Florida Driver’s Handbook
enforcement officers, emergency workers and tow truck drivers stopped along roadways.
-On a two-lane roadway, you are
required to slow to a speed that is 20
miles per hour less than the posted
-If the speed limit is 20 miles per
hour or less, you must slow down to
five miles per hour
– If you are driving on an interstate or
roadway with multiple lanes of
travel in the same direction, and
you approach an emergency or law
enforcement vehicle parked along
the roadway, you must vacate the
lane closest to that vehicle as soon
as it is safe to do so. If you are not
able to safely move over, you must
slow down to a speed of 20 MPH
below the posted speed limit unless
directed otherwise by a law enforcement
in some official way to show that it is a
true copy of the original document. To
get a certified copy of a document, you
must contact the agency that issued the
keep babies and young children from being
injured in car crashes. A lap belt may
be used as a restraint for children four
years old or older
court. In a driver’s record, suspended sentences,
forfeiting/entreasures of bonds,
and pleas of no contest count against the
driver just as a conviction does.
which permits a person to drive certain
types of vehicles, transport certain types
of property or transport a number of passengers
under the laws of this state, or
that would be punishable if committed
in this state, by death or imprisonment in
a state penitentiary. “State penitentiary”
includes state correctional facilities.
Alien” who is admitted to the United
States as a lawful permanent resident.
Immigrants are legally accorded the privilege
of residing permanently in the United
States and are issued immigrant visas
or adjusted to permanent resident status
by the USCIS.
not operated upon rails or guide way,
but not including any bicycle, motorized
scooter, electric personal assistive device,
swamp buggy, or moped. as defined in
section 316.003, Florida Statutes.
a seat or saddle for the use of the rider
and designed to travel on not more than
three wheels in contact with the ground,
but excluding a tractor or a moped.
temporary entry to the United States for
a specific purpose and who has declared
ones intention to stay only for a temporary
period of time.
place of domicile in this state for
a period of more than six consecutive
months, has registered to vote, has made
a statement of domicile pursuant to section
222.17, Florida Statutes, or has filed
for homestead exemption on property in
most of the land next to the road is used
certain types of motor vehicles or
a requirement that a driver comply with
certain conditions when driving a motor
privilege to drive a motor vehicle.
of a licensee’s privilege to drive a motor
Naturalized, or one who has obtained a
Certificate of Citizenship from the Department
which any person is or may be transported
or drawn upon a highway, except
devices used exclusively upon stationary
rails or tracks.
pedestrians to cross, pull over and
stop for emergency vehicles and do
not enter an intersection where you
will interfere with other traffic.
vehicle inside the parking space
straight-in. When properly parked,
the vehicle should be centered inside
the space with no part of the vehicle
extending out in the traffic lane. This
maneuver gives the examiner/agent
the opportunity to observe your
a) handle the vehicle in close quarters
b) judge distance
c) maintain control of the vehicle as
you turn into a straight-in parking
no hill on your driving test, this
maneuver is simulated when the car
is in the straight-in parking space
or when the car is pulled over to the
side of the road before the turnabout
maneuver. You will be instructed to
show or tell the examiner/agent what
you would do if you were going to
leave the vehicle parked up or down
a hill, with or without a curb.
feet at a slow speed. Do not use
the rear-view mirror or rear-view
camera when backing. Look to the
signal if turning, approach in the
proper lane, come to a complete
stop before reaching the pedestrian
crosswalk*or stop line, and remain stopped until you can move safely
without interfering with cross traffic
proper lane and approach the light at
a speed that will allow you to stop if
the light should change. When you
must stop, stop before the pedestrian
crosswalk or stop line. When
the light turns green, do not move
forward until the other traffic has
cleared the intersection. Give the
correct signal for stopping and turning.
Watch for “no turn” and “one
proper lane and signal your turn for
the last 100 feet. You may use either
hand signals or mechanical signals.
Slow before reaching the crosswalk
and turn into the proper lane.
behind to make sure you can pass
safely. Pass on the left, unless the car
ahead is about to make a left turn
or is in the left turn lane on a street
with more than one lane in each direction.
Do not pass on the shoulder
(side of the road).
follow too closely behind other cars.
