Florida Traffic Laws You Should Know

Florida traffic laws keep the roadways safe for everyone—and breaking these laws can result in steep fines of up to $10,000 depending on the infraction, and potential jail time.
Written by Kianna Walpole
Edited by R.E. Fulton
Regardless of what state you live in, you’ll legally have to obey some universal laws, such as maintaining a valid driver’s license and stopping at red lights. However,
drivers must also adhere to a specific set of state and local ordinances.
  • To receive a Class E license in the Sunshine State, Florida drivers must be at least 16 years old and hold their learner’s permit for one year. 
  • Florida’s minimum insurance coverage for all motorists includes $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. 
  • Unlike other states, Florida has specific traffic control regulations, such as turning on a red arrow and flashing yellow lights.
  • In recent years, Florida has seen an uptick in hit-and-run accidents. Fines range from $500-$10,000 with jail time up to 30 years, depending on the severity of the accident.

Driving in Florida

Whether you’re a
new driver
, a
teen driver
, or a recent resident of Florida, it’s always smart to remain updated on Florida’s traffic laws—and you can do so by following the regulations in the
Florida Driver’s Handbook
Other sources include
Title XXIII of Florida’s Statutes
(Chapters 316-324), which outlines all of Florida’s traffic-related driving laws and guidelines from motor vehicle licenses to traffic violations and car titling.  

Driving age in Florida

There are three types of Florida driver licenses that both Florida residents and newcomers can apply for: 
License type
Age requirement 
Considered a ‘Class E’ license. Most common license for daily commuters, farmers, and drivers of emergency vehicles exempt from obtaining a commercial driver license (CDL).
16 years of age
Broken down into Class A, B, and C. CDLs are often given to drivers looking to operate transport trucks, tow trucks, and sanitation vehicles.
18 years of age
Option of ‘motorcycle-only’ license, or a ‘motorcycle also’ license. Selection indicates whether you want to only drive a motorcycle, or an automobile in addition to a motorcycle. 
16 years of age
Before obtaining a Class E non-commercial Florida license, drivers must hold a
learner’s permit
for at least one year. The legal age to apply for a learner’s permit in the state of Florida is 15 years old and must be signed by a legal guardian or parent if the driver is under 18 years old. 
The current Class E Learner’s License Exam is based on the Florida Driver’s Handbook and made up of the following:
  • Knowledge test (road rules, signs, and laws)
  • Vision exam 
  • Hearing exam
After the one year period, drivers are eligible to apply for a full Class E license. The Class E exam will also follow the Florida Driver’s Handbook and include:
  • Knowledge test (road rules, traffic control signals, and laws)
  • Car examination (windshield wipers, headlights, expired tags, braking system, etc.)
  • Road test (three point turn, approach of crossing, right-of-way, backing, etc.)
  • Vision exam
  • Hearing exam
Knowledge examinations are made up of 50 questions, and driver applicants must get at least 40 out of 50 questions correct to pass (or 80%). 
Both the learner’s permit and Class E license knowledge tests can be completed in-person or online. The Class E road test, however, needs to be completed at a local
Florida Department of Transportation center
Applicants who are new residents and exchange a valid out-of-state license for a Florida Class E will only need to pass the vision and hearing examinations. 
Keep in mind:
Driving without a license
can result in serious consequences, with penalties of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine—so, make sure you’re fully licensed and insured before driving in Florida!

Florida state insurance laws

Like most states in the US, Florida has a
state minimum insurance
requirement that all drivers are required to meet. 
Florida is a no-fault state, and therefore, requires all Florida residents and newcomers with a valid driver’s license to have at least $10,000 in
personal injury protection
and $10,000 in
property damage liability
As of August 2023, the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) determined that 6.60% of drivers, or 1,059,674 individuals, are uninsured in Florida. This could be due to a few factors, including not being able to find
cheap insurance for low income families
or for
high-risk drivers
But be aware: While
driving without insurance
in Florida isn’t a criminal offense, you will face the following penalties: 
  • License suspension (up to 3 years)
  • Registration suspension (up to 3 years)
  • Reinstatement fee of $150-$500
To make sure you’re compliant with
Florida insurance laws
, confirm your current insurance is up-to-date to avoid lapses or gaps in your policy and always have proof of insurance on your person when driving.
Did you know? Unlike most states, Florida does not require drivers to carry
bodily injury liability insurance

