International Driving Permit – Not Now Required in Florida

Florida State has formally scrapped a crazy law that was introduced at the beginning of 2013 that technically required all non USA drivers to obtain an International Driving Permit!

International Driving Permits are NOT now required!

 

Do I need an International Driving Permit (IDP) to drive in Florida?

NO!!!

Why has the International Driving Permit Law been so confusing?

Here’s some background!

Out of the blue, news of a new State law broke almost 6 weeks after the introduction date of 1st January 2013.

Although a law was quietly passed that required all foreign drivers to possess an International Driving Permit from the 1st january 2013, the enforcement had been temporarily suspended for legal reasons throughout the early part of the year.
Travellers were technically required to obtain a permit, but, the state did a huge U-turn and announced that they would not enforce the law at all during a period between February and April while they work on scrapping this new law.
During that time, you were totally safe to travel to Florida without the International Driving Permit at this time!

When will the Law on the International Driving Permit be Scrapped Completely?

Up until March 15th 2013, although ‘technically still law to possess an International Driving Permit’ Tourists were able to drive in the State of Florida without the permit!
From April 2nd 2013, the law was officially scrapped.
The scrapping procedure began on the 12th March 2013 with a Florida House vote to scrap the law taking place as Florida lawmakers were keen to hurry through a repeal of the Law quickly.
This would help remove the embarrassment that currently exists in Florida that had a bizarre law in place that the State’s Highways Agency has been instructed not to enforce.

What does an IDP do?

It acts as a translation document to accompany your actual licence.

Can I leave my own driving licence at home and use the IDP?

No, the IDP is not a substitute for a valid driver’s licence from your home country.

Will I be refused my rental car without an IDP?

No, now that the confusion is cleared, you are able to take a rental car without an IDP

What happens if I don’t have and IDP?

The Florida State Dept for Highway Safety scrapped the law on March 15th 2013.

Where can I obtain and IDP?

Visit one of the main motoring organisation sites for your country such as the AA, or CAA

How much does an IDP cost?

There’s an admin fee, dependant upon your country and ranges from £5.50 in the UK to $25 in Canada.

Can I apply for an IDP Online?

Not fully, at the moment, most sites request that you download a form, and send it completed with copies of licences and a photo to the organisation applicable.

Is the IDP a scam?

No, it is a genuine document that offers a translation of your country’s driving licence.
Make sure that you seek an IDP from a reputable motoring organisation.

Could we get away without obtaining an IDP?

Yes, now that the law got scrapped on March 15th 2013.
Prior to that, in practical terms, although it was a law, the State has confirmed that tourists would not have been required to comply with this law.

Would my Insurance have been invalidated if I drove without an IDP?

The Rental Car companies were caught out by the new law, but swiftly confirmed that they would still insure drivers during the confusing period before the law was scrapped fully on March the 15th 2013.

Where can I obtain an IDP?

 
IDP Forms for UK Drivers
IDP Forms for Canadian Drivers
IDP Forms for Other Nations
Contact you national motoring association
Check out what others are saying about the International Driving Permit Legislation on our Forum

Press Release Dated 14th Feb 2013 14:17 EST

STATEMENT FROM THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR VEHICLES
ON THE INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMITDuring the 2012 legislative session, the Florida Legislature amended section 322.04, Florida Statutes, to require visitors from outside the United States to have an International Driving Permit in order to drive lawfully in Florida. This change took effect Jan. 1, 2013.

It has come to the Department’s attention that this requirement may violate the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949), an international treaty to which the United States is a signatory. Treaties to which the United States is a party preempt state laws in conflict with them.

Therefore, the Florida Highway Patrol will defer enforcement of violations of the amended statutory section until a final determination of the alignment of the amendment with the treaty can be made. Non-resident visitors to Florida who wish to drive while here will be required to have in their immediate possession a valid driver license issued in his or her name from another state or territory of the U.S. or from their country of residence. However, the FHP will not take enforcement action based solely on the lack of an International Driving Permit.

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The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is committed to Service, Integrity, Courtesy, Professionalism, Innovation and Excellence in all we do. Please let us know how we are doing via our online customer service survey at https://www.research.net/s/MLR9RGC.

Press Release Dated Feb 14th 2013 20:00 EST

FLORIDA’S DOORS AND ROADWAYS REMAIN OPEN TO VISITORS
~ Highway Safety agency reassures visitors that travel to the Sunshine State is business as usual ~TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Whether you fly or drive to Florida, visitors can be assured the Sunshine State is doing business as usual. Earlier today, DHSMV released a statement to media around the world that the Florida Highway Patrol will defer enforcement of a law that requires visitors from outside the United States to have an International Driving Permit to drive lawfully in Florida. The statement explained that the law may potentially conflict with an international treaty.

