Florida Driver's Handbook
Chapter 2: The Florida Driver License

2.8. Examinations

2.8.1 - Purpose of Driver License Examination

The purpose of the license examination is to determine several things:

  1. Can you read and understand road signs, traffic signals and highway markings?
  2. Do you know the Florida driving rules?
  3. Can you see well enough to drive safely?
  4. Do you have the skill and experience to drive safely?
  5. Do you have any physical or mental handicaps that would affect your driving?

2.8.2 - Examination Requirements

Persons applying for an original Florida license are required to take the following tests:

Learner's Driver License - vision, hearing, road signs, and Class E road rules.

Class E license - vision, hearing, road signs, Class E road rules and driving test.

NOTE: Persons holding a valid license from other states U.S. possessions, France, or Canada are only required to take a vision test unless their driving ability is questionable; the license from the other states or U.S. possessions must be surrendered at the time of issuance of the Florida driver license. Persons holding a license from Germany and Taiwan are required to take the vision, hearing and written exam. The driving test may be waived unless their driving ability is questionable.

Motorcycle endorsement - In addition to the above tests, customers requesting motorcycle endorsements must complete a motorcycle rider course (unless they have a motorcycle endorsement on their out-of-state, French or Canadian license).

Commercial driver licenses -see Florida Manual for Truck and Bus Drivers for required exams.

2.8.3 - Examination Information

Vision Test - standard vision screening

Road Sign Test - Multiple choice test which consists of 20 road signs for you to identify by color, shape or meaning.

Road Rules Test - Multiple choice test which consists of 20 questions regarding Florida traffic laws.

Vehicle Inspection - Your vehicle will be inspected to determine that it is safe for a road test.

Driving Test

  • You must provide a vehicle for the driving test. If you do not have a valid license, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver.
  • An interpreter can be used during the driving test. No other passengers are permitted.

You are expected to perform the following maneuvers on the driving test:

  • Turn About - Turn your car around in a 30' to 40' space.
  • Shift Gears -Change gears smoothly and correctly (if your car has a manual shift transmission).
  • Approach of Crossing -Get in the proper lane and look in each direction. Change gears smoothly and correctly (if your car has a manual shift transmission).
  • Observe Right-of-Way - Allow pedestrians to cross, pull over and stop for emergency vehicles and do not enter an intersection where you will interfere with other traffic.
  • Straight-In Parking - Park your vehicle inside the parking space straight-in. When properly parked, the vehicle should be centered inside the space with no part of the vehicle extending out in the traffic lane. This maneuver gives the examiner the opportunity to observe your ability to:
    1. handle the vehicle in close quarters
    2. judge distance
    3. maintain control of the vehicle as you turn into a straight-in parking space
  • Stop / Start on a Grade - If there is no hill on your driving test, this maneuver is simulated when the car is in the straight-in parking space or when the car is pulled over to the side of the road before the turnabout maneuver. You will be instructed to show or tell the examiner what you would do if you were going to leave the vehicle parked up or down a hill, with or without a curb.
  • Stop Quickly - Drive at 20 miles per hour and make a quick, safe stop when the examiner instructs you.
  • Backing - Back for a distance of 50 feet at a slow speed. Do not use the rear-view mirror when backing. Look to the rear instead.
  • Obey Stop Signs - Give the proper signal if turning, approach in the proper lane, come to a complete stop before reaching the pedestrian crosswalk or stop line, and remain stopped until you can move safely without interfering with cross traffic.
  • Obey Traffic Signals - Get into the proper lane and approach the light at a speed that will allow you to stop if the light should change. When you must stop, stop before the pedestrian crosswalk or stop line. When the light turns green, do not move forward until the other traffic has cleared the intersection. Give the correct signal for stopping and turning. Watch for "no turn" and "one way" signs.
  • Signal and Turn - Get into the proper lane and signal your turn for the last 100 feet. You may use either hand signals or mechanical signals. Slow before reaching the crosswalk and turn into the proper lane.
  • Passing - Always look ahead and behind to make sure you can pass safely. Pass on the left, unless the car ahead is about to make a left turn or is in the left turn lane on a street with more than one lane in each direction. Do not pass on the shoulder (side of the road).
  • Stay in Proper Lane - Drive in the right lane except on a one-way street. Do not change lanes until you may do so safely.
  • Follow at a Safe Distance - Do not drive too closely behind other cars. Use the Two Second Rule.
  • Use Proper Posture - Keep both hands on the steering wheel and do not rest your elbow in the window.

The examiner will explain any mistakes you may have made after the test is completed. If you disqualify on the driving test, you will be asked to study or practice before returning for another test. You will be asked to return another day for additional tests.

If you pass the examination, the examiner will collect the fee and issue your license. If you surrender a valid learner's license and do not need to make changes, you are not charged additional fees for the replacement Class E.

2.8.4 - Driver Education

Driver education courses can help you develop the skills you need to be a safe driver. You can obtain more information by referring to your local telephone directory under Driving Instruction or Traffic Schools.

2.8.5 - Third Party Testing

Many driver education teachers assist the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) in licensing new drivers. Students who complete their driver license tests through DHSMV approved Driver Education Licensing Assistance Program (DELAP) courses in participating public or private schools will have the results entered into the Department's test records by their driver education teacher.

The test results will be used by the local driver license office for issuance of a learner's driver license or Class E license. DHSMV may, however, test any student on a random basis before issuing a driver license.

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