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Learners licence for 1 year plus 50 hours of training

Friday 20th April, 2012 at 09:04 COMMENTS (0)

To drive legally, you'll be required to have a learner's license for a year, during which you must get at least 50 hours of driving experience, with 10 of those hours being at night. 

You'll need to have a parent or guardian sign a statement saying you did indeed get at least the minimum hours of experience. 

Many learners reading this will be recoiling in horror at this point but rest easy, these terms currently relate to teenage drivers in Florida. 

If you are learning to drive, I'll bet you've questioned the procedure and criteria needed to drive and pass a driving test in the Uk but have you ever considered what it would be like to take a course of driving lessons in sunny Florida USA as opposed to Basildon, Brentwood or Tilbury?

Whilst learners in England, must be 17* to apply for a provisional driving licence and learn to drive on the road, a teen in Florida can take to the roads from the young age of just 15, can you imagine?
* 16 year olds can apply for the provisional licence

However, all first time drivers in the State of Florida are required by law to take a Florida drivers ed.  course prior to applying for a Florida drivers license. 
These courses typically last four-hours and can be done from the privacy of the drivers own home or at school in a classroom environment and include learning about how alcohol and other drugs affect your ability to drive, FL laws and responsibilities, safe driving techniques, and how to increase awareness of Florida's roadways. 

After completing the online course, candidates can to take the FL drivers license written exam online at the local Florida DMV office. 
The DMV test consists of two sections each with 20 questions.  There are 20 questions on road rules and 20 questions on road signs.  To pass the test candidates must have 15 correct answers in each section . 

Driving independently from 15 years of age

First-time drivers are able to gain experience and freedom gradually.  Here are the steps they'll take:

Learner's license: You have to be at least 15 years old to get this instructional permit, which only allows you to drive during daylight hours and accompanied at all times by a licensed driver who's at least 21 years old.  You'll be required to have this license for a year, during which you must get at least 50 hours of driving experience, with 10 of those hours being at night.  You'll need to have a parent or guardian sign a statement saying you did indeed get at least the minimum hours of experience. 

Operator's license: Once 16, you can take your on-road driving test and get your operator's license, which allows you to drive alone in the car between the hours of 6 a.m.  and 11 p.m.  (If you're driving to or from work or accompanied by a licensed driver who's at least 21, you can drive during restricted hours.) When you turn 17, you'll get a little more freedom, and be allowed to drive alone between 5 a.m.  and 1 a.m., unless driving to or from work or accompanied by a licensed driver who's 21 or older. 

Regular Class E license: At age 18, you'll be able to drive alone at any time or day or night.  But even though you have an unrestricted license, you should know that the state will penalize you more harshly for certain infractions, until you are 21. 

Practical driving test

An operator's license is the Florida driver's license you get when you are ready to drive on your own - either after having a learners permit for a year or as an adult over 18.  To get your operator's license you will take a behind the wheel test and perform specific manoeuvres.  Note that you must bring your own car and it must be in good running condition. 

Below is a list of the manoeuvres required in a Florida driving test. 

Turn About
Turn you car around in a 30 to 40 foot space.  This is historically known as a three point turn. 

Shifting Gears
If your car is manual shift you must be able to shift smoothly. 

Parking
Park you car in a straight in parking spot.  You should be centred in the parking spot.  No more parallel parking test. 

Stop Quickly
Driving at 20 MPH you are expected to make a quick and safe stop when the tester tells you to stop. 

Backing Up
You will be asked to backup for 50 feet at a slow speed.  You should turn your head and look to the rear not use the rear view mirror. 

Stop Signs
You will be expected to come to a complete stop and use your turn signals to indicate if you are turning.  Then you are expected to proceed into the intersection only when it is safe. 

Signal and Turn
Get into the correct lane and signal that you are turning for 100 feet before you turn. 

Stay in the Correct Lane
Drive in the right lane except on a one-way street. 

So the requirements of the practical test seem easier than the UK version but how do you feel about the restrictions prior to taking the test, your thoughts would be welcome. 

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