Driving in Florida: What You Need to Know


What you need to know before you hit the road, including rules of the road, tips for staying safe, and more!

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Millions of people each year make the decision to move to Florida. The allure of the Sunshine State is strong, with its promise of a warm climate, beautiful beaches, and plenty of opportunities. But before you pack your bags and head south, there are some things you need to know about driving in Florida.

Florida has some unique laws and regulations when it comes to driving, and it’s important to be aware of them before you hit the road. Here are a few things you need to know about driving in Florida:

Must-Have A Valid Driver’s License

You can’t drive in Florida without a valid driver’s license. If you’re moving to Florida from out of state, you have 30 days to get a Florida driver’s license. You will need to bring your out-of-state license, proof of identification, proof of residency, and pass a vision test.

If you’re caught driving without a valid license, you could be fined, and your car could be impounded. You definitely want to avoid this, so make sure you have a valid license before you get behind the wheel.

The Driving Test

To get your Florida driver’s license, you must pass written and driving skills tests. The written test covers Florida Traffic Laws and road signs, and you can take it online or in-person at a local DMV office.

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The driving skills test is a behind-the-wheel test that assesses your ability to safely operate a vehicle. You will need to make an appointment for this test, and you will need to bring a vehicle that is insured and registered in Florida.

You will also need to pass a driver’s drug and alcohol test before you can get your license. This can be done online or in person, and it’s important to ensure you are familiar with the material before taking the test.

Getting Insurance

Every driver in Florida is required to have car insurance. You will need to show proof of insurance when you register your car, and you will need to keep your insurance information up-to-date.

In Florida, the requirements for car insurance coverage are different from most other states. Instead of requiring bodily liability coverage (usually mandatory in other states), Florida doesn’t require it. Instead car insurance in Florida relies on Personal Injury Protection to cover injuries. The minimum amount of coverage required in Florida is $10,000 personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 property damage liability (PDL). However, getting more coverage than the minimum is highly recommended, as accidents can be expensive.

Uninsured motorist coverage is also required, which protects you if you get into an accident with someone who isn’t covered. This is important as many drivers in Florida are uninsured.

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Registering Your Car

All cars driven in Florida must be registered with the state. You must bring your proof of insurance, driver’s license, and vehicle title to a local DMV office. You will also need to pay a registration fee based on your vehicle’s weight.

You will need to renew your registration every year, and you will need to have your car inspected every two years. The inspection is to make sure your car is safe to drive, and you will need to pay a fee for the inspection. Not having your car registered or inspected can result in fines.

Now that you know a little bit more about driving in Florida, you can hit the road with confidence. Also, let’s learn some basic road safety rules.

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In Florida, as in all states, you are required to drive on the right side of the road. You should always signal when you are turning or changing lanes, and you should yield to pedestrians and other drivers who have the right of way.

Basic Road Safety Rules

  1. Always wear a seatbelt. Seatbelts are required by law in Florida, and they can save your life in the event of an accident.
  2. Put away your phone. Distracted driving is dangerous and illegal in Florida. If you need to use your phone, pull over to a safe location first.
  3. Drive the speed limit. Speeding is dangerous and can get you pulled over. Obey posted speed limits and drive at a safe speed for conditions.
  4. Don’t drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and can lead to serious accidents. If you’re going to drink, designate a sober driver.
  5. Yield to pedestrians. Pedestrians have the right of way in Florida, so make sure you yield to them, especially at crosswalks.

Bonus tip: Get to know your car. Read the owner’s manual, so you are familiar with your car’s features and capabilities. This will help you avoid accidents and breakdowns.

Following these basic road safety rules will help you stay safe on the roads and avoid accidents. Remember, driving is a privilege, not a right, so always drive responsibly. You just learned a lot about driving in Florida, so get out there and explore the Sunshine State. And always buckle up!

Editor’s Note: This article is presented for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Please speak to a recognized agency such as the DMV when confirming current rules and regulations for the State you are anticipating driving in. The featured image used in this article is for illustrative purposes only, please do not try to replicate this photo in a moving vehicle.
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