girl of legal driving age in florida

What’s the legal driving age in Florida?

The youngest legal driving age that you can be to drive in Florida is 15 years old. New drivers need to hold a learner’s permit for at least one year before getting a driver’s license. This is why a lot of teenagers want to get their permit as soon as possible so that they can drive without as many restrictions when they turn 16. Once they turn 16, they can apply for an intermediate drivers license. Once they turn 18, they are eligible for a full unrestricted drivers license. Just think of it as a 3-step process, and I’ll go over each one with you!

Learner’s license (learner’s permit)

If you are the legal driving age in Florida (15 years old), then you can apply for a learner’s permit. For this type of license, you have to follow these requirements:

  • Take the Florida drug and alcohol course, otherwise known as the TLSAE (Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education) course
  • Have a signed parental consent form (step-parents can’t sign this for you unless they have legally adopted you as their child)
  • Pass the DMV’s vision and hearing test at a service center location
  • Pass the Permit exam, also known as the Class E Knowledge Exam
  • Provide documents to show your proof of identity, proof of social security, and proof of a residential address. Click here for more information on what you can bring.

Being the legal driving age in Florida also means that you’re driving at the youngest age possible. This is why there are many restrictions when you get your permit.

What kind of restrictions come with a learner’s license?

  • You can only drive with another person who is at least 21 years old with a valid driver’s license. This person has to sit in the front passenger seat with you at all times.
  • For the first three months of getting your permit, you can only drive during the day.
  • After those three months, you can drive up until 10 p.m.
  • During this one year of holding your learner’s permit, you have to drive for at least 50 hours. 10 hours out of these 50 hours have to be at night.

Intermediate driver’s license

Once you’ve kept your learner’s permit for at least one year without having received any traffic violations, then you can apply for an intermediate drivers license when you turn 16. This type of license has fewer restrictions than the learner’s permit that you can get when you’re the youngest legal driving age in Florida. However, it still has its own requirements:

  • Must be at least 16 years old
  • Must have had a learner’s permit for at least one year or reach the age of 18, whichever comes first
  • Have the certification of minor driving experience form completed by a parent, legal guardian or responsible adult over 21 years old
  • Cannot have any convicted moving traffic violations during your learner’s permit year
  • Pass the Class E Driving Skills Test with a valid vehicle
  • Provide documents to show your proof of identity, proof of social security, and proof of a residential address.

What kind of restrictions come with an intermediate driver’s license?

  • For 16 year old teens: You can’t drive between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless you’re driving to or from work or unless there’s a licensed driver 21 years or older in the passenger seat with you.
  • For 17 year old teens: You can’t drive between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless you’re driving to or from work or unless there’s a licensed driver 21 years or older in the passenger seat with you.

Full driver’s license

When you turn 18, you can finally get a full unrestricted driver’s license! Simply make an appointment at the DMV and go from there.

What kind of restrictions come with a full driver’s license?

There are no time restrictions! However, you’ll have to tell the DMV whether or not you wear contact lens or eyeglasses. This is considered a restriction that will be placed on your license. Other health restrictions may apply.

What’s the difference between the Class E Knowledge Exam and the Class E Driving Skills Test?

The Class E Knowledge Exam (also known as the permit exam) can be taken by the youngest legal driving age in Florida of 15 years old. As the name states, this exam tests you on your knowledge of the Florida Driver’s Handbook. You can take this exam online only if you’re under 18 years old. If you’re 18 or older, then you have to take it at the DMV.

The Class E Driving Skills Test is the actual driving portion where you’ll be asked to drive around orange cones and whatnot. You can take this once you’ve held your learner’s permit for one year or if you’re 18 years old. Make sure that the car you’re going to use on test day is up-to-date. If your examiner finds that your tag is expired, headlights don’t work, windshield is cracked or other defects, then you won’t be able to take the test. You must also have proof of car insurance.

If you’re the legal driving age in Florida, then it’s time to DRIVE!

Click here to find out more about your first step: the Florida drug and alcohol course.