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Florida

Florida (/ˈflɒrɪdə/ ); Spanish for “land of flowers”) is the southernmost contiguous state in the United States. The state is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the northwest by Alabama, to the north by Georgia, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, and to the south by the Straits of Florida. Florida is the 22nd-most extensive (65,755 sq mi—170,304 km2), the 3rd-most populous (20,984,400 inhabitants), and the 8th-most densely populated (384.3/sq mi—121.0/km2) of the U.S. states. Jacksonville is the most populous municipality in the state and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. The Miami metropolitan area is Florida’s most populous urban area. Tallahassee is the state’s capital.

About two-thirds of Florida occupies a peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Florida has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), not including the contribution of the many barrier islands. It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level and is characterized by sedimentary soil. Florida has the lowest high point of any U.S. state. The climate varies from subtropical in the north to tropical in the south. The American alligator, American crocodile, American flamingo, Florida panther, and manatee can be found in Everglades National Park in the southern part of the state. Along with Hawaii, Florida is one of only two states that has a tropical climate, and is the only continental U.S. state with a tropical climate. It is also the only continental U.S. state with a coral reef called the Florida Reef.

Since the first European contact was made in 1513 by Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León – who named it Florida, informally La Florida ([la floˈɾiða] “the land of flowers”) upon landing there in the Easter season, Pascua Florida – Florida was a challenge for the European colonial powers before it gained statehood in the United States in 1845. It was a principal location of the Seminole Wars against the Native Americans, and racial segregation after the American Civil War. Today, Florida is distinctive for its large Cuban expatriate community and high population growth, as well as for its increasing environmental issues. The state’s economy relies mainly on tourism, agriculture, and transportation, which developed in the late 19th century. Florida is also renowned for amusement parks, orange crops, winter vegetables, the Kennedy Space Center, and as a popular destination for retirees.

Florida’s close proximity to the ocean influences many aspects of Florida culture and daily life. Florida is a reflection of influences and multiple inheritance; African, European, indigenous, and Latino heritages can be found in the architecture and cuisine. Florida has attracted many writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams, and continues to attract celebrities and athletes. It is internationally known for golf, tennis, auto racing and water sports.

FAQ FL

How do I get my first driver’s license in Florida?

If you have never held a driver’s license and are applying for one in the state of Florida, you will need to complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course, pass the knowledge, vision and hearing exams, take and pass the driving skills test

What is the minimum age requirement for a Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course?

You have to be at least 14 ½ years old to take a Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course

What is the minimum age requirement for learner’s permit in Florida?

You have to be at least 15 years old to apply for the learner’s permit in Florida

How old do you need to be to get a driver’s license in Florida?

You have to be at least 16 years old to apply for driver’s license in Florida

Where can I take a Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course?

Click here to see the approved providers

What is the process of obtaining learner’s permit in Florida?

To obtain a learner’s permit in Florida you will need to:

    • Be at least 15 years old
    • Go to your local DHSMV office
    • Provide two forms of identification, proof of date of birth, proof of residential address, and proof of social security number (go to for details)
    • Provide parental consent form (click here) (if under 18). The form must be notarized or signed in the presence of a driver license examiner
    • Provide a proof of legal status for Non-United States Citizens

Take the knowledge exam

Do I have to obtain a Learner’s Permit in Florida?

You are only required to obtain a Lerner’s Permit in Florida if you are under 18. A Learner’s License must be held for at least 12 months or until your 18th birthday, whichever comes first.

What are the driving restrictions for Florida Learner’s permit?

Drivers with a learner’s license may only drive during daylight hours during the first three months after issuance and until 10 p.m. thereafter, and always with a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old and occupies the front passenger seat.

What is process of obtaining Driving License in Florida?

If you are under 18:

  • Obtain Learner’s permit
  • Hold a learner’s permit for at least one year without any traffic convictions
  • Go to your local DHSMV office to take the driving skills test (schedule appointment)
  • Get intermediate license!
  • If you are 18 and up:
  • Complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course
  • Study Driver’s manual to prepare for Knowledge exam
  • Take practice tests
  • Schedule an appointment at your local DHSMV to take knowledge, vision and hearing exams Online Appointment Service and Information System (OASIS)
  • Go to DHSMV to take your exams
  • If you pass the knowledge test, you can take the driving test the same day
  • If you fail the knowledge test, you will have to wait one day to re-take it
  • Take the driving exam
  • Obtain your license!

Can I take the knowledge (DMV) exam online?

As of July 6, 2011 you can take the knowledge (DMV) exam online if you are under 18.

What will be on my knowledge exam in Florida?

The knowledge (DMV) exam is covering traffic laws and traffic signs areas. It contains 50 questions, 40 rules and 10 signs with multiple-choice answers. You will need to answer 40 questions correctly to pass the test (80%).

What if I failed the knowledge (DMV) exam in Florida?

If you are under 18 and are taking the knowledge (DMV) exam online, you have up to 3 tries. If you fail your third attempt, you will have to go to your local DHSMV to re-take the test.

If you are taking the knowledge (DMV) exam at your local DHSMV office and fail, you will need to wait at least one day before you can re-take it. You will also have to pay $10 fee to re-take the test.

Is there a limit of how many times a student can take driving exam?

Yes, by Florida law, if a driver fails to pass the driving skills exam five (5) times, the

license will be suspended for 12 months.

How do I schedule an appointment for knowledge (DMV) exam?

You can use a convenient Online Appointment Service and Information System (OASIS) to schedule an appointment for variety of services, including knowledge (DMV) exam, at your local DHSMV.

What is the best time to visit DMV?

The best time to visit DMV to avoid lines and crowds is before the lunch time, during the middle of the week and during the middle of the month

What if I have a learner’s permit from another state?

If you have a learner’s permit from another state, you don’t have to re-take the knowledge (DMV) test. The road signs and road rules exams are reciprocated and the Traffic Law and Substance Abuse course will be waived. However, you will be required to take a vision test.

What if I have Driver’s License from another country?

If you hold a valid foreign driver license and wish to convert it to a Florida driver license, you must complete a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course, take and pass all required tests (vision, hearing, driver knowledge, driving skills) and submit the appropriate paperwork. Please visit for a list of documents you will need to bring to your local DMV office

Is the knowledge test administered in Spanish in Florida?

Yes, the knowledge test is administrated in English, Spanish and Creole
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