Chapter 1: Your License
Florida Classified Driver
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
issues the following classes of licenses: Class A, B, C, D, and
Classes A, B, and C are for drivers of commercial
motor vehicles such as large trucks and buses. Classes D and E are
for drivers of non-commercial vehicles.
There is a separate manual entitled Commercial Driver
License Manual for Truck and Bus Drivers. This manual is available
at any driver license office. If you wish to drive a commercial
motor vehicle as defined below, you must be properly tested and
licensed to do so.
Who Needs One?
- If you live in Florida and want to drive a motor
vehicle on public streets and highways.
- If you move to Florida and have a valid
license from another state, you must get a Florida license within
30 days of becoming a resident. You are considered a resident
of Florida if you:
- enroll your children in public school, or
- register to vote, or
- file for a homestead exemption, or
- accept employment, or
- reside in Florida for more than six consecutive
Who Does Not Need One?
The following persons may drive in Florida without
having a Florida driver license if they have a valid license from
another state or country:
- Any non-resident who is at least 16 years old.
- Persons employed by the United States Government
driving a United States Government motor vehicle on official business.
- Any non-resident working for a firm on a contract
for the United States Government. (This exemption is only for
- Any non-resident attending college in Florida.
- Persons who drive only vehicles like farm tractors
or road machines temporarily on the highway may drive without
- A licensed driver who lives in another state
and travels regularly between his home and work in Florida.
- Non-resident migrant farm workers even though
they are employed or place children in the public schools, providing
they have a valid license from their home state.
- Members of the Armed Forces stationed
in Florida and their dependents, with these exceptions:
- Service member or spouse claims homestead
exemption (All drivers in family must obtain Florida licenses),
- Service member becomes employed (All drivers
in family must obtain Florida licenses),
- Spouse becomes employed (Spouse and children
who drive must obtain Florida licenses),
- Child becomes employed (Only employed child
who drives must obtain Florida license).
Learner's Driver License
A person who holds a Learner's License must be accompanied
by a licensed driver, 21 years of age or older, who occupies the
front passenger seat. To be eligible for a Class E license, all
drivers 15 years of age and under 18 years of age, must hold a Learner's
License for at least 12 months without convictions or who has a
conviction but elects to attend a traffic school for which adjudication
must be withheld pursuant to section 318.14, Florida Statutes. Parents
or legal guardians must also certify that the driver has 50 hours
driving experience, 10 of these hours must include night time driving.
Drivers can only drive between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
the first three months from the original issue date when accompanied
by a licensed driver, 21 years or older who occupies the front passenger
seat. After the three months, the driver may operate a vehicle from
6 a.m. to 10 p.m. with a licensed driver, 21 years or older in the
front passenger seat. Drivers with a Learner's License are ineligible
for a motorcycle endorsement.
NOTE: A learner's driver license does
not mean you can drive in other states. You will need to check the
laws in each state.
State law requires identification, proof of date
of birth and social security number from all customers before a
driver license or identification card can be issued. Each application
for an original driver license or identification card MUST
submit the original or certified copy of one of the first five documents,
unless a driver's license record or identification card record has
already been established:
1. United States birth certificate, including U.S.
territories and District of Columbia.
2. Valid United States passport (not expired)
3. Alien Registration receipt card, (Green card, Form I-151)
4. Employment authorization card issued by the United States Department of Justice (Form
5. Proof of nonimmigrant classification provided by United States
of Justice (Form I94 not expired, or certificate of naturalization)
In addition, a secondary identification document, which substantiates
the primary document, is required. Document may include, but not
limited to, the original or certified copy of one of the following:
6. School record stating date of birth, which must
contain the registrar's signature.
7. Transcript of the birth record filed with a public officer charged
with the duty of recording certificates.
8. Baptism certificate, which shows date of birth and the place
9. An insurance policy on the customers life which has been in force
for at least two years and which has the month, day and year of
10. A military or military dependent identification card.
11. Florida or another state driver license, valid or expired (may
also serve as a primary item).
12. Florida license record or identification card record (may also
serve as a primary item).
13. Selective Service Registration (Draft Card).
14. Florida Vehicle Registration certificate (HSMV 83399, owner's
copy) obtained from the tax collector's office where the customer's
vehicle was registered, Florida, or out-of-state registration certificate,
if name and date of birth are shown.
15. Florida and another state non-driver identification cards (may
also serve as a primary item).
16. Receipt copy of your last Florida driver license issuance.
17. Immigration form I-571.
18. Federal form DD-214 (military record)
19. Marriage certificate
20. Court order, which includes legal name.
21. A Florida voter registration card which was issued at least
three months previously.
