Your Road Trip Guide: Florida Driving Laws and Tips for Visitors

florida driving laws

Planning a road trip to Florida? Or maybe you’ve booked a flight with the intention of renting a car. Either way, if you plan on driving around in the sunshine state, it’s a good idea to check in and see what the Florida driving laws are.

The last thing you want is a traffic ticket or worse clouding your sunny vacation. To help you avoid violations on your vacation, we’ve compiled a list of the most important Florida driving laws. Keep reading to learn more. 

Know Your Florida Driving Laws

The driving rules in Florida aren’t much different from other states, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any unique ordinances that you should be aware of. After all, the state is full of visitors from all over the world with different styles of driving. Not to mention, there’s an incredibly large number of drivers over the age of 65. 

You also have to take into consideration how many people visit Florida all year round as well as those who are recent transplants for work, school. etc. It’s a state that’s got a lot going on, which can leave the roadways vulnerable.

That’s why the Florida driving laws are as follows:

Non-US Citizens Must Aquire a Permit

in 2013, the state law allowing foreigners to use their regular driver’s license changed. Now, all foreign drivers must obtain a an international driver’s permit from their country before visiting. 

You Can Technically Talk on Your Cell Phone

It’s not illegal to drive in Florida while talking on your phone. However, if you get into an accident while talking on your phone, you could be subjected to a penalty under the state’s distracted driving laws. 

Texting, on the other hand, is a big no-no. If you are caught texting while driving, it’s treated as a noncriminal traffic violation—if it’s the first offense. If you get caught texting and driving for the second time it becomes a moving violation.

It should also be noted that police officers can now pull you over if they think you’re texting.

Be Prepared to Move Over

The state of Florida has what is called a “Move Over” law. The law requires that when police officers are parked along interstates or roads with multiple lanes, you must move your car to the lane furthest away. This law also includes emergency vehicles, tow trucks, utility and sanitation vehicles, etc. You also must slow down to 20 mph or less while passing.

Don’t Drive Too Slow

It’s true—you can be issued a ticket for driving too slow in Florida. Driving at a pace significantly below the speed limit is considered dangerous because it can cause accidents. So, drive the speed limit and move with the flow of traffic.

Bicyclists Have Road Rights

Everywhere in Florida with the exception of interstate and major highways, bicycles are considered a motor vehicle. That means on public roads, cyclists must adhere to  Florida driving laws as well. It also means that drivers in real motor vehicles must share the road.

It’s OK to Turn Right on Red

In Florida as long as you come to a complete stop at a traffic light when it’s red, granted that there’s no one coming, you can make a right turn. Unless, of course, there’s a sign posted that says otherwise.

FYI: A red light arrow also counts as a “no turn on red” sign. 

Wear Your Seat Belt

You must wear a seatbelt while driving in Florida. Those caught driving without wearing a seat belt used to only receive a citation but only if they were pulled over for something else. Now, just like the texting laws, drivers not wearing seat belts can be pulled over and issued a non-moving traffic violation.

This also holds true for not having the proper car seat for children under five and minors. Everyone in the car under 18 must wear their seat belt, regardless of where they’re sitting. Children under five must be seated in a car seat.

Get Yourself a SunPass

It’s not a legal requirement, however, Florida is stacked with nearly 500 miles of tollroads. Some of these tolls are unmanned, meaning you’ll need exact change in order to pass. The SunPass is a little device that you attach to your windshield and it’s connected to a prepaid account, allowing for quicker and safer toll road passing.

If you Pass through a SunPass toll without the physical pass or an unmanned booth without exact change, you will be subject to a fine.

There Are A Lot of Red Light Cameras

You will encounter red light cameras at every major intersection in the state of Florida. Some will even creep up on you in regular intersections. They’re there to help law enforcement catch people running red lights and committing other road infractions. So, be sure to adhere to the Florida road rules otherwise you’ll end up with a surprise citation in the mail a month or two later. 

Drive Safe and Enjoy

There are thousands of places to go and things to see in the sunshine state. By Adhering to the Florida driving laws you can enjoy your trip without incurring any extra costs in the form of traffic violations.

Of course, in the event that you do end up with a traffic violation, reach out to us. We specialize in fighting against traffic violations, keeping your insurance rates low and your license point-free.