General Florida traffic laws

Below is a table for the most common Florida traffic control processes outlined in the Florida Driver’s Handbook, and how to complete them safely, and successfully.
Traffic regulation
What you need to know
Permissible if it doesn’t interfere with traffic and there are no signs prohibiting it. The driver completing a u-turn must follow right-of-way laws and yield to pedestrians. 
U-turns are not allowed on a curve, hill, or interstate highway.
Right turn on a red
Turning right on a red is allowed, but drivers must come to a complete stop and yield to pedestrians using the crosswalks before completing the turn.
Make sure to be cognizant of
red light cameras
in Florida when slowing for a yellow, stopping, or making a right turn. 
Construction zones
When approaching a construction zone, drivers must be prepared to slow their speed and use caution, especially when directed by a sign or police officer. 
Unlawful speeding in a construction or school zone doubles regular fines up to $1,000, and you may be required to complete a driving course. 
Railroad crossing
Any driver, cyclist, and pedestrian must stop within 50 ft of a railroad crossing, but no less than 15 ft when:
Warning lights are flashing
The crossing gate is down
A human flagger is present
An approaching train is visible 
Ramp signals
In Florida, ramp signals control how many vehicles can enter an expressway at a time. Drivers must wait for the green signal before continuing. 
Drivers must come to a slow pace and prepare to stop when they see a flashing yellow signal.
If the light is red, drivers must come to a complete stop. If it’s green, drivers may proceed with caution.
Note: It’s illegal in Florida to drive around or under a crossing gate, whether it’s down or being closed/opened. 
Reversible lanes
Some highways in Florida have reversible lanes, which help to manage rush-hour commuter traffic. Set times will determine when traffic is reversed in the opposite direction and drivers must operate according to the overhead light system.
There are two types of bike lanes in Florida: exclusive and shared-use. 
Exclusives have solid white lines that separate them from vehicle lanes. Shared-use are marked with ‘sharrows’ and direct cyclists in the correct direction. 
All drivers must yield to bicyclists when crossing a bike lane and share the road. 
Stop signs: Yield the right of way to any other cars and foot traffic. Proceed only when the road is completely clear. If at a four-way stop, the first car to arrive should proceed first. If two cars approach the intersection at the same time, the vehicle on the left should yield to the vehicle on the right.
Open intersections (without traffic control signals): Yield the right of way if a car is already in the intersection, if you enter a state highway from a secondary road, if you enter a paved road from a dirt or gravel road, or if you wish to make a left turn and a car is approaching from the other direction.
Roundabouts: Vehicles approaching the roundabout yield to circulating traffic; however, drivers must obey all signs to determine the correct right of way in the roundabout.
Pedestrians: Turning motorists must yield to pedestrians at intersections with traffic signals. Motorists must yield to pedestrians crossing the street or driveway at any marked mid-block crossing, driveway, or intersection without traffic signals.
Emergency vehicles: Pedestrians and drivers must yield the right of way to law enforcement cars, fire engines, and other emergency vehicles using sirens and/or flashing lights, even in passing/overtaking zones. 
In addition to traffic regulations and laws, Florida also has state-specific lights that may be unusual to visitors or new residents:
  • Red arrow: At a red arrow, all drivers must come to a complete stop behind the stop line and may not move until the green light accompanies it. When it does, drivers can turn right or left off a one way street onto another one way street. 
  • Yellow arrow (steady): A steady yellow arrow means that the green arrow is ending, or is about to change to red. Drivers must stop, if safe to do so. 
  • Yellow arrow (flashing): A flashing yellow arrow lets drivers complete turns in the direction of the arrow. However, as the oncoming traffic will have a green light, make sure to yield to their right-of-way, as well as pedestrians.
  • Flashing red light: Signaling a dangerous intersection. Treat it like a stop sign and proceed only when it’s safe to do so.
  • Flashing yellow light: Used just before dangerous intersections or as an alert to a school crossing or sharp curve. 