Keep a minimum following distance
of three to four seconds with an
additional second for any unusual
weather or traffic conditions
hands on the steering wheel and do
not rest your elbow in the window.
must be accompanied by a licensed
driver, 21 years of age or older, who occupies
the front passenger seat closest to
the right of the driver. Drivers can only
drive during daylight hours the first three
months from the original issue date and
must be accompanied by a person 21
years of age or older, holding a valid driver
license, occupying the front passenger
After the first three months, drivers may
operate a vehicle from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
with a person 21 years of age or older,
holding a valid driver license, occupying
the front passenger seat. Drivers with a
Learner’s license are ineligible for a motorcycle
• Allow your license to be used for a
purpose that is against the law.
• Are convicted in a traffic court and
the court orders that your license be
• Refuse to take a test to show if you
are driving while under the influence
of alcohol or drugs.
• Misuse a restricted license.
• Earn a certain number of points for
traffic offenses on the point system.
• Break a traffic law and fail to pay
your fine or appear in court as
• Fail to pay child support.
• Fail to carry insurance on your
• Fail to stop for a school bus.
• Use tobacco if you are under age.
• Commit retail theft.
• Education Non-Compliance
are found guilty of, or department records
of alcohol, drugs or other controlled
• A felony in which a motor vehicle is
• Not stopping to give help when the
vehicle you are driving is involved
in a crash causing death or personal
• Lying about the ownership or
operation of motor vehicles.
• Three cases of reckless driving
within one year. Forfeiting bail and
not going to court to avoid being
convicted of reckless driving counts
the same as a conviction.
• An immoral act in which a motor
vehicle was used.
• Three major offenses or 15 offenses
for which you receive points within a
• A felony for drug possession.
• Vision worse than the standard
• Racing on the highway. A court
may also order that your license
be revoked for certain other traffic
• You giving false information or
• You failed to complete a required
school. Section 322.0261 and
322.091 Florida Statutes
…………………………………………………. 30 days
18 points within a 18-month period
24 points within a 36-month period
six or more points within a 12
month period is automatically restricted
for one year to driving for “Business
Purposes ONLY”. If additional points
are accumulated the restriction is extended
for 90 days for every additional
is stopped by law enforcement and has
a breath or blood alcohol level of .02 or
higher will automatically have their driving
privilege suspended for 6 months.
Any driver under 21 with a breath or
blood alcohol level of .05 or higher is
required to attend a substance abuse
course. An evaluation will be completed
and parents or legal guardians will be
notified of the results for all drivers under
the age of 19.
Card from your insurance company. You
must have this paper or electronic card
ready to show to any law enforcement officer
to prove that you have the required
insurance. If not, you may receive a ticket
for not having proof of insurance.
If your driver license or license plate(s)
are suspended for not obeying either of
these laws, you cannot get a temporary
license for any reason, not even for work
purposes only. Any person who makes a
false statement or commits forgery about
their motor vehicle insurance can be
guilty of a second degree misdemeanor.
If you are in a crash while driving,
you must stop!
Call the local police, the Florida
Highway Patrol, or the county
Sheriff’s office. If the crash involves
a charge of driving under the
influence (DUI) or results in death,
injury, or property damage to the
extent a wrecker must tow a vehicle,
the officer will fill out a report. If the
crash is investigated by an officer,
the driver need not make a written
report. If property damage appears
to be over $500 and no report is
written by an officer, you must make
a written report of the crash to the
Department of Highway Safety and
Motor Vehicles within 10 days. The
officer will provide you with a copy
of the form for your records.
2. Remain calm
3. Attain vehicle, witness and driver
You must be ready to give your
name, address, and vehicle registration
number, as well as show your
driver license to others involved in
4. Sketch the scene, showing vehicle
5. Help the injured.
If you’re involved in a minor crash and
your vehicle is blocking the flow of traffic,
you must move it. If you cannot move it
yourself, you must get help or call a tow
Official Florida Driver’s Handbook • 2014
truck. This is true anytime your vehicle
os blocking the flow of traffic whether it
has been involved in a crash or not.
If, while driving, you hit a vehicle with no
one in it or if you damage any object that
belongs to someone else, you must tell
the owner. Give the owner your name,
address, and tag number in person or in
a note that is easily seen. Report the crash
immediately to the proper law enforcement
• The driver must immediately
stop and remain at the scene, must
exchange information and render
reasonable assistance to any injured
• Leaving the scene of a crash
involving a death commits a felonyof the first degree and carries a maximum
penalty of 30 years in a state
correctional facility and/or a fine of
up to $10,000.
• Leaving the scene of a crash
involving injuries commits a felony
of the third degree and carries a
maximum penalty of 5 years in a
state correctional facility and/or a
fine up to $5,000.
