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What Is the Legal Driving Age in Jacksonville, Florida?

In Jacksonville, as in the rest of Florida, the journey towards becoming a licensed driver comes in several stages. Understanding the legal driving age and potential penalties for driving before you are fully licensed is important. In Florida, the path to legal driving generally begins at 15 years old, but some restrictions apply until age 18.

Learner’s Permits in Jacksonville, Florida

The first step for young drivers in Jacksonville, Florida, is obtaining a learner’s permit. Teenagers can apply for a learner’s permit once they turn 15 years old with permission from a parent or legal guardian. To get a permit, they must show proof of completing a Traffic Law and Substance Abuse Education (TLSAE) course and pass a vision, hearing, and knowledge exam.

Driving with a learner’s permit requires being accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years old and seated in the front passenger seat. During the first three months, they can only drive between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., which extends to 10 p.m. after three months.

Obtaining a Florida Driver’s License

Drivers can obtain a Florida driver’s license if they are at least 16 years old. They must hold a learner’s permit for at least one year or be 18 years old, whichever comes first. A parent, legal guardian or other adult over 21 years old must certify they have 50 hours of driving experience. They may also need to pass a skills test and have no moving violation convictions for one year from when the learner’s permit was issued.

Restrictions for Driving Under 18 Years Old in Florida

You must be at least 16 to obtain a Florida driver’s license, but it comes with restrictions until age 18. Florida’s graduated driver licensing laws allow drivers under 18 to drive under certain restrictions to build their skills and confidence on the road. These restrictions include:

  • Driver’s license at 16 years old: Restricted to not driving between 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. unless driving to or from work or accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years old or older.
  • Driver’s license at 17 years old: Restricted to not driving between 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. unless driving to or from work or accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years old or older.

At the age of 18, drivers in Jacksonville may drive without any time or supervision restrictions, granting the individual full driving privileges.

Penalties for Driving Without a License and Implications in a Personal Injury Accident

Driving without a valid driver’s license in Florida is a serious offense that can have significant consequences, especially if it leads to a personal injury accident. Potential consequences include:

  • Criminal charges: Driving without a license is typically classified as a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida. This can result in penalties, including jail time and fines.
  • Increased penalties: Repeat offenders can expect more severe penalties, including higher fines, longer jail time, and even vehicle impoundment.
  • Court-imposed restrictions: Courts may impose additional sanctions, such as community service or mandatory driving courses, depending on the circumstances and the driver’s history.

If an unlicensed driver is involved in an accident that causes personal injury, the lack of a license can complicate the legal proceedings. Driving without a license does not automatically place liability for the accident on an unlicensed driver, but it may influence how liability is assessed. 

Insurance companies may deny claims related to accidents involving an unlicensed driver. The fact that the driver was unlicensed may also be used in court to support claims of negligence or irresponsibility.

Injured by an Unlicensed Driver? Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident involving an unlicensed driver, the path to receiving fair compensation may seem challenging. Consult with a personal injury lawyer for advice on how to hold the potentially responsible parties accountable. They will assess your case and strategize your best course of action.

Contact the Jacksonville Car Accident Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help

For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra car accident law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We serve Duval County, St. Johns County, and its surrounding areas:

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
(904) 396-1100

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Downtown Jacksonville
121 W. Forsyth St. #170,
Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 822-4225

Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Ponte Vedra
480 Town Plaza Ave #130,
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081
(904) 675-1167

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