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How To Get a Florida Driver's License

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How To Get a Florida Driver's License
Whether you're new to driving, new to Florida or just need to get a replacement license, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is your first stop. Arrive prepared with this checklist and you won't be doomed for a repeat visit. Check the links at the right to find the office nearest you.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: About One Hour

Here's How:

  1. US residents will need either a certified birth certificate, a valid passport or a certificate of naturalization. Alternatively, you may present a driver's license issued by Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington or Wisconsin.
  2. A second form of ID is also required, and can be anything from a baptism certificate or voter registration card (at least three months old) to a marriage certificate. In short, anything official with your name on it.
  3. Non-US citizens are required to bring identification, proof or date of birth and social security number. Some acceptable forms of ID are an Alien Registration Card, I-551 stamp on passport, and an I-797 with the customer's A-number stating the customer has been granted asylum or refugee status.
  4. For regular passenger vehicles, some tests may be required, especially for a new license. These include a hearing, vision, driving, road rules and road signs test. If you're exchanging a valid out-of-state license, only the hearing and vision are required.
  5. If you are a new driver, minimum age for a learner's permit is 15 years. All the tests above will be given.
  6. To upgrade from a restricted learner's permit to a full operator's license, you must have held your permit for one full year, not have any traffic violations and have a parent or guardian's verification of at least 50 hours driving time. At least 10 of those hours must have been at night.
  7. The fee for a Florida license or learner's permit is $20, and renewals are $15. If your license has been stolen and you've filed a police report, the replacement is free. Additional fees may apply, such as a tax collector's fee of $5.25.

Tips:

  1. Most locations are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, but some are open those hours Monday through Thursday. Call ahead or look online to check the times of your local office.
  2. Many locations accept appointments, making the wait much shorter.
  3. If you're unsure if the identification you have is sufficient, always call ahead. You'll be glad you didn't wait to be told it was insufficient.

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