How to Obtain a Learners Permit in Florida

Getting a Florida learners permit is a rite of passage for many, but young drivers must follow state rules prior to obtaining their first driving credentials. Before a driving permit is granted, The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has a list of several requirements that must be met by all new drivers. Learners permit applicants in FL must present mandatory qualifying documents and pass multiple driver-related exams. For more information on drivers permit applications and procedures in Florida, review the following topics:

  • Learners Permit Requirements in Florida
  • Taking the DATA Course for Florida Learning Permits
  • Florida DMV Learners Permit Tests and Preparation

Learners Permit Requirements in Florida

Before a drivers permit application is accepted by the Florida DMV, several requirements must be met. Although the DMV will not grant a learners permit to anyone under the age of 15, some of these steps may be completed earlier.

FL driving permit applicants must complete an acceptable drug and alcohol awareness course. In addition, applicants must complete the written DMV test (also called a driving permit test). Prior to taking the learners permit written exam, applicants must schedule appointments at their local DMV offices. Upon visiting the DMV for the learning permit written test, applicants must present required documents, including proof of identity, proof of Florida residency and proof of U.S. citizenship, to accompany the mandatory learning permit application. Drivers permit applications can be completed in person at the DMV office, where representatives can provide assistance to those in need. Once all of the above steps are met, Florida applicants must pay the applicable driving permit fees to complete the application process.

Taking the DATA Course for Florida Learning Permits

The first step toward obtaining a permit for driving in Florida is enrollment in a DATA (drugs, alcohol, traffic, awareness) course. Although learners permits are not available to young drivers until they reach the age of 15, those who would like to begin meeting the state requirements early can enroll in DATA courses early and online. Driving permit students can sign up for DATA classes at age 14-and-a-half and- six months prior to applying for drivers permits in Florida and- but no earlier.

The DATA course teaches learners permit applicants how alcohol, drugs, distractions and more impact a driverand's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely and efficiently. The learners permit prep course consists of several modules, each ending with a quiz. A minimum of four hours must be spent on the driving permit-required course, but an online login is provided to each student, so that the time can be broken into shorter segments as needed.

The DATA course may be taken as many times as necessary. Information on how to sign up and pay for the course is available in our free, downloadable guide. When finished, the Florida DMV will register a studentand's completion of the DATA course in the stateand's online system. Note that the learning permit applicant will not be mailed a paper certificate, as the record is kept electronically.

Florida DMV Learners Permit Tests and Preparation

The main learners permit test in Florida that applicants must pass is the written knowledge exam. However, learning permit applicants in Florida are advised to study in preparation for their exams prior to visiting the DMV. DMV learners permit test-takers should review the Florida Driverand's Handbook in full, then take authentic driver practice tests to exercise the knowledge retained. Download our free guide to learn more about the benefits of driver practice tests.

Once well-studied, learning permit applicants must take and pass the DMV learners permit written test, following the completion of the mandatory Florida DATA course. The minimum age for the drivers permit written test is also 14-and-a-half years old, so students can take their knowledge exams before physically applying for FL driver permits and- if they so wish.

The Florida DMV provides two options for taking the DMV learning permit test: online and in person. The online option is only available to learners permit applicants who are under the age of 18. New drivers planning to take the drivers permit test in person at a DMV office are advised to make an appointment online through the website of the Florida DMV. When taking the test at a DMV office, the applicant should arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled exam time and plan to spend at least two hours at the office.

The DMV learners permit test is made up of 50 questions. Five of these questions pertain to road signs, and 45 questions address the rules of the road. To pass the knowledge test and obtain a drivers permit, the applicant must answer at least 40 questions (or 80 percent) correctly. After passing the DMV learners permit test and before a Florida learners permit is issued, the applicant must pass a vision test and have his or her photograph taken at the DMV.

Once a learning permit has been issued, new drivers must hone their behind-the-wheel skills and practice driving (without violation) for a required amount of time prior to applying for a Class E drivers license in the state of Florida.