• Leaving the scene involving property
damage commits a misdemeanor of
the second degree and carries a maximum
penalty of 60 days in a county
jail and/or fine of $500.
you were convicted of or pleaded nolo
contender to your third traffic offense
that caused a crash within 36 months,
you must complete a department approved
driver improvement course that
includes behind-the-wheel training and
an assessment of your driving safety.
DHSMV notifies you of this requirement
based on a qualifying third at fault crash
occurring on or after January 1, 2010.
trash on public streets and highways can
be fined up to $500 or jailed up to 60 days.
You can be charged with a first-degree
misdemeanor and fined up to $1,000 if
dumping more than 15 pounds of trash.
by driving on the rim of a flat tire or by
any other means.
• Make sure all windows are clean.
• Remove anything that blocks your
view of the road.
• Adjust the seat so you can reach all
• Adjust the inside and outside
rearview mirrors. You should not
have to lean forward or backward to
• Lock all car doors.
• Put on your safety belts. Ask all
passengers to do the same.
• Make sure your car is in park or
neutral gear before starting the engine.
Never move your car until you
have looked in front, behind and to
the side for pedestrians and oncom-
ing traffic. Then, signal and pull into traffic when safe.
can to prevent crashes.
dangerous situation, act right away
to prevent a crash. Use these defensive
driving tips if you see that you
are about to be involved in a crash:
• It is better to swerve right instead
of toward oncoming traffic to
prevent a crash.
• Hitting a row of bushes is better
than hitting a tree, post or solid
• Hitting a vehicle moving in the
same direction as you are is better
than hitting a vehicle head-on.
• It is better to drive off the road
than skid off when avoiding a
• It is better to hit something that
is not moving instead of a vehicle
moving toward you.
make sure they are clean and working
• Know what is going on around you.
Use your rearview mirrors.
• Signal well in advance for turns,
stops and lane changes.
• Slow down gradually. Avoid any
• Drive with the flow of traffic (within
the speed limit). Driving too slowly
can be as dangerous as driving too
• To avoid striking the vehicle in the
front of you, keep at least three to
four seconds following distance with
an additional second for any unusual
weather or traffic conditions.
get in. Children or small objects cannot
be seen from the driver’s seat. Place your
right arm on the back of the seat and
turn around so that you can look directly
through the rear window
Business or Residential Area …………….30
Limited Access Highways …………………70
All Other Roads and Highways……….55*
officer, pull off immediately to the extreme
right, clear of traffic when possible.
Turn off your engine. Reduce your
headlights to the parking light position at
night. Sit calmly and follow the instructions
of the officer. You must follow any
lawful order or direction of (1) any law
enforcement officer or (2) any fireman at
the scene of a fire who is directing traffic.
If a law enforcement officer is directing
traffic where there are signal lights, obey
the officer – not the signals.
brake or stop.
• Drive at the slowest speed just
before entering the intersection, not
• Do not pass or change lanes.
• Be aware of vehicles behind you.
the right-of-way to all other traffic and
pedestrians at stop signs. Move forward
only when the road is clear. At four-way
stops, the first vehicle to stop should
move forward first. If two vehicles reach
the intersection at the same time, the
driver on the left yields to the driver on
control signs or signals. When you enter
one, you must yield the right-of-way if:
• A vehicle is already in the
• You enter or cross a state highway
from a secondary road.
• You enter a paved road from an
• You plan to make a left turn and a
vehicle is approaching from the
When two cars enter an open intersection
at the same time, the driver on the
left must yield to the driver on the right.
the roundabout must yield to traffic
already in the circle and are directed in
one-way, counterclockwise direction. For
multi-lane roundabouts, stay in the left
lane to turn left and the right lane to turn
right, and all lanes to go through, unless
otherwise directed by signs or pavement
markings. Stay in your lane within the
roundabout and use your right turn signal
to indicate your intention to exit.
1. Make up your mind about your
turn before you get to the turning
point. Turn signals are required
when changing lanes. Never make
“last minute” turns.
2. If you must change lanes, look
behind and to both sides to see
where other vehicles are located
before making your turn.
3. Move into the correct lane as you
near the intersection. The correct
lane for the right turn is the lane
next to the right edge of the roadway.
4. On a two-lane road with traffic in
both directions, an approach for
a left turn should be made in the
part of the right half of the roadway
nearest the center line.
