I am surprised to say that one of the easiest things we did after we moved was getting our Drivers License. The only reason it was easy was because we were very, very prepared. There are a lot of documents that you need to have with you, and you are able to make an appointment to get your license, which was a very strange concept to me, but a welcome one. Here are some details on what we did to prepare.
First, we determined what paperwork we would need. There is a very extensive list of what is required on the website, and I will have a direct link to that below. We then searched for the nearest Drivers License location in our county (Osceola) and again, there is a link to all the counties in Florida, and where each of the sites are located, along with what they will do (Some do both License and Plates, some only do License.) After selecting our nearest location, we discovered there was a link to make an appointment. Making the appointment was very simple and only took a few steps. They open dates about 5 – 6 weeks ahead of time, and they fill fast. Once you know the date you want to make an appointment, start looking at the site every day about 6 weeks ahead of time to see if your date has opened on the calendar.
Here is a list of some of the things we needed:
- Current valid driver’s license from Wisconsin (or whatever state you are coming from)
- Certified Birth Certificate from government agency (Such as the county you were born) Hospital birth certificates will not be accepted.
- Proof of social security number
- Two proofs of residential Florida address – there are many options listed on the site, we used the following:
- Lease (signed by all parties)
- Current Auto insurance policy
- If you are married, and changed your last name, you will need your marriage certificate.
One thing they did which was nice, is you and your spouse can use the same documents. If the document is in your spouse’s name, they can fill out a small form stating you also live at that same address.
Once we had all our documentation, and our appointment was scheduled (I had one for 9:00, Amy had one for 9:15) all we had to do was wait. When the day finally arrived, we found that the office was rather small. There were two lines, one for those with appointments, and one without. The appointment line was completely empty, while the ‘stand-by line’ must have had close to 40 people in it. We were told to arrive about 15 minutes before our schedule time, so we did, and walked up to our line. There is a desk that is staffed with a state employee, and an armed Sherriff deputy – who was actually needed! (There was someone who did not have the proper paperwork, and refused to leave. Once he started shooting off obscenities to the poor lady at the desk, the deputy stepped in to escort him out the door – another good reason to double and triple check your paperwork!)
We waited in that line for a few minutes, and were called to the desk ahead of the stand by line – almost like our own little fastpass. At the first desk, they just verify that all your paperwork is correct, and have you fill out the spouse form if any of it is in your husband or wife’s name. Even though Amy’s appointment was 15 minutes after mine, they called her right after me and went through hers as well. They then give you a number, and you go sit down for the long anticipated wait.
It wasn’t actually that long, and my number was called. I walked to the window my number was assigned to, and handed over my paperwork. She quickly looked it all over and started to enter everything in the computer. A few questions, and $48 dollars later, I was standing in the spot for my photo. A few minutes later Amy was called to the same window and began her process. After what was really a rather short and pain free process, we were officially Florida residents. I never thought something that can be so stressful could bring so much joy – but it was another step that we had talked and dreamed about for so many months and years, and we were holding it in our hand.
One more thing to keep in mind before you step away from that last window with your license, double check everything. We were so excited, that we left right away – and thankfully Amy noticed before we drove away that they spelled both of our last names wrong. She went back in, and they corrected it right away without waiting.
Here are the links to just about everything you need to get your Florida License:
Florida has a pretty extensive website for Motor Vehicle information, so I would recommend starting there.
There is a significant amount of paperwork that you need to prove who you are, and where you are going to live. Thankfully there again is a website link that tells you everything that you need to bring with you:
Here is a link that will tell you all the office locations for the county that you are living in:
Once you have your documentation, here is a link to the site for making an appointment:
Last, if you have a question that can’t be answered by the website, there is a customer service number you can call. I called them 3 or 4 times to make sure I had everything in order. They were actually quite helpful.
(850) 617 – 2000
I never thought I would say it, but getting that Florida License was such an amazing experience. Having everything prepared made it a stress free one, and we could truly enjoy that it meant we were finally Florida residents.
We hope this helps make your experience just as stress free and special as ours was.