Can My Teen Drive to School with a Learner's Permit in Florida?

As a parent, there are few milestones as big as your teen getting a driver's license. The minute they get their permit, they'll likely start asking if they can drive themselves to school.

That might sound pretty good to you — especially after all the years and miles you've logged playing family chauffeur. But be careful! Florida has special rules for permit holders that you need to be aware of before you let your kid get behind the wheel.

Florida Learner's Permit Rules

To be clear: your teen cannot drive to school alone with a learner's permit (also known as a "learner's license" in Florida). The law states that drivers with a learner's license must always drive under the supervision of a licensed driver who is age 21 or over.

That means that your teen's friends probably don't count, even if they have their full driver's licenses. The age requirement is designed to make sure learners are supervised by a responsible adult rather than their classmates.

Here are some other important regulations to be aware of when it comes to your teen's permit in Florida:

  • Teens must be 15 years old to get a permit.

  • If under 18, teens need a parent's permission to get a permit.

  • If under 18, teens must hold the permit for a full year before getting a Florida driver's license.

  • Teens can only drive during daylight hours for the first three months they hold the permit. After that, they can only drive until 10 p.m.

Once your teen has their permit for one year and has logged 50 hours of practice, they can take their road test. When they pass, they get a license that will allow them to drive without adult supervision — meaning that they can finally drive themselves to school! 

However, drivers under age 18 still face restrictions about driving at night, so your teen may not be able to drive home from very late activities or work. At age 16, drivers can't drive between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.; for drivers age 17, the limit is moved to 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. 

Driving to School with a Learner's License in Florida

If your teen is desperate to show off their new skills to their classmates, they can drive to school with a permit — just not alone. Here are a few ideas to make the morning commute to school doable with a permit (and help your teen rack up the 50 hours of practice needed to qualify for the road test):

  • Commuting carpool: Let your teen drive to school with you in the passenger seat. Once the car is parked, you can take over driving duties and continue to your workplace. If your schedules coincide, you can reverse the system in the afternoon.

  • Brotherly love: Don't forget that an older sibling with a license can also supervise, provided they are at least 21 years old and have a license. This is a nice way for your kids to bond and will give your teen extra practice time behind the wheel.

  • Neighborhood taxi: If you have another trusted adult in your neighborhood who works near the school, you might be able to develop a carpool system. This could also work with other relatives or family friends who live nearby.

If mornings are too hectic to think about driving to school, you can still support your teen as they work toward their full driver's license. Consider supervising their driving at more convenient times, making sure that at least 10 of the 50 practice hours required take place at night, per Florida regulations. 

Looking for more ways to help your teen become a safe, confident driver? Sign them up for online driver's ed to prepare for the permit exam today!

Get Started with your Online Drivers Ed Course Today

Learn More