5. Give a turn signal for at least the
last 100 feet before you make your
turn. Let other drivers know what
you are going to do. Be sure that
the drivers around you have time
to see your signal before you
6. Slow down to a safe turning speed.
Pay attention to “no turn on red”
or “stop here” when pedestrians are
7. When you are slowing to make a
right turn, the bicyclist you passed
may be catching up to you. Search
over your shoulder before turning.
Yield to bicyclists and pedestrians.
After checking that traffic is clear,
look in the direction of travel to
avoid colliding with a vehicle or
pedestrian in front of you.
8. Always scan for pedestrians before
starting a left turn. Yield to pedestrians
who may be crossing in your
path when turning left. Only turn
left when the path is clear of pedestrians,
bicyclists and vehicles.
9. Make the turn, staying in the
proper lane. Yield the right-of-way
to vehicles (including bicycles)
coming from the opposite direction
or vehicles lawfully passing on the
10. Finish your turn in the proper
lane. A right turn should be from
the right lane into the right lane of
the roadway entered. A left turn
may be completed in any lane
lawfully available, or safe, for the
desired direction of travel. See the
diagrams for making left turns
from or into one-way streets.
traffic, and signal a left turn.
2. Turn the steering wheel sharply to
the left and move forward slowly.
Stop at the curb, or edge of roadway.
3. Shift to reverse, turn your wheels
sharply to the right, check traffic,
and back your vehicle to the right
curb, or edge of roadway.
to drive on the left half of the roadway
when it is safe to pass and passing is allowed.
If the road has four or more lanes
with two-way traffic, drive in the right
lanes except when overtaking and passing.
Left lanes on some interstate roads
are reserved for car pool vehicles with
two or more occupants in the car – watch
for diamond signs in the median. The
center lane of a three-lane or five-lane
highway is used only for turning left.
vehicle you want to pass. The closer
you get to the vehicle you want to
pass, the less you can see ahead.
This is especially true when passing
trucks, trailers, and other large
• Before you pull out to pass, check
your blind spots and make sure that
you have plenty of time and room
• On a two-lane road, tap your horn,
or at night blink your headlights to
let the other driver know you are
• Give your signal before you move
into the left lane. Turn signals are
required when changing lanes. Be
sure that the drivers around you
have time to see your signal BEFORE
• Do not return to the right side of
the road until you can see the tires
of the vehicle you passed in your
• You must return to the right side of
the road before coming within 200
feet of any vehicle coming from the
Passing on the right is only legal
when there are two or more lanes of
traffic moving in the same direction
or the vehicle you are passing
is making a left turn. Pulling off
the roadway to pass on the right is
against the law
three to four seconds with an additional
second for any unusual weather or traffic
To determine your following distance:
• Watch when the rear of the vehicle
ahead passes a sign, pole or any
other stationary point.
• Count the seconds it takes you to
reach the same sign, pole, or any
other stationary point (“Onethousand-one,
• Turn your wheels so that
if your car starts to move,
it will roll away from traffic
or into the curb. Study the
• Set the parking brake.
• Place automatic gear shift
in park. Shift manual gears
to reverse (downhill) or first
• Turn vehicle off.
the REAR corners of the
parking space. The forward
markers represent the approximate
CENTER of the
parking space. When properly
parked, the vehicle should
be centered inside the space
with no part of the vehicle
extending out into the traffic
another parked vehicle
• On crosswalks.
• On sidewalks.
• In bicycle lanes.
• In front of driveways.
• By curbs painted yellow
or where “No Parking”
signs are posted.
• Within intersections.
• Within 15 feet of a fire
• Within 20 feet of an intersection.
• Within 20 feet of the entrance to
a fire, ambulance or rescue squad
• Within 50 feet of a railroad crossing.
• On the hard surface of a highway
where parking spaces are not
• On any bridge or overpass
or in any tunnel.
• Within 30 feet of a rural mail box on
a state highway between 8 a.m. and
• Within 30 feet of any flashing signal,
stop sign or traffic signal.
• In such a way that you block or
create a hazard for other vehicles.
freeways, and turnpikes are multiple-lane
roads with no stop signs, traffic
lights, or railroad crossings. For these
reasons, expressways can give you a fast,
safe way to get where you need to go.
guidelines to enter an expressway safely:
• On the entrance ramp, begin
checking for an opening in traffic.
Signal for your turn.
• As the ramp straightens into the
acceleration lane, speed up. Try to
adjust your speed so that you can
move into the traffic when you reach
the end of the acceleration lane.
• Merge into traffic when you can do
so safely. You must yield the rightof-way
to traffic on the expressway.
