Abogados de Tráfico y Tickets

Tips for Teen Drivers: What To Know Before You Get Behind the Wheel

abril 1, 2013

In Florida, teens can obtain a “learner’s license” at 15 years old.  But it is not as simple as showing up at the DMV and grabbing the keys to mom or dad’s car.  To obtain a learner’s license, a teen must:

1) Complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education course (don’t forget to obtain proof of completion to show at the DMV);

2) Obtain a signed Parental Consent Form.  The form must be signed in the presence of a driver license examiner.  If your parent or guardian will not be present at the DMV, the form must be notarized (most banks have notaries).

3) Proof of identity. can help you determine the documents that you need to provide.

Now that you’ve taken you education class and gathered all the paper work, you think you are ready to hit the road?  Not quite.  To obtain a learner’s license, teen drivers must take a written test, a vision test and a hearing test.  The written test is 40 multiple choice questions – 20 about traffic laws and 20 about road signs.  To pass the test, you must get 15 answers correct in each section.

So you gathered the paperwork, took the class, passed the tests.  Now can you hit the road?  Sort of.  With a learner’s license, teens can drive during daylight hours for the first three months – always with a licensed driver over 21 sitting in the front passenger seat.  After three months, new drivers can drive until 10 pm, but again, a licensed driver over 21 must be sitting in the front passenger seat.

Once you turn 16, you can earn an operator’s license.  The catch?  You must have a learner’s license for one full year.  So if you waited until you were 15 and 4 months to obtain your learner’s license, you have to wait until you are 16 and 4 months to obtain an operator’s license.  And you cannot have received any traffic convictions during the year you had your learner’s license (more on that below).

To obtain an operator’s license, teen drivers must provide a learner’s license from Florida or another jurisdiction and certification from your parent or guardian that you have had at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience.

Next, a teen driver must get behind the wheel for a driving test.  If you plan to drive your new car to take the test, make sure your insurance is procured before you get to the DMV, or all that practicing will be for nothing.  You are required to have current registration and car insurance on the car you will be driving at the test.

So you passed the test – Whew.  Now what?  16-year-olds may drive between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver over 21 sitting in the front passenger seat or if the driver is traveling to or from work.  17-year-olds may drive between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver over 21 sitting in the front passenger seat or if the driver is traveling to or from work.

Even after you obtain your license, you are not necessarily in the clear.  In Florida there are certain laws that pertain specifically to teen drivers:

If you receive a moving traffic conviction while you have a learner’s license, the one year period you are required to hold your learner’s license will be extended for one year from the date of the conviction or until you turn 18 – whichever comes first.  Remember that a citation is not necessarily a conviction.  If you are a new driver and have received a traffic citation, consider talking to an experienced traffic ticket attorney to help you retain your driving privileges.  The Ticket Clinic has handled over 1 million traffic-related tickets.  Call us at 1.800.CITATION with questions.

If you receive 6 points on your driving record within a 12 month period, your driving privileges may be automatically restricted to business purposes only for 12 months or until you turn 18.

If you are under 21 and have a blood alcohol level of .02% or more, an administrative suspension of six months may result.

If you are truant in school attendance, your driving privilege can be suspended.

If you are under 18 and convicted for possession of tobacco products, your driving privileges can be suspended.