This is the license issued to most Florida drivers operating a non-commercial motor vehicles with Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less than 26,001 pounds, including passenger cars, 15-passenger vans including the driver, trucks or recreational vehicles and two or three wheel motor vehicles 50 cc or less, such as mopeds or small scooters. Also included are farmers and drivers of authorized emergency vehicles who are exempt from obtaining a commercial driver license.
Graduated Licensing for Teens: 16-year-olds cannot drive from 11 pm to 6 am unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old or driving to and from work. 17-year-olds cannot drive 1 am to 5 am unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old or driving to and from work. For more information on graduated licensing visit www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/teendriv.html.
Vehicle Safety: A vehicle (with a valid license plate, registration and proof of Florida insurance) must be provided for a driving exam and safety inspection is required. The driving test cannot be given if any of the following are found:
- Horn, rear-view mirror, directional signals, steering wheel, brakes, tires, brake lights, or tail lights are defective or inoperable
- No windshield wipers on the driver’s side
- No operable headlights when visibility is reduced
- Cracked or broken glass that hinders visibility
- Expired license plate or registration
- No doors on the vehicle
- Front doors do not open from the inside and outside
- Vehicle does not have stationary seats
- Vehicle does not permit the driver to give hand signals when required
- Jeep-type vehicle without framed canvas or metal doors held by hinges and door latch
- A low speed vehicle
Driving Test Maneuvers: Specific maneuvers are required during a driving exam and no other passengers are permitted to be in the vehicle during the exam (unless a language interpreter is needed). Required maneuvers can be found in the below list, and you may view videos of certain maneuvers courtesy of the Manatee County Tax Collector.
- Three Point Turn - Turn the vehicle around in a 20-40 foot space.
- Approach a Crossing - Get in the proper lane and look in both directions.
- 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 - When properly parked, the vehicle should be centered inside the space with no part of the vehicle extended out in the traffic lane.
- Parking on a Grade - Proper parking for uphill and downhill, with and without a curb.
- Stop Quickly - Make a quick, safe stop when the examiner instructs you.
- Backing - Back for a distance of 50 feet at a low speed while looking to the rear. Do not use the rear-view mirror or rear-view camera monitor.
- Obey Stop Signs - Approach in the proper lane, come to a complete stop before reaching the stop line or crosswalk, and remain stopped until you can move safely.
- 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 the light turns green, do not move forward until the other traffic has cleared the intersection.
- Signal and Turn - Get into the proper lane and signal your turn for at least 100 feet. You may use either hand signals or mechanical signals.
- Passing - Always look ahead and behind to make sure you can pass safely.
- 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 follow too closely behind other cars. Keep a minimum following distance of three to four seconds.
- Use Proper Posture - Keep both hands on the steering wheel and do not rest your elbow in the window.
Please note: If you take a driving test from an approved provider, you may be randomly selected by the state for a retest when you come to an office to get your driver’s license. That means you may be able to take the test again at that time or you may have to reschedule on another day. Plan at least 1 hour so you have enough time for this possibility.
New to Florida? If you move to Florida and have a valid license from another state, you must get a Florida license within 30 days of becoming a resident. More information can be found at Welcome to Sarasota County. You are considered a resident of Florida if you:
- Enroll your children in public school, or
- Register to vote, or
- File for a homestead exemption, or
- Accept employment, or
- Reside in Florida for more than six consecutive months.
For more information, please visit Driver's License Classes and Endorsements.
New to Sarasota County? If you move to Sarasota County and have a valid license from another county in Florida, you must update your address information within 30 days of moving. More information can be found by clicking Address Change.