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Florida First Time Driver License Guide

If you are a first-time driver in Florida, whether a teenager or an adult just getting your first license, or even a driver from another state who is moving to Florida, then it is important to know what to expect when it comes to getting your Florida driver license. Ticket School wants to help make the process of getting licensed in Florida as easy as possible. That is why in addition to our great Florida Drug and Alcohol course and Learners’ Permit test, we have also put together this informative guide about how to get your Florida driver license.

Where to Go to Get Your Florida License

All Florida driver licenses are issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). The Florida DHSMV is headquartered in Tallahassee but also has numerous offices all over the state where Florida drivers can go to get their licenses. Additionally, many tax collector’s offices are also able to issue driver licenses.

Presenting Forms of ID

It typically takes on average about one hour to get your Florida driver license. During this process you will need to present two valid forms of ID to the Florida license examiner. These forms of ID can be either Primary ID or Secondary ID.

Primary ID:

  • Birth certificate
  • Valid passport
  • Certificate of Naturalization


Secondary ID:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Voter registration card (must be at least three years old)
  • Baptism certificate
  • Other public document with your name on it
  • A driver’s license issued in any of the following U.S. states: Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington or Wisconsin

Documents Required for Non-U.S. Citizens:

  • Alien Registration Card
  • I-551 stamp on passport
  • I-797 with customer alien number indicating that the individual has been granted asylum or has refugee status

Florida Drug and Alcohol Course

If you have never had a driver license before from Florida or any other state, then you are required to complete the Florida Drug and Alcohol Course before you can be issued with a learners license. This requirement applies to all Florida teens who are just getting their driver’s licenses, but it also applies to any first-time adult driver.

The Florida Drug and Alcohol Course is often referred to by other names including the First Time Drivers Course, Learner Permit Course, Driving Learner Permit Course, TLSAE Course, or Traffic Law Substance Abuse Education Course.

The purpose of this course is to inform potential new drivers about the dangers of using drugs or alcohol and operating a motor vehicle. The course is also designed to teach safe driving practices and to dispel myths surrounding drug and alcohol. For more information about this course please visit our Florida Drug and Alcohol course page or our FAQs page.

Remember, you are eligible to take this course as early as age 14. This is a great way to meet your legal requirements early so that you can apply for your learner’s permit as soon as you turn 15.

Tests Required for Getting a Florida Driver License

In order to qualify for a Florida driver license you must take a combination of physical, knowledge, and skill-based tests to demonstrate your ability to be safe behind the wheel. Please note that you must take and pass ALL tests if you are a first-time driver.

  • Road Signs and Road Rules – This test is also known as the Florida Learner’s Permit Test, or simply as the written test. It consists of 50 multiple choice questions that will test your knowledge of the rules of the road as well as what the many different road signs mean. You can study for the test by visiting our Florida Drivers Handbook page which provides a link to the handbook in .pdf format courtesy of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Once you are ready to take the test you can do so online through Ticket School too! Please visit our Learner’s Permit Test overview page for more information.
  • Driving Test – The driving test is designed to test your skill behind the wheel to ensure that you are a safe driver. The examiner will ride with you as you complete a specified driving route and will observe your ability to control the vehicle as well as how well you obey traffic laws. You will need to provide the vehicle used for the driving test and it must have a valid tag, inspection, and proof of insurance.
  • Vision – You will also need to pass a vision test to ensure that you can see well enough to safely operate a motor vehicle. The vision test is conducted using an eye machine that will be located on the counter at the driver license office. If your visual acuity readings are worse than 20/40 you will be referred to an eye specialist to correct your vision problems before you are issued a license. Color blindness will not cause any special condition for licensing.
  • Hearing – A hearing test will also be conducted. If you are deaf, or unable to hear conversation spoken in a normal tone of voice, then you will be restricted to driving with an outside rearview mirror mounted on the left side of your vehicle, or you will be required to use a hearing aid when driving.

Please note that these tests are required for first-time drivers; however, drivers from out-of-state who already possess a valid driver license and simply need to get their Florida license are only required to pass the vision and hearing tests.

Minimum Age Requirement

You must be at least age 15 or older to apply for your Florida learner license. To upgrade from a Florida learner license (Class E learners license) to an operator’s license, you must meet the following requirements:

You must have had your Florida learners license for at least one year or longer.
You cannot have had any traffic violations during the period you held your learners license.
You must have had a minimum of 50 hours of driving time, of which a minimum of 10 hours had to have been at night. Your parent or guardian will need to attest to this.

Fees Associated with Your Florida Driver License

The state will charge you a $48 fee for issuing your Florida driver license. There will also be a $48 fee each time you need to renew your license.

Driver License Office Hours and Additional Information

Generally driver license offices in Florida are open from 7:00am to 6:00pm, Tuesday-Friday. However, some offices may instead keep Monday-Thursday hours. For a complete listing of office hours for all locations please visit the Florida DHSMV locations page.

You can also use the DHSMV’s Oasis online system to make an appointment in advance.

For more information please read the Florida Drivers Guide for Parents and Teens. It will open as a PDF file when clicked. Don’t forget to register for your online Florida Drug and Alcohol course or your online Florida Learner’s Permit Test with Ticket School!