Florida Drivers Test
Taking a Florida drivers test is the final step in the process of applying for a drivers license. The drivers license test was designed to evaluate your knowledge of the vehicle, safe driving practices and your ability to put this knowledge to practical use. Taking a Florida driving test can be a stressful experience, however you can minimize the amount of stress by obtaining as much practice as you can before you go in for the real thing. Once you pass the driving test, your drivers license examiner may issued you either with a full Florida drivers license or with a provisional license, depending on your age.
Florida Driver License Test Requirements
Prior to scheduling your driver's license test, you must meet certain requirements that are set by the Florida Department of highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. These requirements are age dependent, so we're broken them into two sections, one for teenagers and another one for older drivers license applicants.
Under 18 Years of Age
If you are under 18 years of age, you are subject to the Florida graduated driver's license program and must follow its rules in order to be granted a learners permit. You can enter the program as soon as you are 15 years old. Start by signing up for a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education program, it is also commonly known as the 4 hour class. Once you complete the course, you can take a Florida drivers permit test that covers the state driving rules and road signs. The permit test can be completed online or at at one of the DMV offices. Regardless of the way you choose to complete the permit test, you may wish to take a Florida drivers practice test before doing the real thing.
Once you pass the test, you are issued with a Florida drivers permit. The permit allows you to practice driving, however you must make sure to observe all Florida permit restrictions while driving. One of the main permit limitations is the fact that you cannot drive alone and must have a licensed driver at least 21 years of age accompany you at all times.
The drivers permit must be held for at least 12 months (or until your 18th birthday) before you can schedule your Florida drivers license test. During these months, you must receive at least 50 hours of supervised driving practice hours from your parents or another responsible adult at least 21 years of age. If you are convicted of a moving violation during these months, the waiting period starts over.
Parental consent is an absolute must. You will not be able to receive a learners permit and take the Florida driving test unless your parents sign your application form.
18 Years of Age and Older
If you are at least 18 years of age, you do not need to observe the graduated license requirements, however you must still take the 4 hour TLSAE program. Keep in mind that this program is not a full scale Florida driver's education class, drivers ed classes are much more extensive and, as a result, more expensive.
Once you complete the 4 hour class, visit the DMV and submit an application for a learners permit. The learners permit will allow you to practice driving for your Florida driving test. Just like teen drivers, you must have a supervising driver at least 21 years of age accompany you during these practice sessions, however there is no compulsory permit holding period for you, you may apply for a drivers test as soon as you feel that you're ready.
Scheduling Your Drivers Test
In Florida, driver's license testing is conducted per appointment only, you cannot just show up for the test any time you wish. You can schedule an appointment for the test through the online DMV scheduling system or by calling your local DMV office. The numbers for your nearest DMV office are available in the official Florida drivers license handbook.
Please note that you must arrive for your driving test appointment at least 5 minutes early so the DMV representatives have time to check out your paperwork. If you are late for an appointment, your time slot may be transferred to someone else and you would have to reschedule for another day.
Things To Bring /What to Expect
It is your responsibility to bring a vehicle for your Florida driver's test, the DMV does not have any vehicles available for this task. The vehicle you provide must be registered, insured and be in good mechanical condition. Your driver's license examiner will inspect the vehicle and if it does not meet any of these requirements, you will be denied the opportunity to take your driving test. You cannot drive this vehicle to the testing site yourself and must have either another licensed driver bring it to the site for you or have a supervising driver with you in the vehicle while you are driving.
You must bring your drivers permit with you to the testing site. In fact, you must have the permit on you whenever you are behind the wheel, make sure to make it one of your habits.
You will be asked to perform the following maneuvers on your Florida 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 where 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:
a) handle the vehicle in close quarters
b) judge distance
c) maintain control of the vehicle as you turn into a straight-in parking space.
- Stop/Start On A Grade - If there is no hill on your driving test, this maneuver is simulated when the car is in the straight-in parking space or when the car is pulled over to the side of the road before the turnabout maneuver. You will be instructed to show or tell the examiner what you would do if you were going to leave the vehicle parked up or down a hill, with or without a curb.
- 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 traffic.
- 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.
At the end of the driving test, your drivers license examiner will explain to you the mistakes you may have made. If you pass the test, the examiner will collect the licensing fee and issue you with your Florida drivers license. If you fail the test, you will be provided with a list of things you to need to practice and you will have to return another date.
Please note that if you pass your Florida drivers license test before the age of 18, you are issued with a provisional drivers license and you will have to observe all Florida provisional license restrictions until you achieve a full unrestricted drivers license.