22. Personal identification by an examiner or by a person well known
to the examiner.
23. Social Security Card.
24. Family bible record or birth announcement in baby book.
25. Parent Consent Form (HSMV 71022)
26. Out-of-country driver license or identification car, government
If you have legally changed your name by marriage
or court order, you must submit the original or a certified copy
of your marriage certificate or court order. No photocopies will
be accepted unless certified by the issuing authority.
A secondary identification from the above list
is required. The Social Security Number (if issued) MUST be included
on the application for a driver's license or identification card.
Substance Abuse Education
If you have never been issued a license in any jurisdiction
(state or country), you will be required to complete a traffic law
and substance abuse education course before you will be issued a
license. Consult your local phone directory for locations in your
Parent's Consent for
If you are under 18 and are not married, your license
application must be signed by one parent or legal guardian. STEP-PARENTS
MAY NOT SIGN FOR YOU UNLESS THEY HAVE LEGALLY ADOPTED YOU. The
application must be signed in front of the examiner or a notary
public. Whoever signs your application agrees to take responsibility
with you for your driving. If the signer decides later not to accept
responsibility for your driving, your license will be canceled.
To cancel the license, the signer must write a letter to the department.
The full name and date of birth of the minor driver must be in the
PARENTS/GUARDIANS: Signing this form constitutes
consent for the minor to also obtain an operator license at age
16 or older, unless you notify the Department that you wish to withdraw
REMEMBER: THE CONSENT FORM MUST BE NOTARIZED OR SIGNED IN THE
PRESENCE OF THE EXAMINER.
Driver education courses can help you develop all
the skills you need to be a safe driver. You can obtain more information
by referring to your local telephone directory under Driving Instruction.
Third Party Testing
Many Driver Education teachers assist the Department
of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) in licensing new drivers.
Students who satisfactorily completely DHSMV-approved Driver Education
Licensing Assistance Program (DELAP) courses in participating public
or private schools may receive DHSMV waiver certificates from their
DELAP teacher. These certificates, when presented to the local driver
license office, will be used to replace the DHSMV written and/or
driving tests for issuance of a Learner's driver license or Class
E license. DHSMV may, however, test any student on a random basis
before issuing a driver license.
Restriction and Endorsement Codes on Florida Licenses
A. CORRECTIVE LENSES means a person must
wear corrective lenses at all times when operating a vehicle.
B. OUTSIDE REARVIEW MIRROR (Left Side) means the vehicle
the person is driving must have a left outside rearview mirror on
C. BUSINESS PURPOSES ONLY means the person can only drive
to work and on-the-job, for education purposes, to church and for
D. EMPLOYMENT PURPOSES ONLY means the person can only drive
to work and on-the-job.
E. DAYLIGHT DRIVING ONLY means the person can only drive
during daylight hours.
F. AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION means the person can only drive
a vehicle that has automatic transmission.
G. POWER STEERING means the person must drive a vehicle with
I. DIRECTIONAL SIGNALS means a person must drive a vehicle
equipped with mechanical directional signals.
J. GRIP ON STEERING WHEEL means the vehicle must be equipped
with a knob or grip on the steering wheel.
K. HEARING AID means the person must wear a hearing aid at
all times while driving the vehicle.
L. SEAT CUSHION means the person must use a seat cushion
at all times while driving.
M. HAND CONTROLS OR PEDAL EXTENSION means the vehicle must
be equipped with hand controls or a pedal extension.
N. LEFT FOOT ACCELERATOR means the vehicle must be equipped
with a left foot accelerator.
P. PROBATION-INTERLOCK DEVICE means the vehicle must be equipped
with a device that locks the ignition at times specified by the
court imposing the restriction.
S. OTHER RESTRICTIONS means there are other restrictions
imposed on this license.
T. NO PASSENGERS ON MOTORCYCLE means the person cannot have
passengers when driving a motorcycle.
X. MEDICAL ALERT BRACELET means the person must wear a medical
alert bracelet at all times while driving the vehicle.
Y. EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY means the person can drive for
Restriction Codes Appearing
on Commercial Driver Licenses Only
1 = VEHICLES W/O AIR BRAKES issued to those
who have not passed the required written and/or skills tests for
the operation of vehicles with air brakes.
2=CDL-INTRASTATE ONLY (CMV) issued to those who
are authorized to operate commercial motor vehicles inside Florida
3=BUS ONLY (CMV) - issued to persons who took written
and skills tests which authorize them to drive commercial motor
vehicles that are buses only.
