The state of Florida issues handbooks for the three major license types available in Florida. The drivers license types and corresponding manuals are the operators license, the motorcycle only license, and the commercial drives license. Your standard operator’s license is a Class E license. All of the information in which a driver is expected to know is contained within this handbook.
The Florida Driver’s Handbook is no longer regularly available at your local DMV office but you can download it directly at the right side of this page.
Following is a summary of the main sections.
Who is Required to Have a Florida Drivers License?
Florida requires anyone driving a motor vehicle on public streets and highways to have a valid Florida drivers license. If you move to Florida you are required to get a Florida drivers license within 30 days of becoming a resident. This is important because if you are a Florida resident and are pulled over but you do not have a Florida license you could be subject to fines.
When are You a Florida Resident?
You may be considered a Florida Resident and not even know it. There are a variety of things you can do ranging from enrolling your children in public school to accepting employment. Check chapter one of the drivers manual to determine if the state considers you a resident.
Who Does Not Need a Florida Drivers License?
There are many situations when you can drive in Florida without a Florida drivers license as long as you have a valid license from another state or country. A few examples include US government employees driving government vehicles on official business, non-residents attending college in Florida, and members of Armed Forces stationed in Florida. Check chapter 1 of the drivers manual to see the full list of exemptions.
Drivers age 15 can obtain a Florida learners license – also known as a learners permit or restricted license. With a learners permit you must always be accompanied by a licensed driver 21 or older in the front passenger seat. To acquire a learner permit you must complete a state of Florida approved traffic law substance abuse education course.
First Time Driver
Anyone – regardless of age – getting their first drivers license in Florida is known as a first time driver. Many first time drivers are teenagers getting their learners permit but many are adults getting their first drivers license. All first time drivers are required to complete a traffic law substance abuse education course – these courses are commonly known as DATA, TLSAE, or First Time Driver.
DATA = Drugs, Alcohol, Traffic, Awareness
TLSAE = Traffic Law Substance Abuse Education
Regardless of the name, completing one of these courses is the first step toward getting a Florida Drivers License.