Earning a driver’s license is and always has been a right of passage for teenagers. To prepare young drivers in the Sunshine State for what lies ahead, they are required to earn a Florida learner’s permit. These specialized driver’s licenses are governed by the state’s Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws, which are designed to allow these youthful drivers to gain experience under safer conditions prior to earning full privileges. In particular, Florida’s GDL laws set restrictions for new drivers between the ages of 15 and 17, so they can gradually build their experience behind the wheel. It’s important for parents as well as teens to understand these laws and abide by them at all times. Continue reading for five fast facts about the Florida learners permit.
The Florida Learner’s Permit for Minors
In order to obtain a Florida learners permit, the driver must be at least 15 years old and have completed the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course. They must have passed Class E Knowledge Tests and taken all applicable hearing and vision exams. In addition, all minors under the age of 18 are required to have a notarized/signed Parental Consent Form.
The Florida Operator’s License for Minors
The Florida Operator’s License is for drivers who are at least 16 years old. They’re required to drive a minimum of 50 hours (with 10 hours at night) and hold their Florida learners permit for 12 months or until the age of 18 (whichever comes first). The teen must have a signed Certification of Minor Driving Experience Form and have no moving violation convictions for a year since their Florida learners permit was issued. In addition, the vehicle used to complete the driving test must be insured and have a current vehicle registration.
Young Driver Curfews in Florida
Just because your young driver has their Florida learners permit or minor operator’s license doesn’t mean their free to drive when they want. They must abide by curfews:
- The Florida learner’s permit allows the driver to operate a vehicle during daylight hours only in the first three months. After those three months, they can drive up to 10 p.m. Drivers with a Florida learner’s permit must always be accompanied by a licensed driver over the age of 21.
- At age 16, your teen may be eligible for the Operator’s License, which means they’re not allowed to drive between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. They must also be accompanied by a driver 21 or older unless they’re traveling to and from work.
- At age 17, your teen is restricted from driving between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. and must be accompanied by a driver 21 or older unless they’re traveling to and from work.
Parent Have Rights Too
Teens with a Florida learner’s permit are still under the care of their parents. More importantly, parents are actually responsible for their young driver’s behavior, which is explained in the Parental Consent Form. Any guardian or parent who actually signs the Parental Consent Form can cancel the teen’s driver’s license and rescind responsibility for the minor’s driving.
Just Say No to Tobacco
While drinking and driving is illegal, minors can lose their Florida learner’s permit or operator’s license if they are convicted of possession of nicotine products or tobacco products. Their Florida learner’s permit will be revoked for a period of at least 30 days.