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The Florida Statutes

The 2016 Florida Statutes

Title XXIII
MOTOR VEHICLES
Chapter 322
DRIVER LICENSES
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F.S. 322.12
322.12 Examination of applicants.
(1) It is the intent of the Legislature that every applicant for an original driver license in this state be required to pass an examination pursuant to this section. However, the department may waive the knowledge, endorsement, and skills tests for an applicant who is otherwise qualified and who surrenders a valid driver license from another state or a province of Canada, or a valid driver license issued by the United States Armed Forces, if the driver applies for a Florida license of an equal or lesser classification. Any applicant who fails to pass the initial knowledge test incurs a $10 fee for each subsequent test, to be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. Any applicant who fails to pass the initial skills test incurs a $20 fee for each subsequent test, to be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. A person who seeks to retain a hazardous-materials endorsement, pursuant to s. 322.57(1)(e), must pass the hazardous-materials test, upon surrendering his or her commercial driver license, if the person has not taken and passed the hazardous-materials test within 2 years before applying for a commercial driver license in this state.
(2) The department shall examine every applicant for a driver license, including an applicant who is licensed in another state or country, except as otherwise provided in this chapter. A person who holds a learner’s driver license as provided for in s. 322.1615 is not required to pay a fee for successfully completing the examination showing his or her ability to operate a motor vehicle as provided for herein and need not pay the fee for a replacement license as provided in s. 322.17(2).
(3) For an applicant for a Class E driver license, such examination shall include a test of the applicant’s eyesight given by the driver license examiner designated by the department or by a licensed ophthalmologist, optometrist, or physician and a test of the applicant’s hearing given by a driver license examiner or a licensed physician. The examination shall also include a test of the applicant’s ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic; his or her knowledge of the traffic laws of this state, including laws regulating driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level, and driving while intoxicated; and his or her knowledge of the effects of alcohol and controlled substances upon persons and the dangers of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances and shall include an actual demonstration of ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle.
(4) The examination for an applicant for a commercial driver license shall include a test of the applicant’s eyesight given by a driver license examiner designated by the department or by a licensed ophthalmologist, optometrist, or physician and a test of the applicant’s hearing given by a driver license examiner or a licensed physician. The examination shall also include a test of the applicant’s ability to read and understand highway signs regulating, warning, and directing traffic; his or her knowledge of the traffic laws of this state pertaining to the class of motor vehicle which he or she is applying to be licensed to operate, including laws regulating driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, driving with an unlawful blood-alcohol level, and driving while intoxicated; his or her knowledge of the effects of alcohol and controlled substances and the dangers of driving a motor vehicle after having consumed alcohol or controlled substances; and his or her knowledge of any special skills, requirements, or precautions necessary for the safe operation of the class of vehicle which he or she is applying to be licensed to operate. In addition, the examination shall include an actual demonstration of the applicant’s ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the safe operation of a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles of the type covered by the license classification which the applicant is seeking, including an examination of the applicant’s ability to perform an inspection of his or her vehicle.
(a) The portion of the examination which tests an applicant’s safe driving ability shall be administered by the department or by an entity authorized by the department to administer such examination, pursuant to s. 322.56. Such examination shall be administered at a location approved by the department.
(b) A person who seeks to retain a hazardous-materials endorsement must, upon renewal, pass the test for such endorsement as specified in s. 322.57(1)(e), if the person has not taken and passed the hazardous-materials test within 2 years preceding his or her application for a commercial driver license in this state.
(5)(a) The department shall formulate a separate examination for applicants for licenses to operate motorcycles. Any applicant for a driver license who wishes to operate a motorcycle, and who is otherwise qualified, must successfully complete such an examination, which is in addition to the examination administered under subsection (3). The examination must test the applicant’s knowledge of the operation of a motorcycle and of any traffic laws specifically relating thereto and must include an actual demonstration of his or her ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motorcycle. Any applicant who fails to pass the initial knowledge examination will incur a $5 fee for each subsequent examination, to be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. Any applicant who fails to pass the initial skills examination will incur a $10 fee for each subsequent examination, to be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. In the formulation of the examination, the department shall consider the use of the Motorcycle Operator Skills Test and the Motorcycle in Traffic Test offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The department shall indicate on the license of any person who successfully completes the examination that the licensee is authorized to operate a motorcycle. If the applicant wishes to be licensed to operate a motorcycle only, he or she need not take the skill or road test required under subsection (3) for the operation of a motor vehicle, and the department shall indicate such a limitation on his or her license as a restriction. Every first-time applicant for licensure to operate a motorcycle must provide proof of completion of a motorcycle safety course, as provided for in s. 322.0255, before the applicant may be licensed to operate a motorcycle.
(b) The department may exempt any applicant from the examination provided in this subsection if the applicant presents a certificate showing successful completion of a course approved by the department, which course includes a similar examination of the knowledge and skill of the applicant in the operation of a motorcycle.
History.s. 24, ch. 19551, 1939; CGL 1940 Supp. 4151(638); s. 24, ch. 20451, 1941; s. 2, ch. 61-232; s. 1, ch. 67-197; s. 3, ch. 75-113; s. 11, ch. 78-394; s. 12, ch. 82-155; s. 6, ch. 83-228; s. 2, ch. 84-139; ss. 1, 2, ch. 84-314; s. 2, ch. 85-98; s. 1, ch. 85-181; s. 4, ch. 86-296; ss. 4, 19, ch. 87-161; s. 8, ch. 88-405; s. 6, ch. 89-282; s. 5, ch. 89-525; s. 7, ch. 91-243; s. 73, ch. 93-120; s. 75, ch. 94-306; s. 930, ch. 95-148; s. 12, ch. 95-247; s. 37, ch. 95-333; s. 3, ch. 96-414; s. 105, ch. 99-13; s. 283, ch. 99-248; s. 3, ch. 2003-410; s. 74, ch. 2005-164; s. 43, ch. 2006-290; s. 32, ch. 2009-71; s. 58, ch. 2014-17.