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Thread: International Driving Permit Required for Florida - UPDATED

  1. #1
    Administrator Wendy's Avatar
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    A friend has alerted me to the fact that an International Driving Permit (IDP) is now required when driving in Florida.

    It seems that in 2012 there was an amendment to statute which states that from the 1st January 2013 anyone wishing to legally drive any vehicle in Florida without a Florida Driving Licence will have to have an IDP alongside their valid Driving Licence.

    There has been communication with the Deputy Communications Director of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the answer was pretty clear - you DO need one or run the risk of arrest if you are pulled over!

    Here is a copy of the communication:

    Customers that wish to drive in Florida without obtaining a Florida driver license will be required to have an International Driving Permit to accompany their out-of-country license. This applies to any vehicle, including rental vehicles. The International Driving Permit must be in the customer's name and from their country of residence.

    This is the information from the Florida Statutes:

    322.04(c)(1)Persons exempt from obtaining driver license-

    (c) A nonresident who is at least 16 years of age operating a motor vehicle of the type for which a Class E driver license is required in this state if the nonresident has in his or her immediate possession:

    (2) An International Driving Permit issued in his or her name in his or her country of residence and a valid license issued in that country. When did the law change, and why? January 1, 2013. The purpose of the permit is for the English translation. Obviously, a license issued in the UK is already written in English, so the permit is admittedly a little redundant but that is technically the law at this point.

    This information has also been posted today on the Florida Highways Website The part which is important for UK drivers is:

    If you reside out of country and will be visiting Florida, as of January 1, 2013 a nonresident must have in their possession an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued by their country of residence and a valid license from that country. The IDP serves to translate the information from your existing license into English prior to visiting Florida. Again, this permit is only to be shown in conjunction with a valid driver license issued from your country, not as a substitute. You will need to contact the authorities in your country who issued your driver's license, or the motoring association there, to find out how to obtain an IDP.

    If you will need to rent a car while visiting in Florida, you may need to show both your driver license and an IDP. We suggest you contact the rental company in advance to find out more regarding their policy.
    So what does this mean for visitors from the UK, basically if you drive without an IDP, you are driving without a valid license and if stopped, law enforcement has the option of being arresting and taken to jail or being given a citation with a mandatory court appearance.

    You can obtain an IDP by taking a signed photo, and the required ID, along to a designated Post Office and fill out the form and pay 5.50. You will be issued with your permit which will be valid for 12 months.

    I have also emailed the Department of Highways for further clarification and I will post a copy of his reply when I receive it.









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    Administrator keith's Avatar
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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    Thanks Wendy!

    There are people saying this is incorrect and a misunderstanding of the legislation but whether or not, given the potential consequences for insurance (who ALWAYS try and get out of paying anyway) etc., it seems prudent to advise all UK drivers who plan on driving over there to grab an IDP. For 5.50 it seems reckless not to
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  3. #3
    Administrator Wendy's Avatar
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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    I know, misunderstanding or not, I'll be getting one each for us, 11 is worth it for piece of mind.

    Completely different, but I also found out through reading through different things, that if you don't have a photo driving licence you have to carry your passport with you when you are driving. If you get stopped, you will need to provide id as well as your licence.

    I have an old paper one and have been refusing to update it to a photo one, maybe I need to think again, or I could just use it as an excuse not to drive









    If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together.......
    there is something you must always remember.
    You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
    But the most important thing is, even if we're apart...... I'll always be with you.
    Winne the Pooh - A A Milne



    A friend is a hand that is always holding yours,
    no matter how close or far apart you may be.
    A friend is someone who is always there and will always, always care.
    A friend is a feeling of forever in the heart.

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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    wow!

    I have absolutly no idea where we would have to go for an international driving permit here





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    Administrator keith's Avatar
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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    Quote Originally Posted by Wendy, post: 302379
    Completely different, but I also found out through reading through different things, that if you don't have a photo driving licence you have to carry your passport with you when you are driving. If you get stopped, you will need to provide id as well as your licence.
    Now this one I did know and that's absolutely true

    I have an old paper one and have been refusing to update it to a photo one, maybe I need to think again, or I could just use it as an excuse not to drive
    I was the same Wen, especially since the photo id only lasts 10 yrs and need to remember to update it etc :/ but yeah, it's free and easy online.

    As with all these things, IDP etc, some car rental companies wont care, some police wont care, some insurance companies wont bother but if you happen to hit the ones that do GULP
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  6. #6
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    International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    I'm not sure how the rest of the US is but in Virginia it is mandatory that all adults have a valid photo ID. You can be fined or jailed for not having it on you. driving without a valid license is also a big deal.

    Personally, I would get the ID. I'm asked for ID a lot when buying alcohol, getting into bars, sometimes when using my credit card. It seems much safer than carrying your passport around.







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    International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    Hmm, this wasn't mentioned at all when we picked up our car from Dollar a few weeks ago, will have to look into it for next time we go.

  8. #8
    Administrator Wendy's Avatar
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    International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    This is what is worrying Lisa, the rental companies won't care, all they need to see is a valid driving licence.

    Hopefully I will get a reply to my email today.









    If ever there is a tomorrow when we're not together.......
    there is something you must always remember.
    You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.
    But the most important thing is, even if we're apart...... I'll always be with you.
    Winne the Pooh - A A Milne



    A friend is a hand that is always holding yours,
    no matter how close or far apart you may be.
    A friend is someone who is always there and will always, always care.
    A friend is a feeling of forever in the heart.

  9. #9
    Administrator keith's Avatar
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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa1976, post: 302396
    Hmm, this wasn't mentioned at all when we picked up our car from Dollar a few weeks ago, will have to look into it for next time we go.
    It's something new as of Jan and I think it's pretty much an unintentional consequence of some wording in some updated legislation :/ However, that doesn't mean it's not "the letter of the law" at the moment. Whether it gets fixed/clarified later on is up for debate.

    Of course Wendy's also right, the rental companies won't care until they're told to and then I'd imagine they'd tell you and check at rental time.

    In the MEANTIME, people could be left with insurance problems and/or police problems if involved in any incidents.

    For a few quid it seems irresponsible to advise against getting one, at least until and if the offending section of legislation, and advice from the authorities, changes.
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  10. #10
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    International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    Blimey so glad I've seen this for future trips. Like you say for the sake of 5.50 it's worth it for peace of mind

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