4=CMV<- 26,001 LBS Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
5=NO TRACTOR /TRAILERS
6=NO CLASS A PASSENGER VEHICLES
7=NO CLASS B PASSENGER VEHICLES
NOTE: Persons with a restriction on their
license who do not comply with the requirements of the restriction
can be issued a citation for violation of restriction and could
be suspended. Offenses of this type are a second degree misdemeanor,
except for violations of restriction code X.
These endorsements are placed on Class A, B, or C
commercial driver licenses and on certain Class D licenses.
E. EMERGENCY VEHICLES - issued to those who drive
an emergency vehicle, that is a commercial motor vehicle, but are
exempt by law from obtaining a commercial driver license.
F. FARM CMV - issued to those who drive farm type commercial motor
vehicles, but who are exempt by law from obtaining a commercial
H. PLACARDED HAZMAT - issued to those who have passed the required
written and skills tests and who will transport placarded hazardous
N. TANK VEHICLES - issued to those who have passed the required
written and skills tests and who will drive tank vehicles.
P. PASSENGERS - issued to those who have passed the required written
and skills tests and who will drive passenger vehicles.
T. DOUBLE/TRIPLE TRAILERS - issued to those who have passed the
required written and skills tests and who will drive double or triple
tractor trailer vehicles.
X. PLACARDED HAZMAT & TANK VEHICLES - issued to those who qualify
for endorsements H and N.
Physical and Mental Requirements
You must list any physical or mental problems on
your license application which might affect your driving. Many of
the physical problems can be handled by placing restrictions on
your license. If you have epilepsy, fainting spells, dizziness,
blackouts or any other medical condition that could impair your
driving, you may be asked to have your doctor complete a medical
report form. These forms may be requested through your local driver
licenses office and will be mailed directly to you. The report must
be completed by your doctor and submitted to the Department before
a license can be issued.
If you are diabetic, and use insulin, you may request
that it be indicated on your license.
Person applying for original Florida licenses will
be required to take the following tests:
*All vehicles used for driving
or on-cycle skill tests will be inspected by the examiner.
- Learner's Driver License - vision, hearing,
road signs, and Class E road rules.
- Class E license - vision, hearing, road signs,
Class E road rules and driving test.
- Class D license - vision, hearing, road signs,
Class D road rules and driving test (driving test not required
if applicant holds valid Florida Class E operator's license).
NOTE: Persons holding valid licenses from other states,
U.S. possessions, France, or Canada are only required to take
a vision test unless their driving ability is questionable. Persons
holding a license from Germany and Taiwan are required to take
the vision, hearing and written exam unless their driving ability
- Motorcycle endorsement - In addition to the
above tests, applicants requesting motorcycle endorsements must
pass the written motorcycle knowledge test and on-cycle skill
test (unless they have a motorcycle endorsement on their out-of-state
- Commercial driver licenses - see Florida Manual
for Truck and Bus Drivers for required exams.
Purpose of Driver License Examination
The purpose of the license examination is to find
out several things:
- Can you read and understand road signs, traffic
signals and highway markings?
- Do you know the Florida driving rules?
- Can you see well enough to drive safely?
- Do you have the skill and experience to drive
- Do you have any physical or mental handicaps
that would affect your driving?
Vision test - standard
Lenses or Glasses:
- You will be restricted to wearing corrective
lenses when you drive if you need to wear contact lenses or glasses
to pass the test.
- Telescopic lenses - you will not be eligible
for a driver's license if you wear glasses with telescopic lenses.
Your driving privilege will be revoked if you are unable to meet the
rules of vision standards. To pass you must meet the following vision
standards with or without corrective lenses:
- Have 20/40 (or better) vision in each and both
eyes. With or without corrective lenses.
- If you have 20/200 (or worse) vision in one
eye, you must have 20/40 (or better) vision in the other eye.
With or without corrective lenses.
- If you have 20/70 (or better) vision in either
eye separately, or in both eyes together. The worst eye must have
a vision screening better than 20/200. With or without corrective
lenses. Referral to an eye doctor may be required.
Preliminary Sample Vision Test
Road sign test - Multiple
choice test which consists of 20 road signs for you to identify
by color, shape or meaning.
Road rules test - Multiple
choice test which consists of 20 questions regarding Florida traffic
Vehicle inspection - Your vehicle will be
inspected to determine it is safe for a road test.
- You must provide the vehicle for the driving
- Proof of personal injury protection insurance
and valid vehicle registration must be provided on the vehicle
for the driving test.
- If you do not have a valid license you must
be accompanied by a licensed driver.
