If you’re planning to get your license for the first time, there is some valuable information you should know. Florida has established a Graduated Driver Licensing program (GDL) where teen drivers have to meet various milestones before they are issued their full driver’s license. Although this sounds inconvenient, this program helps minimize risks for first-time drivers.

Stages of the GDL program

  • Learner’s permit
  • Provisional license/Intermediate license
  • Driver’s license

Permit vs. Intermediate License

The first stage of the Graduated Driver Licensing program was the learner’s permit, where a licensed front seat passenger aged 21 or older was required at all times. With time and experience, it is expected that you would become comfortable and confident with the rules of the roads and learn the best ways to handle various situations. For this reason, you would be able to apply for an intermediate or provisional license, which offers much more freedom and flexibility. Although there are still several restrictions on an intermediate license, in general, drivers are able to drive while unaccompanied.

How to Get an Intermediate License

  • To qualify for an intermediate license, you must be at least 16 years old and hold a permit for at least one year without any traffic convictions.
  • To indicate that you have practiced driving, your parent or guardian will be required to certify that you have spent at least 50 hours driving on the road. Of those 50 hours of driving, 10 hours must be night time driving.

Tests to obtain an Intermediate/Provisional License

  • Before you can be issued an Intermediate license, you will have to take a driving test where you will perform various driving maneuvers. Get an idea of what will be expected of you with the Skills Checklist.
  • When using your vehicle, you’ll be required to have a current registration and up-to-date insurance.

Intermediate/Provisional license restrictions

The license authorization and restrictions vary slightly based on age. However, you can drive at any time of day if you are supervised by a licensed front seat passenger that is at least 21 years old, or you are driving to or from work.

If you are 16 years old...

  • You can drive unsupervised between 6am and 11pm.

If you are 17 years old…

  • You can drive unsupervised between 5am and 1am.

Moving to the next stage

When you turn 18, the restrictions on your provisional license will be removed and you will have a full privilege driver’s license! Learn how to get your driver's license.