• Florida was one of the first states to recognize the dangers driving poses to teenagers. Teen drivers' lack of experience often leads to traffic accidents that may result in the loss of life. That is why on July 1, 1996, Florida adopted the main elements of the Graduated Drivers License law. The law addresses the issue of the high accident rate among teenagers by introducing the step-by-step process of obtaining a drivers license. Statistics show us the clear benefits of this approach. Thus, 1997 saw a 9 percent reduction in fatalities and injury crashes for the drivers between the ages of 15 and 17 in Florida.

    The Graduated Drivers License law in Florida is very similar to corresponding laws in other states. A teenager who wants to apply for the license is required to go through a few phases, learning the compulsory driving skills and gaining experience before proceeding to the next stage. In Florida, there are two main steps teenagers have to go through:

    • Obtaining a learners license / learners permit
    • Obtaining a full drivers license

    A learners license allows teenagers to drive under supervision, but drivers are subject to the following requirements and limitations:

    • The teen driver holding a learners permit must have completed the Department of Motor Vehicle approved Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education Course.
    • The teen driver must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years or older at all times while driving.
    • For the first three months, the permit holder is restricted to daylight driving only.
    • After the first three months, the permit holder is allowed to operate a vehicle from 6 am to 10 pm.
    • The teenage driver is not allowed to drink and drive or drive while being under the influence.
    • The teenage driver must not commit any traffic offenses.
    • The student must receive at least 50 hours of supervised behind the wheel instruction from a licensed driver. Ten of these hours must be administered at night.

    If the student holds a permit for 12 months and meets all of the above requirements, he or she is eligible for the on-road test. Upon the successful completion of the test, the driver is issued an operators license / drivers license.

    Learn more about Florida's Graduated Drivers License for Teen Drivers

    Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the FL DHSMV. You can visit the Florida DHSMV website.

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