- Persons with a learner's license you must be
at least 16 years of age and have held the learner's license for
- No one may accompany you and the examiner(s)
during the driving test.
You will be expected to perform the following maneuvers
on the driving test:
- turn about - Turn your car around in
a 30' to 40' space
- shift gears - Change gears smoothly and
correctly (if your car has a manual shift transmission).
- approach of crossing - Get in the proper
lane and look in each direction. Change gears smoothly and correctly
(if your car has a manual shift transmission).
- observe right-of-way - Allow pedestrians
to cross, pull over and stop for emergency vehicles and do not
enter an intersection when you will interfere with other traffic.
- straight-in parking - Park your
vehicle inside the parking space straight-in. When properly parked,
the vehicle should be centered, inside the space with no part
of the vehicle extending out in the traffic lane. This maneuver
gives the examiner the opportunity to observe your ability to:
- handle the vehicle in close quarters
- judge distance
- maintain control of the vehicle as you turn
into a straight-in parking space
- stop quickly - Drive at 20 miles per
hour and make a quick, safe stop when the examiner instructs you.
- backing - Back for a distance of 50 feet
at a slow speed. Do not use the rear-view mirror when backing.
Look to the rear instead.
- obey stop signs - Give the proper signal
if turning, approach in the proper lane, come to a complete stop
before reaching the pedestrian crosswalk or stop line, and remain
stopped until you can move safely without interfering with cross
- obey traffic signals - Get into the proper
lane and approach the light at a speed that will allow you to
stop if the light should change. When you must stop, stop before
the pedestrian crosswalk or stop line. When the light turns green,
do not move forward until the other traffic has cleared the intersection.
Give the correct signal for stopping and turning. Watch for "no
turn"and "one way" signs.
- signal and turn - Get into the proper
lane and signal your turn for the last 100 feet. You may use either
hand signals or mechanical signals. Slow before reaching the crosswalk
and turn into the proper lane.
- passing - Always look ahead and behind
to make sure you can pass safely. Pass on the left, unless the
car ahead is about to make a left turn or is in the left turn
lane on a street with more than one lane in each direction. Do
not pass on the shoulder (side of the road).
- stay in proper lane - Drive in the right
lane except on a one-way street. Do not change lanes until you
may do so safely.
- follow at a safe distance - Do not drive
too closely behind other cars. Use the Two Second Rule
- use proper posture - Keep both hands
on the steering wheel and do not rest your elbow in the window.
The examiner will explain any mistakes you may have
made, after the test is completed. If you disqualify on the driving
test you will be asked to study or practice before you return for
another test. You will be asked to return another day for additional
tests due to the volume of driving tests, which are conducted at
each driver license location. If you pass the examination, the examiner
will collect the fee and issue your license. If you surrender a
valid restricted operator license or learner's permit, you will
not be charged additional fees for the replacement operator license
when you pass the driving test.
NOTE: ON-CYCLE TEST-Study the Florida Motorcycle Operator Handbook
for knowledge and on-cycle testing procedures.
Appointments are recommended, but not required for
many of the services provided by the driver license offices. Contact
your local driver
license office to determine if an appointment is required for
the service you need. Call in advance for your appointment and report
at least five minutes before your scheduled time. You may still
appear at the driver license office without an appointment, however,
the fastest service is provided through the use of appointments.
Change of Address
You must obtain a new license showing your new address
within 10 days of the change. You may change the address on your driver
license or ID card by:
- Using your home touch-tone telephone and calling
1-800-448-1002. There is a $2.90 service fee plus the $10 license
- By mail being sure to include your name, new
address, driver license number, and date of birth. Mail to Division
of Driver Licenses, Mail Stop 92, Post Office Box 5775, Tallahassee,
Florida 32314-5775. Include a $10 check or money order payable
to DHSMV. You will receive the appropriate corrections by mail.
Allow 30 days for processing.
- Visiting your local driver license office.
- Internet at http://express.hsmv.state.fl.us.
There is a $3 service fee plus the $10 license fee.
- Florida law requires that you destroy your old
license when you receive the new license.
You must bring a court order or marriage certificate
to a driver license office to prove your name change within 10 days
of the change. Documents must be original or certified copies.
If your driver license is lost or stolen, apply for
a duplicate immediately. At your driver license office you will
- sign a statement that you have lost your license;
- show your identification (TWO OF THE ITEMS LISTED); and
- pay the duplicate license fee ($10).
- a "no fee" duplicate license will be issued
if a police report was filed on the stolen license.