Florida speeding laws

One of the most policed traffic laws in the Sunshine State is speeding. If you’re caught driving too fast, you’ll likely receive a speeding ticket, which is accompanied by various fines and penalties.
A 55 mph speed limit is generally in effect throughout the state unless otherwise posted. You can expect Florida’s standard speed limits to be set at the following:
  • Municipal speed areas: 30 mph
  • Business or residential areas: 30 mph
  • Rural interstate: 70 mph
  • Limited access highways: 70 mph
  • School zones: 20 mph
  • All other roads and highways: 55 mph
Did you know? Speeding is the #1 ticket written up for teen drivers.
The penalties you face will depend on how fast you were going over the posted speed limit and whether it’s a first or subsequent offense: 
Speed over
6-9 mph 
10-14 mph
15-19 mph
20-29 mph
30 mph and up
50 mph and up
$1,000 for first offense
$2,500-$5,000 for subsequent
Drivers convicted of unlawful speeds of 50 mph and over will also be on the hook for up to 10 years in prison, along with a
license suspension or revocation
Car accidents that are a result of speeding or
reckless driving
will lead to 6 points being added to your driving record, and in Florida, if you accrue over 24 points in 36 months, you’ll receive a 12-month license suspension and may be made to take a driver’s education course. 
MORE: Florida speeding ticket

Florida driver laws

In 2023, new Florida driver laws have come into effect, including: 
  • Speed cameras being allowed in school zones for the 45 minutes they’re in operation (Tampa only).
  • The Florida Left Lane Bill which makes it illegal to continuously drive in the left lane, unless the driver is passing. All drivers must remain on the right side of the road in the right lane.
Along with these additions, there are also some essential and long standing Florida driver laws that all motorists should be aware of. 

Florida Move Over law

Similar to other states, Florida has a ‘Move Over’ law.
This law requires you to move over a lane—when you can safely do so—for stopped law enforcement, emergency, sanitation, and utility service vehicles, tow trucks or wreckers, and maintenance or construction vehicles with displayed warning lights.
Penalties for violating the
Florida ‘Move Over’ Law
differ based on severity. This type of violation is considered a “noncriminal traffic infraction.” In general, drivers who violate this statute can expect to pay a fine of at least $120 and incur three points on their driving record.

Florida seat belt and booster seat laws

Florida law requires the use of safety belts for all drivers and passengers in all motorized vehicles. Those exempt from this law are:
  • A person certified by a physician as having a medical condition that causes seatbelt use to be inappropriate or dangerous. Make sure to keep a copy of your certification while you are driving or being driven.
  • Employee of a newspaper home delivery service while delivering newspapers.
  • School buses that were purchased new prior to December 31, 2000.
  • Buses used for the transportation of persons for compensation.
  • Farm equipment.
  • Trucks with a net weight of more than 26,000 pounds.
Not wearing a seatbelt in Florida is considered a primary violation, which means law enforcement officers can pull you over if you're not wearing a seatbelt. The fine for a
seat belt law
citation in Florida is $30 for an adult and $60 for passengers 5 and under. 
To enhance child safety in vehicles,
booster seat laws
are also in place in Florida: 
  • Children ages 0 to 3 must be in a child restraint device from a separate carrier or vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat
  • Children ages 4 and under must be secured in a safety seat
  • Children ages 4 to 5 must be either in a safety seat or booster seat proportionate to their height and weight
A safety belt may be used without a booster seat only for children 4-5 years of age who are being transported for emergency purposes by an adult that is not a member of their immediate family. All children under the age of 13 must remain in the backseat of a passenger vehicle
Additionally, no child under the age of 6 should be left in a running vehicle. If the child appears distressed or their health is in danger as a result of overheating or lack of air, this is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor and the appropriate fees will apply. 
If leaving the child results in death or severe bodily injury, this is classified as a third-degree felony, and will have much steeper fees and potential jail time.

