Who would’ve thought that after having a driver’s license for 10 years I have to do them again! 😱 Well, I wouldn’t!
But there I was… Doing a driving license in Florida. Everything felt so unreal – like I was a 17-year old schoolgirl again, waiting nervously for the license! 😅
Three months in Florida
So, we have lived in Florida for over three months already – like OMG! I just really can’t believe that time has gone so fast! 🤯 And that meant only one thing – nothing to with European driver’s license anymore! As three months is considered as living, then it was time to get Florida’s driver’s license.
Luckily there was no restriction of doing again the driving school, as we already had done it in Estonia. That meant that we only needed to do the knowledge exam and driving exam to get Florida’s driving license. Which made the process so much quicker of course!
The first step was booking the time for the knowledge exam. It was convenient, as it was possible to do it through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles homepage. First, there was the possibility to choose the location, which would be the most convenient. We chose Miami-Dade & Miami Central, 3721 NW 7th St service center.
The test time was 8th of April at 2:00 PM – oh how bad time! 😅 Well, at first, we actually managed to arrive 5 minutes late, but it didn’t matter. As there was altogether 3 different lines for waiting.
At first there was check-in line. This line was the fastest, but still took time.. We waited on that line probably about 20 minutes. We just had to show the appointment confirmation and then we were ‘checked-in’. On the appointment page there is written that you will need the confirmation printed out, but actually they are not asking it. So if you have it with you on the phone it is more than fine!
… Next line please!
After checking in we were directed to the other line, where were all the people who also wanted to the the exams. Take your time in that line! No matter what time you had your exam time, the lines are long, so all you can do is just wait for your turn.
We were waiting on the other line probably about 1,5 hours, before getting actually inside of the service centre.
After getting inside, the real thing finally started! Besides the document they also want to see the proofs that you are living in Florida, that you entered here lawfully, then the car title and registrations, car insurance proof, social security number (which I yet don’t have, but as my husband has it then I am fine 😃) and your height. 🤷🏼♀️
After that they are making a photo – and guess who was there looking like a disaster?!`? 🥲
When paperwork is done then time to do the exam!
After the formal stuff I was asked to go to the end of the room, to the computer no 2. And there it was – the knowledge exam. And oh, don’t be like me – I was totally afraid of the exam, and you would thought that it made me study or read? 🤓 Hah, guess again please… I am the stupid one, who is googling stuff like 20 minutes before. 🤷🏼♀️ So I did some tests while waiting on the line. 🤷🏼♀️
There are quite a bit things that are different as in Estonia, so that’s why I was afraid, but luckily they were still all kinda logical & everything went smoothly.
Basically there was 50 questions and to pass you need to answer right 40 of them. I skipped 2 questions, and answered wrong 2 questions, and overall saw 44 questions. So I was pleased. Done & done! ✅
So we were to ‘smart’ ones. 🤦♀️ We didn’t put the driving exam to the same day and that’s why we needed to make another appointment and this time we only got one paper, which was a proof of passing the knowledge exam.
On the same day we booked our appointment for the driving exam. And we got the appointment on 14th of April at 8:20AM. So much better time! 😅
This time we chose to go to the 7900 NW 27th Avenue, as they had better times to offer. And it again started with the check-in line – this time it was so much quicker. We waited about 5 minutes. After checking-in, we had to wait for the message. The message came about 13 minutes later to the phone.
After receiving the text message we were invited in, there we had to do the same procedures with our paperwork, as before the knowledge exam.
Only difference was that this time we also needed to do the eye examination.
After that we needed to go to the other side of the parking lot and wait for the examiner.
In Florida you have to have your own car (or your family’s car and you have to also prove it) to do the driving licence. Also you need to do the exam with your car. After driving to the exam place they checked the main things of the car – like horn, lights, breaks etc. And then the exam started.
As there are Covid-19 restrictions still, then the examiner called to my phone, and I needed to put the phone on the speaker. She was giving the instructions through the phone call. 😅 While she was in the middle of the spot, watching me.
The things needed to me done were rather simple – straight-in parking in the centre of the traffic cones, driving from one side of the parking lot to other (keeping in mind right hand rules and stop sings etc.), backing (in Florida you have to turn yourself, to be sure that it is safe to drive with the reverse gear. Not looking from the rare mirror – as in Estonia), following safe distance with other cars, signal and turns, staying in the proper line, Three Point Turn etc. And there are some things that are of course taught here differently.
After the driving test I was asked also one question about uphill parking. And then the examiner gave me the paper, where were marked mistakes. I lost 6 points on my exam. 🥲 As I had two mistakes – after parking I left the ignition on & didn’t put on the emergency break… 🤦♀️
The prices only for driving license here are super cheap, IF you are not taking the driving school also. Basically the Knowledge Exam was free, but if you are not making it in the first attempt then second time it is $10.00. 😃
But the Driving Exam & the license itself plus taxes of course, for me were altogether $48.00. 🤟🏻 Fair enough.
After the payment I had to wait about 10 minutes and voila – I had my driving license! 🤩 Well it is temporary driving license, the real one arrives in about 60 days – but still, feeling fabbbbb already! 😎😎😎
Triinu in Miami ∞