As the age of being able to drive rounds the corner, the typical 15 year old is not thinking about all the steps it takes to become a responsible driver. Driving a car is a big responsibility and the state of Florida goes through great lengths to ensure that their young residents are prepared for that before handing over a full privileges that come with a driver’s license.
First Comes the Learner’s Permit
The state of Florida has implanted a graduated driver licensing (GDL) guide for first time teen drivers. In order to proceed, the teenager must achieve certain goals set forth by the Florida DMV in each of the three stages within the program.
The process starts at the age of 15, with a Florida Learner’s permit or license. Applicants must complete a traffic law and substance abuse class (TLSAE) first and go to the DMV to provide:
- A filled out form providing parental consent for a driver application of a minor
- A birth certificate or other valid proof of identity.
- A social security card.
- Proof that the TLSAE class was completed.
- Proof of Florida residency.
If all the documents check out, the applicant is then going to take a vision and hearing test as well as the DMV’s driving test. If alll tests are passed after providing the necessary documentation, the minor will have the privelage to drive a vehicle until 10 pm at night so long as a licensed driver over the age of 21 is sitting in the front passenger seat.
Next, the Provisional License
The next step is getting the Florida Provisional license. The license holder will have to be at least 16, have had the learner’s permit for at least a year without incident and logged at least 50 hours of practice driving, with 10 of those hours being at night. The provisional license will be issued if:
- The learner’s permit is turned into the Florida DMV.
- The driver is able to pass a road test or submit a waiver from a DMV approved driver’s ed class.
- Certification that the 50 hour practice driving requirements have been met.
With the provisional license, there are still certain restrictions. A 16 year old may only drive between 6 am and 11 pm, while a 17 year old can drive from 5 am to 1 am. These time restrictions are overlooked if the driver is accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21, or is driving to and from work.
Then Comes the Full Privilege License
At the age of 18, a provisional license will turn into a full blown driver’s license if there have been no driving incidents with the minor driver. From this point forward, they are solely responsible for their actions on Florida roadways.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Florida Driver’s License?
An applicant is required to pay the standard $48 driver’s license fee when issued their learner’s permit. There may also be additional fees for driver’s classes. Additionally, insuring and registering the car that they will be driving should be taken into consideration.
Safety for Teens and Everyone on the Road
It is important to emphasize safety when driving. While the steps and requirements in the GLD program implemented by many states may seem a excessive to some, an older study showed an reduction in fatal crashes for teenagers with the use of these types of programs for new drivers. Florida has made it a 3 year process for teens to get a license with full, unrestricted privileges. With that, there is plenty of room to practice and hone the skills that are needed to be a responsible driver in every state.
eTags is a supporter of Distracted Driving Awareness month and we encourage all teens and adults to do their best to keep distractions while driving at a minimum all year long.