Two documents proving state residency, such as a mortgage statement, vehicle registration or rental agreement.
- DMV duplicate license fee payment by check, money order or credit card.
Out-of-State Drivers License Replacement in Florida
As described above, non-military drivers temporarily living out-of-state may replace a lost driving license by mail, phone, email or online. Members of the U.S. armed forces stationed out-of-state also have the same options to replace a missing license. When you get a copy of a driver’s license while living in another state, the DHSMV requires you to change the address that it has on file to your out-of-state residence.
When you return to Florida, you must obtain a permanent duplicate driver’s license copy and update your DHSMV records with the new FL address. Out-of-state military members, students and others temporarily living in another state may direct questions to the DHSMV customer service center.
How to Report a Missing Drivers License in Florida
If you wish to avoid paying the Florida driver’s license replacement fee due to the fact that your driving credential was stolen, you must submit your request along with a copy of a police report that documents the theft. Although you are not required by law to report a stolen copy of a driver’s license, you cannot waive the DHSMV replacement fee without presenting this paperwork issued by a law enforcement agency.
Moreover, reporting your lost driver’s license as stolen can help protect you from identity theft or fraudulent use of your missing document.
Florida Drivers License Replacement Fees
Once you are aware of how to replace a missing driving credential, your next question may likely be, “How much does a driver’s license replacement in Florida cost?” As a general rule, the DHSMV charges a flat $25 fee for replacing driving license credentials, unless you submit a police report verifying that your license was stolen. In that case, your duplicate driver’s license is free, as is a 90-day temporary FL license.