You cannot always count on other
drivers moving over to give you
room to enter, but do not stop on an
acceleration lane unless traffic is too
heavy and there is no space for you
to enter safely.
When leaving an expressway:
• Get into the exit lane. Posted signs
will tell you which one. Most
expressway exits are from the right
• Signal your intention to leave the
expressway by using your turn
• Slow down as soon as you are off
the expressway. Check the posted
safe speed for the exit ramp.
• Do not make last-minute turns into
an exit. If you go past your exit, you
must go to the next one.
high beam) between the hours of
sunset and sunrise.
• Low beam headlamps are only
effective for speeds up to 20-25
MPH. You must use special care
when driving faster than these
speeds, since you are unable to
detect pedestrians, bicyclists and
• High beam headlights can reveal
objects up to a distance of at 450 feet
and are most effective for speeds
faster than 25 MPH.
Don’t use high-beam headlights
within 500 feet of oncoming vehicles.
• If you are behind other vehicles, use
low beams when you are within 300
feet of the vehicle ahead.
• When leaving a brightly lit place,
drive slowly until your eyes adjust to
• Don’t look directly at oncoming
headlights. Instead, watch the right
edge of your lane. Look quickly to
be sure of the other vehicle’s position
every few seconds.
• Drive as far to the right as you can if
a vehicle with one light comes
beams will only be reflected back off
the fog and actually impair visibility
even more. Your lights help other
drivers see your vehicle, so be sure
they all work. Keep your windshield
and headlights clean, to reduce the
glare and increase visibility.
• Slow down – and watch your
speedometer – before you enter a
patch of fog. Be sure that you can
stop within the distance that you
can see. Fog creates a visual illusion
of slow motion when you may actually
be speeding. Speed is a major
factor in fog-related crashes.
• Watch out for slow-moving and
parked vehicles. Listen for traffic
you cannot see. Open your window
a little, to hear better.
• Reduce the distractions in your
vehicle. Turn off the radio and
cell phone. Your full attention is
• Use wipers and defrosters liberally
for maximum visibility. Sometimes
it is difficult to determine if poor
visibility is due to fog or moisture
on the windshield.
• Use the right edge of the road or
painted road markings as a guide.
• Be patient. Avoid passing and/or
• Signal turns well in advance and
brake early as you approach a stop.
• Do not stop on a freeway or heavily
traveled road. You could become
the first link in a chain-reaction
collision. If you must pull off the
road, signal (people tend to follow
tail lights when driving in fog), then
carefully pull off as far as possible.
After pulling off the road, turn on
your hazard flashers(hazard lights
should only be used when you pull
over to show that you are parked
on the side of the road). Move away
from the vehicle.
vehicle can be seen for 200 feet in
• Move the vehicle so all four wheels
are out of traffic lanes.
• Turn on your emergency flashers.
• Get all passengers out on the side
away from traffic.
• Tie a white cloth on the left door
handle or antenna.
• Raise the hood.
• Call * FHP or other law enforcement
agencies for assistance.
• Do not use brakes.
• Concentrate on steering.
• Slow down gradually.
• Brake softly when the car is under
• Pull completely off the pavement.
through deep water.
• Brakes may pull to one side or may
not hold at all.
• Dry brakes by driving slowly in low
gear and applying brakes.
• Hold the wheel firmly and steer in a
• Brake lightly.
• Wait until the road is clear.
• Turn back on the pavement sharply
at slow speed.
Approaching in your Lane
• Brake sharply.
• Steer for the side of the road or the
• Tap the gas pedal with your foot.
• Try to pry the pedal up with the toe
of your shoe.
• Shift into neutral.
• Turn off the ignition. (Do not turn
the key to lock, or your steering will
• Use your brakes.
fast, except for vehicles with anti-lock
• Shift to a lower gear.
• Apply the parking brake slowly and
make sure that you are holding
down the release lever or button.
This will prevent your rear wheels
from locking and your vehicle from
• Rub your tires on the curb to slow
your vehicle, or pull off the road
into an open space.
• Do not use your brakes, if possible.
• Pump the brakes gently if you are
about to hit something.
• Steer the car into the direction of the
skid to straighten the vehicle out.
Then steer in the direction you wish
portable extinguisher, you should
attempt to extinguish the fire.
• If you cannot extinguish the fire and
it continues to get larger, get away
from the vehicle, due to the presence
of toxic fumes and the possibility
• Never apply water to a gasoline or