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Q

In Florida, can you drive alone on a learners permit at the age of 17 to get to work or school?


A

No, with just a Florida learner's permit at age 17 you cannot drive alone anywhere including to school or work. You can only drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and occupies the front passenger seat AT ALL TIMES.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) states that with your Learner's License, you may:

  • Only drive during daylight hours during the first three months and until 10 p.m. thereafter, ALWAYS with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and occupies the front passenger seat.

To earn a FL operator's license (16 and 17 year old), you must be at least 16 years old AND have held a learner's license for at least one (1) year without any traffic convictions.

The FL HSMV specifically notes that every person under 18 years old MUST hold a Learner's License for one year, there are NO exceptions to this law and that no person may drive alone with a Learner's License - regardless of age. So a teen or those with a FL learner's permit cannot drive alone. Once teens obtain an Intermediate License their driving privileges are based on their age. See below:

  • 16 years old - Driving is allowed between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. without a licensed adult (all other times must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old occupying the closest seat to the right of the driver, or be traveling to or from work.)
  • 17 years old - Driving allowed between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. without a licensed adult (all other times must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old occupying the closest seat to the right of the driver, or be traveling to or from work.
  • 18 years old - Driving is allowed at all hours. When teens turn 18, restrictions are removed from their license. Then they have a full privilege license.

With an Intermediate License you may drive without a licensed adult during the driving hour restrictions if travelling to or from work but not with only a learner's permit.

If you are convicted of a ticket while in the learner's permit stage of the Florida graduated driver's licensing (GDL) process you will not be able to take the driving test for an Intermediate License for one (1) year from the conviction date. The FL HSMV also notes that under FL law a licensee who violates the conditions of their permit/license types is subject to the civil penalty imposed for a moving violation and is also fined.

Read tips on teen auto insurance here then get a quote for your young driver's car insurance needs with CarInsurance.com.


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