How To Get a Florida Driver's License

Hispanic couple driving in convertible in Florida
PBNJ Productions / Getty Images

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. Before leaving your house, check to find the HSMV office nearest you.

Here's How to get a Florida Driver's License

  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.
  1. Non-US citizens are required to bring identification, proof of date of birth, and social security number. Some acceptable forms of ID are an Alien Registration Card, I-551 stamp on passport, or an I-797 with the customer's A-number stating the customer has been granted asylum or refugee status.
  2. 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.
  1. If you are a new driver, the minimum age for a learner's permit is 15 years. All the tests above will be given.
  2. 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.
  3. Check your local office for fees you may have to pay.

Tips for Getting a Florida Driver's License

  1. Most locations are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but some offices have slightly different hours. 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.