A teenager sitting in the driver's seat of a car, looking through the window smiling at the camera.  Her father or a driving instructor is sitting in the passenger seat.  She is learning how to drive.

Become a First-Time Florida Driver

Earn Your First Florida Driver’s License Online

To help first-time drivers begin the process of getting a Florida driver’s license, the American Safety Council® (ASC) offers two online training courses on FirstTimeDriver.com: the Drug and Alcohol Course (DATA) and the DHSMV Online Permit Exam. Designed to help each first-time Florida driver gain the freedom of driving privileges, these courses fulfill two state requirements for obtaining a learner’s permit and driver’s license.

Do I Need to Take Both First Time Florida Driver Courses?

All first-time Florida drivers are required to take the DATA Course. Also known as the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TSLAE), this four-hour drug and alcohol course is a necessary part of the driver education process for every first-time Florida driver. In this course, students learn:

  • How drugs and alcohol affect the ability to drive
  • Laws and expectations on the road
  • Safe driving techniques
  • Advice on maintaining awareness behind the wheel

When taking this course online through a third-party administrator such as the American Safety Council, completion of the course is directly reported to the DMV office.

First-time teen drivers seeking a learner’s permit are required to take the online permit exam as well, as the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles requires it. Because the American Safety Council understands the hassle of going to the Florida DMV to take a written exam, the online option makes this step easier than ever before. Students will now have more time to complete the exam than they have in the past. And, when the exam is taken through a third-party administrator such as the American Safety Council, completion of the course will be automatically reported to the Florida DMV.

The Purpose of the DATA Course and Permit Exam

The state of Florida has very good reasons for requiring both the DATA course and the permit exam. Individuals who take the DATA course are better prepared with the knowledge they need to practice safe driving behavior. Alcohol- and drug-related accidents and injuries are entirely preventable, and with the proper education, the state hopes to continue to decrease the occurrence of these incidents.

Due to the fact that many first-time teen drivers are still getting accustomed to the newfound freedom of being on the road, the permit exam helps ensure that each new teen driver has a standardized training and understanding that will help them maintain their own safety and the safety of others, while driving in potentially challenging traffic situations.

Register for the American Safety Council’s DATA Course and Online Permit Exam

DHSMV approved

Trust that the course you are taking fulfills all of the requirements mandated by the state.

100% online

Due to the fact that the DATA course and permit exam are 100% online, you can access both anywhere you have access to the internet.

Get help anytime

Both courses offer 24/7 support. This means you can get answers exactly when you need them, because your driver education program should be as flexible as you.

Self-guided

You can move as quickly or as slowly as your life allows, without penalties for skipped days or a constantly changing schedule.

Low cost, high quality

The American Safety Council options are intended for people just like you. This means they come at a price everyone can agree on, because you shouldn’t need an early inheritance to afford driver’s education.

Available in Spanish (disponible en español)

The American Safety Council offers both options in Spanish.

Prepare to Succeed

First time Florida drivers are allowed to take the permit exam more than one time. However, retaking the test wastes valuable time and energy. Instead of going into the exam unprepared, you could spend your time on the American Safety Council’s online permit exam prep. This preparatory guide is designed to help teen drivers succeed on the permit exam the first time.

To make this option even more accessible, the American Safety Council has included it in their online bundle deals on FirstTimeDriver.com, so you can save money and fast-track your driver’s education success. Our first-time Florida driver course package options include:

Understanding the Class E Knowledge Exam

The Class E Knowledge Exam is a requirement for all individuals—teens or adults—seeking their driver’s license for the first time. This exam can be completed online or at a Florida DMV office. The state requires test takers to:

  • Take the 50-question exam online or in person
  • Receive the passing grade of 80% (which is 40/50) or higher

When taking the Class E Knowledge Exam through a third-party administrator, test takers should note that they may be randomly selected to take a retest without warning. If this occurs, the retest is given at no cost. However, should the student fail the retest, they must pay a re-exam fee at the next attempted time of the exam.

Requirements for Obtaining a Florida Driver’s License

It goes without saying that learning how to operate a heavy vehicle is something that requires skill. That is why the state of Florida has created a list of requirements for first-time drivers to move forward at each step along the way. While most of these requirements apply to both teen and adult first-time drivers in Florida, there are some slight differences between them.

Teen Requirements for the Learner’s Permit

  • You must be at least 15 years old. Individuals over the age of 18 aren’t eligible for a permit.
  • You must have a signed/notarized parental consent form.
  • You must complete the TSLAE/DATA course.
  • You must see and hear clearly (as determined by a standardized vision and hearing test).
  • You must receive an 80% or higher on the Florida DHSMV authorized Class E Knowledge Exam.
  • You must have proof of identity, social security number and address.

Teen Requirements for Driver's License

  • You must be at least 16 years old.
  • You must hold a learner’s permit for either 12 months or until you’re 18, whichever is sooner.
  • You must bring the Certification of Minor Driving Experience form, completed by an adult. The adult can be a parent, legal guardian or other responsible individual over the age of 21. The form certifies the first-time driver has driven at least 50 hours for practice, including 10 hours at night.
  • You must have a driving record free from moving violations. One moving violation is tolerated, provided that there was no adjudication.
  • You must score a passing grade on the written exam.
  • You must score a passing grade on the Class E Driving Skills Test.
  • You must bring a vehicle to the testing center with a valid registration and insurance. The driver’s license examiner will do a basic vehicle inspection before the skills test begins.
  • You must have proof of identity, social security number and address.

How Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) Laws Affect Teens

In Florida, GDL laws are in place to give every teen first-time Florida driver the opportunity to strengthen their driving skills and increase their awareness on the road in conditions that are low risk. With time, teen drivers are placed under fewer restrictions, until they eventually receive full driving privileges. The following rules apply to each step of the GDL process:

Learner’s permitFor the first three months after receiving their permit, teen drivers are allowed to drive only during daylight hours. The driving curfew extends to 10:00 pm after three months have elapsed. During this time, the teen must always be accompanied by an adult driver who is at least 21 years old.

Driver’s license at 16When teens receive their licenses at the age of 16, they are allowed to drive at all hours except for between the hours of 11:00 pm and 6:00 am. An exception to this is if the teen is driving to work or is joined by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old.

Driver’s license at 17When a teen receives their driver’s license at the age of 17, the driving restrictions are less severe. In this case, teens may drive at any time except between the hours of 1:00 am and 5:00 am. The only exception here is if the teen is driving to work or is joined by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old.

First-Time Adult Driver’s License Requirements

In the state of Florida, first-time adult drivers do not have to go through the learner’s permit process or be regulated under GDL laws. The following requirements for obtaining a license, however, still apply:

  • You must complete the TSLAE/DATA course.
  • You must score a passing grade on the written exam.
  • You must see and hear clearly (as determined by a standardized vision and hearing test).
  • You must score an 80% or above on the Class E Knowledge Exam.
  • You must have proof of identity, social security number and address.

What Topics Does the Class E Skills Test Cover?

You can take the Class E Skills Test at the Florida DMV office or with a third-party provider (such as in a high school that offers a driver’s education course.) No matter the location or organization administering the test, students are required to successfully complete certain skills.

Topics You'll Learn in Our Class E Skills Test:

  • Three-point turn—A standard method for turning the testing vehicle to face the opposite direction in a 20- to 40-foot area.
  • Crossing—Drive in the appropriate lane, check in both directions and signal accordingly.
  • Yield the right-of-way—Maintain awareness of others: let pedestrians cross the road, move out of the way of emergency vehicles and let a busy intersection clear before entering to avoid interfering with the other traffic.
  • Straight-in parking—Navigate the test vehicle into the center of the space, ensuring the front and back of the vehicle are not in the traffic lane.
  • Parking on a grade—Possess the ability to park in a variety of locations: uphill, downhill, with a curb and without a curb.
  • Quick stop—Demonstrate the ability to stop the testing vehicle quickly, at the request of the test examiner.
  • Back up—Safely back up the testing vehicle for a distance of 50 feet by looking to the rear. Students are not permitted to use rearview mirrors and rearview camera monitors during this part of the exam.
  • Respect stop signs—Demonstrate awareness of stop signs, bringing the testing vehicle to a complete stop before safely proceeding.
  • Respect traffic signals—Safely approach the traffic light from the appropriate lane. Do not proceed until the light is green and lingering traffic is no longer in the intersection.
  • Signal and turn—Demonstrate the ability to signal an impending turn from the appropriate lane and at least 100 feet before the turn will be made. Students may use hand or mechanical signals.
  • Stay in your lane—Drive in the right lane. An exception to this is when driving on a one-way street. Do not change lanes until it is safe to do so.
  • Pass with care—Check around the front and back of the testing vehicle to make sure the area is clear before passing.
  • Maintain safe following distance—Allow a four-second following distance for your safety and the safety of the cars around you.
  • Maintain proper seated posture—Always drive with both hands on the steering wheel in an upright seated position.

All first-time drivers in Florida who are able to demonstrate competency in the above maneuvers will pass the exam and receive their driver’s license. Teens who have a learner’s permit will hand in their permit when the driver’s license is given.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take the TSLAE/DATA course online?

Yes, you can. The state of Florida allows first-time drivers to take the TSLAE/DATA course online through third-party providers such as the American Safety Council.

When you take this course with the American Safety Council, you can fit the content around your busy schedule, complete it as quickly or as slowly as you like, receive 24/7 support and fulfill a state requirement.

Where do I go after completing my learner’s permit requirements?

Once you have completed the TSLAE/DATA course and the permit exam, you will need to go to the nearest Florida DMV office. Be sure to bring proof of identification and ensure proof of test completion to receive your learner’s permit.

What happens if I get a ticket while holding my learner’s permit?

It is generally advised for first-time drivers to have a clean record while holding their learner’s permit. Those who are convicted of a moving violation will have to retain their learner’s permit for one year from the conviction date. However, one ticket is permitted so long as there was no adjudication.

Where can I find the Florida Driver’s Handbook?

A good resource for any first-time driver, the Florida Driver’s Handbook outlines the rules and regulations you should know as a responsible driver on Florida roads. If you do not have a copy, you can download it for free and have easy access to all of the driving answers you may need.

Are adult first-time drivers required to get a learner’s permit?

No, adults in the state of Florida do not need a learner’s permit, nor do they need to follow GDL laws. This means that first-time drivers 18 years and older can bypass the learner’s permit process and immediately prepare for their driver’s license tests. That said, first-time adult drivers must still complete the TSLAE/DATA course, score at least an 80% on the written exam and have adequate vision and hearing abilities. As you prepare to visit a Florida DMV office, remember to bring proof of identity, social security number and address.