Florida Graduated Licensing

While the information that follows directly concerns younger drivers, everyone should understand it. You need to have some grasp of the mindset of younger or less experienced drivers. On top of that, you may be a parent with a newly licensed driver in the family. It is critical that you know the restrictions your new driver is under and when these restrictions will be lifted.

Some states issue what is known as a “Graduated License” to drivers under the age of eighteen. In Florida, we issue a “Learner’s License” under a “Graduated Licensing Program.” In effect, a Graduated License and a Learner’s License are the same thing. New, less experienced drivers must comply with certain restrictions when they begin to drive. As age (and driving experience) increases, the restrictions become less stringent until the driver reaches the age of eighteen. All this, of course, barring any moving violations or other citations the younger driver might incur.

Florida 2022 Statutes Title XXIII Chapter 322 Section 1615


Learner’s driver license.

(1) The department may issue a learner’s driver license to a person who is at least 15 years of age and who:

(a) Has passed the written examination…

(b) Has passed the vision and hearing examination…

(c) Has completed the traffic law and substance abuse education course  and

(d) Meets all other requirements set forth in law and by rule of the department.

(2) When operating a motor vehicle, the holder of a learner’s driver license must be accompanied at all times by a driver who:

(a) Holds a valid license to operate the type of vehicle being operated;

(b) Is at least 21 years of age; and

(c) Occupies the closest seat to the right of the driver of the motor vehicle.

(3) A person who holds a learner’s driver license may operate a vehicle only during daylight hours, except that…may operate a vehicle until 10 p.m. after 3 months following the issuance of the learner’s driver license.


So, let’s review the conditions you must adhere to if you are a young, newly licensed driver – in other words, you hold a Learner’s License. You just read snippets from the actual statute. We’ll summarize it to help you better understand:


ü  You must be at least fifteen years old

ü  You must complete the TLSAE Course – that’s Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education.

ü  You must pass a vision test

ü  You must pass the Class E License Knowledge exams

ü  If you are a minor holding a Learner’s License, you can only drive during daylight hours. A licensed driver over the age of twenty-one must accompany you whenever you drive.

ü  Once you have your Learner’s License for three months, you can begin to drive up until 10 pm.


Once you turn sixteen, you are eligible to get a Class E Operator’s License if:


ü  You have reached the age of sixteen

ü  You successfully complete the TLSAE Course

ü  You provide any identification required to complete the licensing process

ü  You pass a vision test

ü  You pass the Class E Knowledge and Driving Skills exams

ü  You do not drive between the hours of 11 pm and 6 am. You are free from this particular restriction if you are driving to or from work or if there is a licensed driver twenty one years old or older with you.



It doesn’t end there. Consider this if you are under the age of eighteen and want a Class E Operator’s License:


ü  You must hold a Learner’s License for at least twelve months (unless your eighteenth birthday comes first)

ü  For twelve months from the date of issue of your Learner’s License, you can have ZERO convictions for a moving violation.

ü  You can have a maximum of ONE moving violation if adjudication is withheld. This, again, is up to a year from the date your Learner’s License was issued.

ü  A parent, legal guardian, or responsible party over the age of twenty-one must attest to the fact that you have a minimum of fifty hours of supervised driving experience, ten of those at night.

ü  A parent or legal guardian must sign a parental consent form for your licensing. They must do this in the presence of an official witness.

ü  If you are seventeen years old, you may not drive between the hours of 1 am and 5 am. Again, if you are driving to or from work or are accompanied by a licensed driver twenty-one years old or older, this restriction is lifted. Whether you are sixteen or seventeen, just remember this: to or from work means to or from work. Don’t take a chance on losing your driving privileges by taking an unnecessary detour on the way to work or home.

ü  You must be in full compliance with school attendance requirements. If you fail to be in compliance, your driving privileges can be suspended. Alternatively, you may be deemed ineligible to obtain a license. In both of these cases, you will need to provide proof that you have attended school for thirty consecutive days before your license and/or eligibility can be reinstated.


If you violate any of these rules or restrictions, you will have six months tacked on to the time remaining in your Learner’s License status up until you turn eighteen. There may be additional consequences; you’ll read about them later when we go over penalties for violating the law.


While this whole restriction thing may seem mean on its surface, it is absolutely not; the point here is to ease you into becoming a full-time, fully licensed, and experienced driver.


One final thought for this section…


On page seventy-one of your Florida Driver’s Manual, there is a Parental Consent for Minors section. Did you read it when you prepared for your licensing tests? Did you discuss it with your parents? Anything you do while driving is the responsibility of your parent or legal guardian who signed your license application in front of a witness. So, your consequences for driving infractions become their consequences. And it’s not just about citations and fines –not if anybody is injured or worse from your actions. Think about your decisions and whom they affect. Also, remember that the same person who signed your license application can rescind that signature. If they realize you are not yet fit or ready to drive, they have a responsibility to you to keep you off the roads until you show you are ready. The bottom line is this: Don’t put anyone in a position where they will be sorry for attesting to the fact that you are mature enough to operate a vehicle and then find out that you’re not.

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