Florida car accident laws

Florida car accident laws
require all drivers to stop at the scene of an accident
Whether you are at-fault or not, it’s best to exchange the following information for legal purposes:
  • Full legal name
  • Current address
  • Vehicle registration
  • Contact information
  • Witness information
It’s also best to take photos of the damage to all vehicles involved so you can submit them with the accident report to your insurance company. The report should simply state the facts without admitting to fault on your behalf or explicitly blaming the other driver.
If an accident causes injuries or damage in excess of $500, it must be reported to local law enforcement.
Hit-and-run accidents are growing in numbers across Florida, and if you’re found guilty of leaving the scene of an accident, the penalties will depend on if there was just property damage, injuries, or fatalities:
  • Property damage: Second-degree misdemeanor; up to 60 days in jail; $500 fine.
  • Injuries: Second- or third-degree felony; revoked license for at least 3 years; up to 5 years in prison; $5,000 fine.
  • Fatalities: First-degree felony; revoked license for at least 3 years; minimum of 4 years in prison, up to 30 years; $10,000 fine.

Florida DUI laws

Driving while intoxicated (DWI) or
driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs
(DUI) is incredibly dangerous and, appropriately, a serious offense in Florida.
Florida’s DUI laws
, driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or an unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level (BAL) of .08 or above.
Vehicle impoundment
First offense
$1,000-$2,000 if a minor is present or BAL is .15 or higher. 
Up to 6 months
If BAL was .15 or higher or a minor was present, then this goes up to 9 months.
10 days
Second offense
$2,000-$4,000 if a minor is present or BAL is .15 or higher. 
Up to 9 months
If BAL was .15 or higher or a minor was present, then this goes up to 12 months.
If this occurs within 5 years of a prior conviction, jail time is mandatory for at least 10 days with 48 hours of consecutive confinement.
30 days, if within 5 years of prior conviction
Third offense (in 10 years)
$4,000+ if a minor is present or BAL is .15 or higher.  
Up to 30 days with 48 hours of consecutive confinement
90 days, if within 10 years of a prior conviction
Third offense (more than 10 years)
$4,000+ if a minor is present or BAL is .15 or higher. 
Up to 12 months
10 days
Fourth or subsequent offense
No more than 5 years
2-10 years in TDCJ
Depends on previous conviction
Keep in mind that the penalties will be far more severe if your DUI results in the injury or death of another person. 
  • DUI manslaughter: Second-degree felony (no more than a $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).
  • DUI manslaughter/leaving the scene: A driver convicted of DUI manslaughter who knew or should have known the crash occurred, but failed to give information or render aid, is guilty of a first-degree felony (no more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).
  • Vehicular homicide: Second-degree felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 15 years imprisonment).
  • Vehicular homicide/leaving the scene: A driver convicted of vehicular homicide who left the scene of a crash is guilty of a first-degree felony (not more than $10,000 fine and/or 30 years imprisonment).
You can also expect your license to be revoked if you receive a DUI for anywhere between 180 days to 10 years, based on the number of offenses and if death or serious injury occurred. 

Florida distracted driving laws

Distracted driving
is anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road, or your mind off of driving. It is extremely risky behavior that puts everyone on the road in danger. There are different kinds of driver distractions:
  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: thinking about anything other than driving 
The FLHSMV reports that most drivers distracted in the event of a crash are between ages 20-24 with over 54,680 car accidents alone in 2022 being the result of distracted driving. Most of Florida’s distracted driving laws focus on cell phone usage. 
According to Section 316.305 of the Florida Statutes, it’s entirely illegal to
text while driving
. Additionally, drivers are not permitted to use wireless communication methods with a handheld device while in school or work zones.
Distracted driving is considered a non-moving violation in Florida, and if you’re caught disregarding the distracted driving laws, you will face the following charges: 
  • First offense: $30 fine, no points added to driving record
  • Second offense: $60 fee plus 3 points added to driving record (if in 5 years of first offense)
When in a school or construction zone, it doesn’t matter if it’s your first or second offense—both have a flat $60 fee with 3 points added to your driving record.
However, there are exemptions to this law, including: 
  • Stationary vehicles not in operation (this does not include being at a red light)
  • Emergency operators 
  • Reporting an emergency or criminal act 
  • Navigation
  • Wireless communication using Bluetooth or Apple CarPlay
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Alert messages (weather updates, emergency alerts, traffic conditions, etc.)

