How to speed up your driver’s license renewal in Florida

Has it already been eight years? That’s how long a Florida issued driver’s license is valid for. If you’re approaching your expiry date, you shouldn’t waste any more time and renew it as soon as possible. Driving without a valid license is illegal and there is no grace period after expiry. Today we’ll help you simplify your driver’s license renewal, so you can save your time and money.

In what ways can I renew my Florida driver’s license?

You can renew your FL license as early as 18 months before expiry. The renewal fee will depend on the type of license you’re using. A standard E-class license renewal costs $48. Currently, there are three ways you can submit a renewal request. The best method for you will depend on the circumstances. The methods are:

  1. Online
  2. In Person
  3. Via mail (only for military personnel)

Here are the documents you’ll need to provide

The documentation requested for license renewals in Florida is very straightforward. You can use this checklist to see if you have everything ready:

One proof of identity:

  • Valid U.S. passport or passport card
  • Birth certificate issued by the health department or CDC Bureau
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad

One proof of social security (SSN):

Two different proofs of residential address. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Recent utility bill
  • Medical card with address
  • Florida voter registration card
  • Valid home insurance policy
  • Valid car insurance policy

If you change your address, you must notify the DMV within 30 days.

One proof of legal name change since the last license was issued (not required if you submit a passport with your current legal name):

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce certificate
  • Legal name change policy

One proof of legal status for non-citizens. Include, but not limited to:

  • Valid U.S. visa
  • Green card
  • Asylum papers containing admission number

All documents must be original or a state-issued duplicate. Hand-written documents will not be accepted. More information can be found on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) website. If you schedule an in-person renewal appointment through DoNotPay, the app will tell you what to bring depending on the information you provided.

The best method of renewal for you?

Each method has its own pros and cons. We’ll discuss each thoroughly in separate sections.  Here’s a table to demonstrate:

Method Online In Person Via mail
How? Complete the Online form Visit your local FLHSMV office Send a letter to customer service
Pros Fastest method, available 24/7 Getting a Real ID, saving your online renewal Useful if you’re deployed
Cons Not available to everyone. You have to come during work hours Only available to military personnel

Here’s why you should consider renewing in person

Everyone has a bad experience when it comes to administrative work. Reasons span from waiting in long lines, having to take a day off work, getting rejected because they’re missing one document and so on. However, there are valid reasons to use this method, such as:

  • REAL ID—starting October 2020, standards licenses will not be eligible for boarding local U.S. flights and entering government buildings. Moving forward, you will be required to have a REAL ID, which can only be obtained in person.
  • Save your online renewal—You can only renew your license online every other time. If you’ve renewed a license online, by mail, or over the phone the last time, you’re not eligible for online renewal this time.
  • This is the only method for—non-U.S. citizens or those who’ve legally changed their name or address since their last license was issued. These people will have to submit documents proving their legal status or changes.
  • If your license has expired for over a year—you can only renew it in person, as you’ll be required to take a fresh set of tests

Renewing in person is not as exhausting as it’s known for if you schedule your appointment. Luckily, DoNotPay can help you get a fast appointment and prepare your documents in no time. Use the web app version for all browsers or get the iOS app, and your visit will be scheduled in less than 120 seconds.

Renewing your FL license online

Online renewals are fast and reliable and you’ll receive your new license within 10 days after submitting. However, there are a few rules if you’re going to request your renewal online:

  1. Your previous renewal must have been in person
  2. You are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  3. You’re renewing a standard license and not a CDL
  4. You haven’t made any traffic offenses noted by the police
  5. Your license isn’t suspended
  6. You did not miss a court summoning due to traffic violations

If you’re breaking any of these rules, the only option for you is to renew in person.

Renewing your license through the mail (military personnel only)

If you’re on active military duty outside of Florida you request a renewal online if they meet all online-renewal requirements. Otherwise, you and your immediate family can apply for a free temporary military extension card. This type of renewal will extend your license until 90 days after you’re discharged, you obtain a new license, or return to permanently reside in Florida. To do this, you’ll need to fill out the linked form and send it in one of three ways:

  • Via mail to Customer Service Center, 2900 Apalachee Pkwy, MS 99, Tallahassee, FL 32399
  • Via e-mail to CSC-Corr@flhsmv.govr
  • Via fax at (850) 617-3985

Can I renew my license if it’s suspended?

If your driving privileges have been taken away from you for any reason, you must reinstate them before you’re eligible for renewal. The process will depend on the type of suspension you received, and after you’ve done so you can only renew your license in person. Use DoNotPay to help you set up a fast renewal appointment after your suspension is lifted.

How can non-citizens renew their licenses?

Non-U.S. citizens will have to renew their licenses in person. Apart from regular renewal documents, you must provide a document confirming your legal status in the U.S. These can be a number of documents, such as a Green Card, valid Visa, Notice of Action, etc.

My license was lost/stolen/damaged, what should I do?

The first thing you need to do in these situations is to report the issue to your local FLHSMV (Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles). Feel free to call them or go for a direct visit. They will instruct you on the process, but generally, you should be able to file for a new license both online or in person (unless you’re a non-citizen, military personnel or changed your legal name or address). You will be charged a $25 replacement fee.

DoNotPay helps thousands and thousands of drivers study for their parking tests in these states:

What else can DoNotPay help with?

Apart from getting you the DMV appointment faster, DoNotPay can:

  1. Dispute parking tickets in any state
  2. Challenge traffic infractions
  3. Contest speeding tickets
  4. Help cancel unwanted services
  5. Issue virtual payment cards
  6. Wait in customer care queue lines for you
  7. Help compensate for delayed and canceled flights
  8. Sue individuals and companies in small claims court

If you like what you see, you can find more useful information at the FREE DoNotPay learning center.