The Department understands the concerns of the international community and is working with its partners to ensure that visitors are not inconvenienced. Visit Florida, AAA, Canada Automobile Association and law enforcement agencies around the state are helping DHSMV get the message out that Florida’s doors and roadways are open as usual to all visitors.

The Department will be working with the Florida Legislature in the coming months to ensure that the law reflects Florida’s rich history of welcoming our friends from around the world to the Sunshine State.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter at @FDHSMV or find us on Facebook.

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Press Release Dated 15th March 2013 From Florida State Governer Rick Scott

Statement from Governor Scott Regarding the International Driver’s License Repeal

Tallahassee, Fla. – Governor Rick Scott today made the following statement regarding the progress of international driver’s license legislation:

Governor Scott said, “I applaud the Florida House of Representatives and the Senate Committee on Community Affairs for passing legislation to amend a state statute to improve driver’s license provisions for international visitors. The Senate Committee on Transportation and Representative Daniel Davis have done a great job of demonstrating that international visitors are welcome in Florida. This legislation promotes tourism and will ensure visitors from across the globe continue to choose Florida as their vacation and business destination. VISIT FLORIDA anticipates tourist spending will reach record levels and I look forward to signing this legislation when it reaches my desk.”

Final Legal Sign Off that Repeals the International Driving Permit Law Completely!

 

For Immediate Release
April 2, 2013

 

GOVERNOR SCOTT SIGNS INTERNATIONAL DRIVER’S LICENSE BILL AT FLORIDA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S INTERNATIONAL DAYS

 

Tallahassee, Fla. – Joined by Consulates General from countries in South America, Europe and North America, Governor Rick Scott today signed HB 7059 by Representative Daniel Davis relating to drivers licensing into law. The first bill this year to reach Governor Scott’s desk, HB 7059 repeals a law requiring an International Driving Permit for all foreign drivers visiting Florida.

 

Governor Scott said, “Florida is committed to being the number one tourist destination in the world, and signing this bill into law will ensure that our international visitors continue to come to Florida. Florida has had two consecutive years of record visitation to Florida, which has created thousands of jobs for Florida families.”

 

“Tourists from all over the world should be able to visit our state and see everything we have to offer,” said Representative Davis. “I thank Governor Scott for his support of this bill and I am proud to join him in this bill signing event.”

 

Co-Sponsor, Senator Jeff Brandes said, “I am proud that Governor Scott joined the legislature in supporting this bill. This new law will allow all visitors to enjoy what we take advantage of every day here in Florida, while also adding to our economy and supporting jobs for Floridians.”

 

Representatives from AAA-The Auto Club Group and the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) also joined Governor Scott in signing this bill into law.

 

“AAA applauds this swift action by the Florida Legislature and Governor Rick Scott repealing the 2012 law that required an International Driving Permit for all foreign drivers,” said Kevin Bakewell, chief public affairs officer for AAA.”This repeal illustrates the state’s commitment to remaining a top US destination for international tourists, including our Canadian neighbors, many of whom call Florida their winter home.”

 

“Effective immediately, Canadians in Florida can go back to doing what they have always been able to do – drive with peace of mind in the Sunshine State using their provincial driver’s license,” said Jeff Walker, CAA Vice President of Public Affairs. “CAA is pleased that the voices of its members and others were listened to by state officials, and that the state of Florida has removed any uncertainty.”

 

Will Seccombe, President and CEO of VISIT FLORIDA said, “Last year, the Florida tourism industry welcomed nearly 14 million visitors from 181 countries who spent $15 billion. We thank Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature for taking quick action to ensure our vital international visitors continue to feel welcome in the Sunshine State.”

 

Kevin McGurgan, Consul General of the UK said, “I welcome the repeal of the international driving license law. If implemented, this legislation would have unnecessarily affected many of the 1.5 million UK nationals who visit Florida annually.”

 

The Consulate of Italy said, “We applaud the Governor and Legislature for their quick action in repealing this burdensome requirement, which had raised concerns among many Italians traveling to Florida for business or pleasure. This action will certainly enhance Florida as both a tourism and a business destination for Italian citizens.”

 

Eva Alexandra Kendeffy, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany said, “The German Consulate General is very pleased that Florida has repealed the international driver license law. This will create legal certainty and facilitate German tourism to Florida. A substantial number of German tourists visit Florida’s manifold attractions and beautiful beaches every year. They will highly appreciate this measure.”