Renewing a driver’s license can be a time-consuming task, especially if you’re not prepared with the right information before doing so. To make renewal go smoothly, having the right information and paperwork before trying to renew can save a lot of time and headache. Renewing before your license expires is important and is required every eight years, according to Florida law.
In addition, new requirements and rules for Florida driver’s license renewals have changed who can renew, how those renewals take place, and what’s required for a renewal. We’ll discuss that new information and give tips and a checklist of what you’ll need to make it go quickly.
In person at any Department of Motor Vehicles location. Both periodic and full renewals can be made at any DMV office during regular business hours.
By mail every other renewal term. Renewals not requiring identification checks, eye exams, or other testing may be done by mail using the proper DMV forms. Changes of address and other updates can also be made by mail.
Online every other renewal term. Renewals that don’t require ID checks, exams, or other paperwork may be done online. Replacement cards for lost or stolen driver’s licenses can also be requested online, as can changes of address.
License holders who renewed their licenses online the last time must renew at a DMV in person. Those who need to update their license photo, change their name, are first time license holders, have a court order requiring changes to their driver’s license, hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL), are temporary card holders, or who are not REAL ID compliant must also renew in person.
Anyone not meeting those requirements who wish to simply renew before their license expires may do so online at GoRenew.com.
Regardless of the renewal, there will be fees involved. Those fees depend on the license and what is needed for renewal. Most driver’s license renewals require only a $25 fee for a Class E (standard operator’s) license replacement. These fees may be waived for veterans with the Veteran designation on their license. Fees for knowledge or skills testing and retesting are also possible. Some late fees and other fees may be required if the license renewal is late, is a CDL, or the person is a first-time Florida driver license holder. Court orders for renewals that include an interlock requirement, partial suspension, etc. may also have fees attached.
Those renewing under REAL ID requirements, including new license holders, will also need several forms of identification and address verification.
Renewal of driver licenses in Florida comply with federal guidelines for REAL ID requirements. These requirements, which are set by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, have documentation requirements for proof of residency and citizenship or legal status. These requirements are in place for anyone first applying for a driver’s license or ID card in Florida, if their current driver license or ID card does not have a REAL ID star in the upper right-hand corner, or if the card holder has legally changed his or her name since last issuance of the card. Name changes can be by court order, through marriage/divorce, or other legal means.
The documents required are dependent on citizenship status.
A U.S. citizen must bring one of the following:
Immigrants to the U.S. must bring one of the following:
The U.S. citizen or immigrant must also bring proof of Social Security (federal registration), which may be any one of the following:
Finally, the U.S. citizen or immigrants must bring proof of residential address in two forms. These documents must have the current address of the person renewing the license. These can be any two of the following:
Costs depend on the type of renewal being made. For a $12 fee, a hardship hearing to determine the person’s eligibility for waiver of fees may be requested. That $12 fee may or may not be returned to the applicant, depending on the outcome of the hearing.
Most renewal costs for most Florida driver license applicants will range from $25 for a replacement license to $48 for a new Class E plus potential fees for knowledge and skill tests and retests ($10 and $20 respectively).
A full list of fees for Florida driver license renewal can be found at https://www.flhsmv.gov/fees/.
Those not required to renew their REAL ID certification on a driver license may go online and pay applicable fees ($2 processing plus any additional fees) at GoRenew.com. This service allows address updates, lost or stolen license replacements, and simple renewals. The applicant must have a current and registered Social Security Number on file with the Florida DMV that can be verified through the Social Security Administration to use online services.
Florida law recently changed in regards to expired driver’s licenses. Military personnel stationed outside of Florida who have a Florida driver license may renew online or request an extension of their license until they can return to Florida to renew in person. These extensions keep a Class E driver license valid up to 90 days from military discharge from service.
Late fees apply to those applying for renewal on an expired license. If the expiration is within one year (365 days) of the renewal request, no additional requirements are set and the renewal can proceed as usual. If the renewal date is more than one year from the expiration of the license, however, the driver will be required to take a written knowledge test and an eye exam before renewal will be made. If the license expired more than 18 months before the renewal request, the licensee must retake all examinations as if they were a new driver.
These rules also apply for anyone who has downgraded a driver license to a state ID card and who wishes to return to a driver license.
The good news is that renewals can take place up to 18 months before the license expires, so current driver’s license holders in Florida can apply for renewal more than a year before expiration to make scheduling that renewal easier.
Suspended driver licenses in Florida have several requirements before reinstatement. These can include additional fees, court requirements, or other requirements. Suspensions for driving under the influence (DUI) convictions, for example, have a program fee while child support delinquency suspensions require a fee plus current paperwork proving the parent is up to date on child support payments or a judge’s waiver of driving suspension.
The length of the suspension also determines what additional testing and paperwork requirements may be required. A suspension for more than 18 months, for example, requires retaking all driver’s tests.
Read about the Best Online Traffic Schools in Florida.
Read about How to Get Your Florida Driving Record.
Yes. Florida allows early renewal up to 18 months before the license expires.
In some cases, yes. If you meet the requirements for online renewal, you can renew at GoRenew.com for an additional processing fee.
Most Florida DMV offices operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Some special requests for appointment, such as to accommodate a disability or for specific paperwork needs, may be granted.
If the renewal is within one year of expiration, the license can be renewed with only an additional late fee added. If more than a year has passed since expiration, the written skills test and eye test will be required. If more than 18 months have passed, however, the license will be revoked and all tests must be retaken.
$10 plus the usual fees for renewal. Most renewals are $25 to $45.
Taking classes online is often faster and cheaper than the classroom.