How to Get a Florida Learner’s Permit

In Florida, you can apply for your learner’s license as soon as you turn 15. You’ll need to take a driver’s education course and get parental consent, though.
Written by Kathryn Mae Kurlychek
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
In Florida, you’re eligible to apply for your learner’s license as soon as you turn 15 years old. But you’ll need to take a state-approved driver’s education course and get parental or guardian consent before you can actually obtain that all-important permit. 
New drivers in Florida can take to the roads as early as 15 years old—with one caveat: you’ll have to get your learner’s permit. But obtaining your permit (also called a learner’s license by Floridians) isn’t as easy as walking up to the DMV and submitting an application. You’ll also have to take tests, pay fees, and complete an important driver’s education course. 
If it’s your first time going for your Florida learner’s permit, here’s what you need to know. 
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How to get a Florida learner’s permit

Obtaining your learner’s license in the Sunshine State is the first step toward getting your full Florida driver’s license—but to qualify, you must be at least 15 years old. And that’s not the only requirement you’ll have to meet! 
New drivers in Florida are also required to complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course. The class covers important Florida traffic laws along with the negative impacts of driving under the influence, and can usually be completed in about four hours. In some cases, taking a state-approved comprehensive driver’s education course may act as a substitute for the TLSAE requirement for new drivers. 
You’ll also have to pass a multiple-choice test on the information covered in your Florida Driver License Handbook before you can get your learner’s permit. The test is usually 50 questions long—half on road rules and half on road signs—and you’ll need to get at least 40 of them right in order to pass. 
One last thing—if you’re under the age of 18, you’ll also need parental or guardian consent in the format of a
completed consent form
. Good news: if you’re over 18, you won’t need to fill this form out. 

What to bring to the DMV

First things first: before you go get your learner’s license, schedule an appointment with the DMV ahead of time. Before you head out, make sure you’ve also got your signed parental consent form. You’ll also want to have the following materials with you when you go: 
  • One form of identification (i.e. your state-issued birth certificate or U.S. Passport)
  • Two proofs of residential address (i.e. current school transcripts, bills in your name) 
  • Proof of your Social Security number (i.e. your Social Security card) 
Don’t worry about collecting proof of your completed TLSAE course—in most cases, course providers notify the DMV on your behalf once you finish the class.
Once you’re there, you’ll need to pay a $48 fee to get your learner’s license. You’ll also get your fingerprints taken, have your driver’s license photo taken, and take a vision test to ensure that you meet the state’s vision requirements for safe driving. 

Florida learner’s permit regulations

Once you’ve got your Florida learner’s license, you’re ready to hit the roads and build your driving skills—but there are a few restrictions you’ll have to observe in the process. 
The most important restriction to note is that learner’s license holders can only drive when accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age or older. That means you can’t pack your friends in the car for a day at the mall (at least, not without a licensed adult present) and you also can’t drive alone—not even to school or work. 
During the first three months of holding your learner’s license, you’re also not allowed to drive after dark. The good news is, this restriction changes after you hit the three-month mark—after those first 90 days or so, your curfew is extended from sundown to 10:00 p.m. 
Breaking either of these restrictions can inhibit you from obtaining your full Florida driver’s license when you turn 16. So be sure to observe these rules carefully—and keep a
clean driving record
, too. Traffic tickets or violations could also prevent you from getting your unrestricted license in Florida. 
Once you’ve held your learner’s license for a full year, you’re ready to apply for a real driver’s license! 
MORE: How to get cheap car insurance for young drivers
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