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Florida Drivers License

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The Florida Division of Motorist Services (DMS) has offices in every Florida county that provide driver’s licenses to eligible state residents. Florida considers people to be residents when they:
  • Work in the state.
  • Enrolled their children in Florida public schools.
  • Registered to vote in Florida.
  • Filed for a homestead property tax exemption in Florida.
  • Lived in Florida for more than six consecutive months.
If you just moved to Florida, the state requires you and all other new residents to obtain a Florida driver’s license within 30 days to lawfully drive on public roads.

Getting a license for the first time

Florida employs a graduated licensing system for teens to learn how to drive safely. As early as age 15, teens can obtain learner’s permits that allow them to drive during daylight hours with a licensed adult driver. A restricted license enables 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds to drive under certain conditions, such as to and from work or when accompanied by a licensed driver who is over age 21. 

Renewing your license

Florida driver’s licenses are valid for eight years before license holders have to renew them. When renewal time comes, the options are to renew at a local DMS service center or online. The DMS will renew driver’s licenses online only when the person requesting the renewal can verify his or her Social Security number. Other situations in which you must go into a DMS office to renew your driver’s license include:
  • You have a commercial driver’s license.
  • You already used your one-time online renewal opportunity.
  • Your license is not REAL ID-compliant.
  • You want to update the photo.
  • You want to change your name after a legal marriage or obtaining a lawful court order.
When you renew in person, you need to bring the appropriate documents to affirm your identity, Social Security or Tax ID number, and your residential address.

Do you need a REAL ID?

Florida intends to be fully REAL ID-compliant by Oct. 1. That is the target date for requiring all airline passengers to provide a RAL ID to board federally regulated commercial aircraft. Without the REAL ID card, commercial airline passengers must provide a valid driver’s license or state ID and other acceptable identification to board commercial airliners.

Upgrade your probationary license

After teens complete their learner’s permit requirements and are ready to start driving alone, the Florida DMS allows them to upgrade their license status while proceeding through the state’s graduated licensing system.

Replace a lost or stolen license

You must have a valid driver’s license in your possession while operating a vehicle on Florida public roads. Whether you lost your Florida driver’s license or someone stole it, you can get a replacement license online by providing your relevant information and paying a nominal fee. The state will send the replacement to your currently listed address.

Last Verified:
Aug 16, 2022