So, you want to get a driver's license in Florida. As is true in most states, authorities here take the right to operate a vehicle very seriously. The exam is by no means simple and requires completing multiple steps before even arriving at a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) office.
Nevertheless, you should not become over anxious about the process. The objective is to screen out those who would prove a danger to themselves, and others, not to prevent the average driver from being able to pass.
To help you get over any lingering doubts about the licensing requirements, following are what every applicant needs to know about the Florida driving exam and the Florida driving test.
Begin by Studying the Traffic Laws
The first step in getting a Florida driver's license is to learn the rules of the road. You need to know the specific laws that apply to motorists in the state. Even if you hold an out-of-state license, be sure to brush up on Florida laws both for the written test and for your own safety.
To pass the written test you need to know:
• Traffic signs and signals
• Good driving habits
• What can lead to a license revocation
While at the DHSMV, they will also check your vision.
Pass an Alcohol and Drug Course
All drivers need to demonstrate proof of completion of an approved Traffic Law & Substance Abuse Education course. The state requires this class of all who plan to get behind the wheel.
Visit a Florida DHSMV Office
After studying the laws and passing the substance abuse class, you are now prepared to visit the Florida DHSMV office. Be sure to take necessary identification documents to establish state residency. Some of these documents include:
• Birth certificate
• Permanent resident card
• Social Security Number (card or paycheck)
• Bank statement
• Rental agreement
The Road Test
You have to bring a vehicle you own, or have borrowed, to take the road test. A DHSMV official will administer the test, sitting beside you as you perform certain maneuvers according to their requests.
It is usually wise to practice the driving moves before arriving at the office.
Following are the usual tasks a license applicant can expect on the road exam.
1. Safe Driving
Stick to the right side of the road as much as possible during the exam. Adhere to the speed limit regardless of what those around you are doing. Keep a safe distance between your car and others at all times to avoid an accident.
Expect the examiner to ask you to pull into a parking space at some point. In fact, they may decide to have you parallel park, which many drivers find difficult to do.
Remain calm and perform your best. As always, avoid hitting any objects, such safety cones, or other vehicles, in the vicinity.
Stop at stop signs before reaching the crossing line.
4. Signaling and Turning
Examiners usually ask applicants to complete a turn. When doing one, use the blinkers, then make the turn when traffic is clear.
The License Fee
Be prepared to pay a general $48 fee for the Florida license.
Get Licensed to Drive
Armed with this knowledge, you are ready to get a license and enjoy the freedom that comes with being able to drive. Though you may still opt to use public transportation to protect the environment, a license is a permit to go and come as you please. Just be sure to take heed of all the rules and policies you learned preparing for the exam.