Renewal at a Driver License
Before you renew your license, your driving record
is checked. If you have had no convictions for driving violations
in the past three years, or suspension/revocation/disqualification
free record for the past seven years, you will be issued a six-year
license. You may also be asked to take other parts of the test if:
- The examiner has a reason to question your driving
- Your license may not be renewed if:
- You are not qualified to receive a license.
- You did not answer a summons, which involved
a traffic violation.
- Your driver license is suspended or revoked
Renewal by Mail, Internet
or by Telephone
Drivers may renew through the mail for two consecutive
license expirations. You may receive a mail-in renewal packet approximately
30 days prior to license expiration. There are no additional fees
for renewing by mail. Your can renew by internet at http://express.hsmv.state.fl.us.
There is a $3 service charge in addition to the renewal fee. After
you return your payment, you will receive a four or six-year renewal
sticker to be placed on the back of your current license. Drivers
with a digital license will receive a new license. Drivers with
a digital license will receive a new license. Florida law requires
that you destroy your old driver license after receiving the new
Military Renewal by Mail
Members of the US Armed Forces serving on active
duty outside of Florida may renew their licenses by mail without
examination. Their spouses and children living with them may do
the same. At least 3 months prior to the expiration of your licenses,
write to: Division of Driver Licenses, 2900 Apalachee Parkway, Tallahassee,
Florida 32399-0575 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Give your name as
it appears on your license, the driver license number, your date
of birth and out-of-state address and zip code. The department will
advise you further by return mail.
Any veteran honorably discharged from the Armed Forces,
who has been issued a valid identification card by the Division
of Veteran's Affairs of the Department of Administration and has
been determined by the Veteran's Administration to have a 100% service-connected
disability and who is qualified to obtain a Class E or Class D license,
is exempt from paying initial, renewal and motorcycle endorsement
If you need an identification card, you can apply
for one at any driver license office. To get the identification
card, you must:
The card will contain your color
photograph, full name, sex, address, date of birth and other data
the Department may require. Identification cards are valid for 4 years.
Citizens 60 years of age or older are issued a "non-expiring" identification
- Be 12 years old or older. (Any person can be
issued an identification card if applying for a disabled parking
permit. No minimum age in Citrus, St. Johns or Monroe counties);
- Present your official Social Security card that
was issued by the Social Security Administration; and
- Present identification. See section under Identifying Yourself.
|Initial License Fee for first
any type except commercial driver licenses
|Learner's Driver License
|Class E Renewal
|Class D Renewal
|Commercial Driver License
|Duplicate License (if a license
is lost or destroyed)
|Stolen License-if police
|Replacement License (you
must turn in the incorrect license)
and Other Fees
|Written Examination Re-Tests
|Commercial Driver License
|Identification Card - Original
|Identification Card - Renewal
(If identification card is lost or destroyed or if you need
an address chanage)
|Delinquent Fee (paid if license
expired less than 12 months before renewal application)
|Administrative Fee Alcohol
& Drug-Related Offenses
(in addition to any other required fees)
|After a license has been
|After a license has been
|After a license has been
suspended for Worthless Check(s)
|After a license has been
Failure to maintain PIP
|Under the Financial Responsibility
law failure to carry liability insurance
If you are suspended under both the PIP and the liability
law, you can be charged both reinstatement fees.
Organ and Tissue Donor Program
Through the miracle of transplantation, many people
here in Florida are living healthy, productive lives. However, the
need for donated organs and tissues to outpace the supply. Right
now, there are thousands who would be helped if more of us became
organ and tissue donors. Organ and tissue donations provide each
of us with a special opportunity to help others.
Donation of vital organs and tissues can save lives
where no other hope is available. Heart, liver, lung and kidney
transplants save lives everyday. Additionally, bone, skin, and cornea
transplants often restore sight and save burn victims.
How Can You Help?
- Indicate your desire to donate organs and tissues
on your Florida drivers license or identification card.
- Tell your nearest relative or legal guardian.
- Donate a minimum of $1 to fund organ and tissue
- ALL OF THE ABOVE
When you are applying for a driver license or identification
card, you may voluntary contribute to the following special trust
Election Campaign - $5 minimum to be transferred
to the Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund.
Florida Organ and Tissue Donor Education and
Procurement Trust Fund - $1 minimum for organ and tissue donor
education and for maintaining the organ and tissue donor registry.
Florida Council of the Blind - $1 minimum
for assisting persons who have already been diagnosed as blind.
Prevent Blindness of Florida - $1 minimum
to prevent blindness and preserve the sight of the residents of
the State of Florida.
Hearing Research Institute - $2 minimum
for infant hearing screening in Florida.
Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International
- $1 minimum contribution
Go to Chapter Two
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2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter
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