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International Driving Permit Required for Florida - UPDATED

Discussion in 'Transportation & Travel' started by Wendy, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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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:

    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2013
  2. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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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
     
  3. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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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 :)
     
  4. Mari
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    Mari Serious Forum Regular

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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
     
  5. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    Now this one I did know :yes: and that's absolutely true

    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
     
  6. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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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.
     
  7. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Addicted to Mickey

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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. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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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.
     
  9. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    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.
     
  10. Lisa1976
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    Lisa1976 Addicted to Mickey

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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 :)
     
  11. Mags
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    Mags Serious Forum Regular

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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    A Facebook friend of mine has been following this very carefully and is flying out to Orlando tomorrow. She is in touch with Simon Calder, the travel journalist, who is now on the case. He is writing something up for this weekend's Independent and intends to broadcast on it too. Once she has reached Orlando she is to ring Simon and let him know how the car rental firms are dealing with this, so watch this space.....:)

    Mags
     
  12. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    Thanks Mags.
     
  13. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    Well, it would seem that it is indeed true, you must now have an IDP when visiting Florida, I have received a response to my email which I have posted below.


    I will get a thread together with regard to applying for an IDP and post it later today.
     
  14. Mags
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    Mags Serious Forum Regular

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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    Thanks for that Wendy. What a palaver the whole thing has been.

    Mags
     
  15. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    Re: International Driving Permit Required for Florida

    I know, hopefully there will be some information in the press otherwise people who don't go onto forums won't know anything about it.

    Our friends are going over in July for 3 weeks and they don't come online so they wouldn't have known.

    It doesn't bear thinking about does it, being stopped by a state trooper and then being arrested because you are driving illegally. It would certainly put a damper on the holiday.

    It is something that they are enforcing, but they won't get any revenue for it as you have to apply for the IDP in your own Country.
     
  16. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    WOW, I`m glad I came across this thread. [I knew nowt about it!]
    Thanks for the tip off Wendy. :thumbsup:
     
  17. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    I was going to pm you about it Terry when I got home from physio.
     
  18. Britchick
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    Britchick Serious Forum Regular

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    This has really irked me, what is the point? they can see everything they need to see from our driving licences, if it was in a different language i would fully support it. We had an issue when we moved to South Carolina where they wouldn't give me a driving licence and i was basically not able to drive until someone at state level intervened and found another condition that allowed me to drive in the US for however long i was there for without getting a US licence. There may be something in the florida law that allows this too. The esta charge now this...i know it's peanuts compared to the cost of the holiday but Grrrr. :sorry:
     
  19. Mags
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    Mags Serious Forum Regular

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    Just an update on the situation with two rental firms. Car on the Drive now say that they require an IDP as part of their contract with the driver. Alamo have also confirmed on an Orlando based FB group that an IDP is now required. The AA is also updating their information in the next few days.

    Mags
     
  20. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Thanks Mags that's excellent information, really appreciate you posting :yes:
     

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