Being a new driver on the road can be an exciting experience, but it comes with some rules, regulations, and expectations. Below we list some teen driving laws in Florida that every teen driver and parent should be aware of.
With parent approval, at age 15, a Florida teen can obtain their instructional permit. To obtain this permit, a written and vision test must be completed, as well as, a substance abuse and Florida traffic law course. This permit allows the teen to drive with a licensed adult 21 years old and over in the front seat. For 3 months following the receiving of the instructional permit, the teen can only drive during daylight hours, and after the 3 month period, until 10 p.m. with supervision. Although it may seem trivial, this is an important measure as studies on teen drivers in Florida have found that crashes involving teenage drivers are more likely to happen in the evening.
Restricted licenses are somewhat new and differ from instructional permits in that:
- A teen can apply at age 16.
- The licensee must be enrolled in school with good attendance.
- The licensee can only drive between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. unless accompanied by a licensed adult who is 21 years or older or if the licensee is driving for employment.
- Once the driver is 17 years old, the allowed driving hours change to 5 a.m. through 1 a.m.
The restricted license regulations stay in place until the driver turns 18 years old.
At the age of 18, a driver may apply for a fully unrestricted license. At this stage, the driver does not have to have previously had an intermediate license, but it is highly recommended that they are aware of Florida traffic and driving laws.
Besides regulations and laws concerning obtaining a license, there are additional statues to keep in mind:
- Zero Tolerance: Drivers under the age of 21 will have their license suspended for 6 months if they are found to have a blood alcohol level of .02% or more.
- Tobacco or Nicotine Possession: If a minor is found guilty of possession of tobacco or nicotine, their instructional permit will be revoked for 30 days or longer.
- Truancy: If the minor does not comply with regular school attendance, their driving privilege may be suspended or they may be unable to even obtain a license without providing proof of 30 consecutive days of school attendance.
Before operating a vehicle, it must be properly insured. In Florida, the minimum insurance requirements include personal injury protection and property damage liability.
- Since Florida is a no-fault state, the state requires $10,000 in personal injury protection per person.
- The property damage liability must include a minimum of $10,000 per accident.
If you fail to show proof of insurance, you can face fines, traffic infractions, and even license suspension.
It’s important to remember that driving is a privilege, and obeying all traffic laws and rules is important, especially when it comes to new teen drivers.