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Florida Driving License Laws

Driver's licenses in Florida fall into one of several categories: commercial driver's licenses, or CDL, meant for operators of trucks or other large vehicles; noncommercial driver's licenses, which cover most drivers of passenger cars; motorcycle; and military. Florida also offers a Class E learner's license for new drivers who can only operate vehicles under 8,000 pounds and with a licensed driver over 21 years old. Florida driver's licenses are issued at driver license offices statewide operated by the Division of Driver Licenses.

Proof of Identity

In 2005, the Department of Homeland Security implemented new standards for issuing identification cards to improve the security of state-issued ID cards. To get a Florida driver's license, you need to provide certain documents to prove your identity and U.S. citizenship. You must visit a driver's license office in person if it's your first license, have moved from another state, have legally changed your name or have used the one-time "convenience" renewal.

Acceptable documents to prove identity include a certified birth certificate, a passport or passport card, consular report of birth abroad, certificate of naturalization or a certificate of citizenship. You will also need proof of a Social Security number, using a Social Security card, a W-2 form or a pay stub. You need two forms of proof of your residential address, such as a house deed or lease and a current utility bill. If you have changed your name due to marriage or court order, you need to bring a copy of the court order or marriage certificate.

Driver's Licenses for Teens

Florida residents can apply for a learner's license at age 15. Applicants must complete a traffic and substance abuse education course, have a signed parental consent form and prove identity and residency. Teens must pass a written test covering road rules and road signs, as well as hearing and vision tests. The learner's license grants permission to drive only during daylight hours and with a licensed driver over age 21. At age 16, you can apply for an operator's license if you have held your learner's license for one year without any traffic convictions and have had 50 hours of experience behind the wheel. Sixteen-year-old drivers cannot drive between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. without a licensed driver over age 21 in the car; 17-year-olds are restricted from driving between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. without a chaperon. These rules don't apply if the 16- or 17-year-old is traveling to or from work.

Renewing a License or Getting a Florida License if You Have Moved from Another State

If you're renewing a Florida license or you move to Florida from another state and you hold a valid driver's license from that state, you only need to pass hearing and vision tests to get your Florida license. You must have a visual acuity---with your glasses or contacts---of at least 20/40 to pass the vision test. If you fail, you'll be referred to an eye specialist for corrective lenses before being granted your license.
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