Biking and motorcycle traffic rules in Florida

Automobile owners aren’t the only drivers in Florida—there are also cyclists and motorcycle drivers who operate on the road, and who also abide by very similar rules. However, there are some key differences to help ensure the safety and security of these drivers. 

Bicyclist laws

In Florida, all cyclists must follow standard traffic controls and signals, but there are additional rules and regulations that they need to abide by:
  • Sidewalk riding: Cyclists have the same right of way as pedestrians, but must yield their right of way to those walking and give audible signals before passing.
  • Lights: Bikes operated between sunrise and sunset need to have a front lamp with a white light visible from 500 ft to the front. Additionally, a red reflector and lamp need to be attached to the rear with a red light visible from 600 ft to the rear. 
  • Roadway position: When not traveling at the same speed as traffic, bikers must use the bike lane or ride as close to the right-hand curb/edge of the roadway. Cyclists can move away from the edge when passing or making a left hand turn.
  • One way streets: Bikers must ride as close to the left-hand edge as possible.
  • Left turns: Bikers are entitled to use the left turning lane, only after signaling, scanning for traffic, and making sure the light is green.
Similarly, cyclists aren’t permitted to wear headsets, headphones, or other listening devices while riding—unless for medical reasons. 
Cyclists can also face road penalties in the form of non-moving and moving violations:
  • Non-moving: Failure to use required lighting equipment in the dark or dim light; failure to have operating brakes.
  • Moving: Running a stop sign, failing to signal, or riding against traffic.
Keep in mind: These rules may vary depending on the state, county, city, or town. Therefore, it’s always best to ask when riding in new locations.

Motorcycle laws

Motorcycles are often treated very similarly to automobiles—both need driver’s licenses, insurance, and follow the same penalties and guidelines for traffic violations and laws.
Just like a Class E license or learner’s permit, the legal age to apply for a motorcycle license is 16 years old. Additionally, all motorcyclists must have at least the state minimum insurance in the event of an accident. 
But there are also a few other laws that apply to motorcyclists: 
  • Helmet laws: Riders under the age of 21 must wear a state-approved helmet. Those over 21 have the option, but must carry at least $10,000 in medical benefits coverage.
  • Eye protection: All riders, regardless of age, must wear proper eye protection. 
  • Stunts: Wheelies and other motorcycle stunts are illegal in Florida. This is seen as a non-moving violation and will receive civil penalties. 
  • Lane splitting: Lane splitting is illegal in Florida. This is seen as a non-moving violation and will receive civil penalties. 
  • No listening devices: Riders cannot wear headphones or headpieces while driving, unless for medical reasons. This rule, however, doesn’t apply to phones—if you need to use your phone wirelessly, you can have one headphone in, but not both.
  • Headlights: Lights must be on at all times to make riders visible to traffic. 


To find a complete list of Florida driving laws, refer to the Florida Driver’s Handbook, or the FLHSMV website.
The speed limit for all parking lots in Florida is 15 mph and 5 mph in garages
The Florida Statute declares that all streets or highways must maintain a maximum speed of 30 mph in business or residential districts and 55 mph on all other highways and roadways. 
No person shall exceed the speed limit, or drive under it, in any circumstance—but especially in work zone or school zone areas. A violation of this law is a non-criminal offense but punishable as a moving violation. 
Running a red light in Florida carries possible fines from $125 to $200. If you live in a jurisdiction with red light cameras, you could be identified based on your license plate and fined for a red light violation. 
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