You can’t drive alone anywhere if you have just a Florida learner’s permit. That includes driving yourself to school or work. How old do you have to be to drive in Florida? You can only drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and always occupies the front passenger seat.

Key Highlights
  • A fully licensed driver at least 21 years old must be in the passenger’s seat for a teen with a permit to legally drive on the road.
  • Once a teen turns 16 and has had a permit for a year, they can apply for a driver’s license.
  • There are restrictions on both 16- and 17-year drivers regarding nighttime driving. Drivers in Florida must be at least 18 to drive unrestricted.

What are Florida’s learner’s permit rules?

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) website, you must be at least 15 years old to obtain a learner’s license.

In addition to the age requirement, permit applicants must also show the following:

  • Proof of Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course completion.
  • Pass a vision and hearing test.
  • Pass Class E Knowledge Exam.
  • Provide documents to establish proof of identity.

Once a teen or new driver has a learner’s permit, they are allowed to:

  • Drive during daylight hours during the first three months and with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old in the passenger seat.
  • After three months have passed permit holders can drive until 10 p.m. but must drive with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and occupies the front passenger seat.

Learn more about how long are you considered a new driver.

What age can you get your license in Florida?

Once a teen has reached the age of 16 and held a learner’s permit for at least one year and completed the steps outlined below, they can apply for a driver’s license.

The following are required to get a license in Florida:

  • Must be at least 16 years old.
  • Must hold a learner’s license for at least one year (12 months) OR reach age 18, whichever comes first.
  • A parent, legal guardian or responsible adult older than 21 years old must complete the Certification of Minor Driving Experience Form, certifying the driver has 50 hours of driving experience, 10 of which must be at night.
  • NO moving violation convictions for one year from the learner’s license date of issuance (OR may have one moving violation as long as adjudication was withheld).
  • Must pass Class E Driving Skills Test.
  • The vehicle used for the driving test must have a valid registration, show proof of insurance and pass a basic vehicle inspection that is conducted by the driver’s license examiner to determine that it is safe for a driving test.
  • Must provide documents needed to establish proof of identity, proof of Social Security Number and proof of residential address.

Florida driver’s license restrictions for 16-year-olds

Once a teen is 16 and been issued a license, there are a couple of restrictions to their driving:

  • Driving is allowed between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. without a licensed adult
  • 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 if driving after 11 p.m.

Florida driver’s license restrictions for 17-year-olds

Once a driver hits 17 years old, they are allowed to:

  • Driving allowed between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. without a licensed adult
  • Between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., they 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.

Florida teen drivers are allowed to drive at all hours once they reach 18.

Can you drive to school with a permit in Florida?

While a permitted driver cannot drive to school alone, they can drive themselves to and from school if there is a licensed driver at least age 21 in the passenger seat.

Florida law states that a driving permit holder can only drive during daylight hours and there must be a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old in the passenger seat at all times.

It is important to remember that if you receive a ticket while in the learner’s permit stage of Florida graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) process, you won’t be able to take the driving test for an Intermediate License for one year from the conviction date.

Learn more in detail about a what is learner’s permit and how it works.

Resources

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. “Licensing Requirements for Teens, Graduated Driver License Laws and Driving Curfews.” Accessed October 2022.

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Contributing Researcher

Mark is a freelance journalist and analyst with over 15 years of experience covering the insurance industry. He has extensive experience creating and editing content on a variety of subjects with deep expertise in insurance and automotive writing. He has written for autos.com, carsdirect.com, DARCARS and Madtown Designs to name just a few. He is also a professional blogger and a skilled web content creator who consistently turns out engaging, error-free writing while juggling multiple projects.