Driver's License Examination
For an applicant for a Class D or a Class E Driver’s license, the required examination shall include a test of the applicant’s eyesight (20/40 visual acuity required) given by the Driver’s license examiner designated by the FLHSMV or by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist and a test of the applicant’s hearing given by the Driver’s license examiner or a licensed physician.
The examination shall also include a test of the applicant’s ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic; his or her knowledge of the traffic laws, including the laws regulating driving under the influence of alcohol. Testing shall also include an actual demonstration of the ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle.
The FLHSMV may waive the knowledge, endorsement, and skills tests for an applicant from another state or a province of Canada who surrenders a valid driver’s license from that state or province.
The examination for an applicant of a commercial driver’s license shall include the following: tests of the applicant’s eyesight, hearing, ability to read and understand highway signs and traffic rules of the state. Tests will also include a skill test specifically designed for the class of commercial license being applied for as well as an examination of the applicant’s ability to perform an inspection of his or her vehicle.
Graduated Driver's Licensing
Florida has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.
At age 15, individuals are eligible for a learner’s permit.
- Permit holders may only drive during the day (after 3 months individuals may drive until 10 p.m.) with a licensed driver 21 years or older.
- Permit holders must also accumulate at least 50 hours (10 at night) of parental/guardian certified driving.
At age 16, drivers who have held the permit for at least 12 months without a traffic conviction are eligible for an intermediate license.
- Intermediate license holders who are 16 may not drive unsupervised between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. At 17, intermediate license holders may not drive unsupervised between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.
- Florida does not have a passenger restriction.
At age 18, individuals are eligible for an unrestricted license.
Driver's License Issuance/Application
Each application for a Driver’s license shall be made in a format designated by the FLHSMV and sworn to or affirmed by the applicant as to the truth of the statements made in the application.
Each application shall include the following information regarding the applicant: full name, digital photo (full face), gender, social security number, residence and mailing address, a brief description of the individual, proof of birth date, proof of identity, legal presence in the U.S., whether the applicant has previously been licensed to drive, and, if so when and by what state. Each application shall also include a consent to release driving record information.
Social security number not required on license.
The FLHSMV may not issue a driver’s license to a person who has never been issued a driver’s license in any jurisdiction until he or she successfully completes the traffic law and substance abuse class.
The expiration date of a non-citizen’s driver’s license is linked to the expiration date of that person’s visa.
Driver's License Renewal
Driver’s licenses are valid for a period of 8 years and expire at midnight on the licensee’s birthday, which next occurs on or after the 8th anniversary of the date of issue.
An applicant applying for a renewal issuance or renewal extension shall be issued a driver’s license or renewal extension sticker which is valid for 4 years except that a driver whose driving record reflects no convictions for the preceding 3 years shall be issued a license renewal extension sticker which is valid for 8 years.
Drivers who have not had any moving violation convictions for the last 3 years preceding renewal and whose driving privilege in Florida has not been revoked, disqualified, or suspended at any time during the 7 years preceding renewal, are only required to have tested their eyesight and hearing upon renewal. Those drivers who have had moving violation convictions in the last 3 years or who have had their license suspended during the 7 years preceding renewal are required to, in addition to the eyesight and hearing tests, pass a test of their ability to read and under-stand highway signs.
Drivers age 80 and older are issued licenses for 6 years and must pass a vision test administered at any driver’s license office. If applying for an extension by mail, such drivers must submit proof that they have passed a vision test administered by a licensed physician or optometrist.
Only one electronic or mail-in renewal may be made between in-person renewals, regardless of age.
Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents (spouses, children, and step-children under 21 living in the same household) stationed out of state may request a license extension. The license extension card keeps class D and E licenses valid until 90 days after discharge from military service. Extension card must be kept with driver’s license and presented with your military ID. The extension card is only available to military personnel who are stationed outside Florida and have a license which expired after July 1, 1995. Members of the military may renew their motor vehicle or motor home registration without penalty, if the service member was on active duty more than 35 miles away from home.
Types of Driver's Licenses
Class E: Holder can operate a noncommercial vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less than 26,001 lbs. , including passenger cars, 15 passenger vans including the driver, trucks or recreational vehicles and two or three wheel motor vehicles 50 cc or less, such as mopeds or small scooters.
Class E-Learner: Holder can operate motor vehicles less than 8,000 lbs.
Motorcycle Endorsement: “MTCY ALSO” or “MTCY ONLY.”
Commercial Class A: Holder can operate a vehicle with a GWR of 26,001 or more, only if the tow is greater than 10,000 lbs.
Commercial Class B: Holder can operate any single vehicle with a GWR of 26,001 lbs.
Commercial Class C: Holder can operate a vehicles transporting placardable amounts of hazardous materials, or vehicles designed to transport more than 15 persons including the driver with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of less than 26,001 lbs