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International Driving Permit Required for Florida - UPDATED

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

  1. Johnie
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    Johnie Budget Queen Forum Host

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    If y'all would like a personal driver whilst in Florida, I would be glad to oblige :) justly me tag along lol
     
  2. robertcraig
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    robertcraig Serious Forum Regular

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    Thanks WENDY for the info just another good reason to be a member of SECRETS
     
  3. welshjim22
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    welshjim22 Earning my ears

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    Well i hope Alamo at Orlando are honouring rental agreements without IDP's in the short term as rental companies haven't given advanced warning. USrentacar only told late this evening.

    Not quite sure how far the police could take the fact you don't have a document translating your English driving licence into (pause for effect) English. One of those things you could imagine a British judge making an example of the copper. But who knows in the US. The whole thing is farcical.
     
  4. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    It's crazy but unfortunately it's not gonna help when you're at the side of the interstate arguing with a trooper who just wants to see the IDP and knows it's the law. It's pretty clear that the offence would be driving without a full and proper license and that in itself is no small thing :(

    In terms of the car rental companies, until they're TOLD they HAVE TO see an IDP before renting the vehicle, they'll simply let people drive without one but that wont be a defence if we get pulled over.

    Completely crazy but for the cost of a document from the post office, I know what I'm gonna do.
     
  5. Mags
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    Mags Serious Forum Regular

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    Lots happening now and many car rental firms as well as holiday firms are currently updating their information. Virgin Holidays have updated (this morning) their incorrect advice given yesterday. Thomson say they are still revising it. ABTA have now released an advisory. Simon Calder's article has appeared in the Independent this morning and an interview with Lisa's husband is contained in the article if anyone would like to look at it. She has worked so hard to bring this to the fore and went armed with her IDP. It looks like car rental firms arent asking for the IDPs but there is no doubt now, it is the law.

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

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    Thank you so very much Mags for the information and updates, it's really appreciated.
     
  7. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    You can read the article in the Independant here
     
  8. welshjim22
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    welshjim22 Earning my ears

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    Had this reply today from the Florida Department of Highway Safety:

    Questions have recently surfaced aboutrequirements for international visitors to Florida. Effective January 1, 2013,section 322.04, Florida Statutes was amended to require foreign visitors whodrive in Florida to obtain an International Driving Permit in addition to theirvalid home country driver license. “The intent of the change in Florida lawregarding the International Driving Permit was to aid law enforcement inFlorida when interacting with drivers holding a license in a foreign language.The Department of Highway Safety will seek to clarify the law in the upcomingLegislative session, which begins next month, to make it clear that a licensealready written in English would be acceptable. Until the law is clarified,drivers should obtain an IDP,” said Kirsten Olsen-Doolan, Florida Department ofHighway Safety and Motor Vehicles spokesperson.

    With luck common sense will prevail and a translation of English to English will no longer be required. Or maybe it is a translation of English to American?
     
  9. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    It would seem that this has hit the news in Canada as well and the Canadians are not happy at all as there will no doubt be Canadians or Snow Birds as they are referred to, in Florida at the moment.

    The Florida Highways Site has released a Statement that says that prosections are suspended, the statement said:

    More information will be available as soon as we know more. In the meantime, if anyone is visiting in the next few months, it might still be prudent to get an IDP just for peace of mind until a decision has been made.
     
  10. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    jeez! what a mess :lol:
     
  11. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Yep, the words "restrooms" and "breweries" spring to mind. :lol:
     
  12. Wendy
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    Wendy A hui hou kakou makuakane Staff Member Administrator

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    :lol:
     
  13. Mags
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    Mags Serious Forum Regular

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    It is like a comedy show. Here is the latest folks! Posted two hours ago in the Toronto Sun. You couldnt make it up. :lol: It looks like it is all over. :)

    Florida has suspended its new law that required non-U.S. residents to get an international driving permit to legally drive in the state.

    The Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles said Thursday afternoon it has suspended the new law pending further study as it may violate the Geneva Convention of Road Traffic.

    "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," a statement released Thursday afternoon said.

    The new law, effective Jan. 1, had required Canadian and other visitors to get an international driving permit in addition to their regular driver's licence to rent cars and drive their own vehicles there.


    Mags
     
  14. Suebeattie
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    Suebeattie Addicted to Mickey

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    Sorry if I'm being a bit thick :surrender:

    Do we need to get a IDP? I'm a little confused.

    :wiggle:
     
  15. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    Well everyone is working towards not needing one if youre from a country which already issues licenses in English and they've said they're not going to take action against anyone who doesn't have one (for now). The most likely outcome is that they'll change the legislation to clarify that an IDP won't be needed.

    However for £5.50 and 5mins at a post office I'm going to get one anyway
     
  16. Mags
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    Mags Serious Forum Regular

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    The alert to what was happening initially came from the Tripwheels site and they have been working incredibly hard on the case to keep everyone updated. This is the latest series of updates from them. Insurance seems to be the only issue people are worried about.

    Further to the announcement yesterday on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website we just wanted to draw together the updates into one post for easy reading. The FDHSMV post is below:

    During 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.
    Whilst this statement made it clear that no tourists were going to be arrested or receive a citation for not carrying an IDP, the law is still (at present) in the statutes, so our next job has been to clarify the issue with regard to insurance. We were pleased to receive the following statement from Alamo today:

    The car rental contract is with Alamo or National and the rental agreement is the customers certificate of insurance. If the customer chooses not to purchase the IDP this will not invalidate the insurance or customers liability.
    We do prefer to deal with facts and traceable accountability than supposition, so we are hesitant to extend Alamo’s statement to all car hire suppliers, however, a Hertz employee has now replied on Facebook to a question posed about insurance coverage that:

    The insurance coverage will remain the same
    So far so good!

    We are still awaiting a statement from the Association of British Insurers concerning the validity of British tourists travel insurance at the moment, but hopefully this whole nightmare is nearly put to bed. Now we just need the Florida Legislature to sort the mess out in March and get whatever bill is required passed!

    Update: 16/02/13

    An article in the Orlando Sentinel today has revealed that the law was an ‘unintended consequence’:

    The requirement that international visitors have the added permit in addition to a driver’s license from their home country was part of a 105-page piece of legislation, introduced last year by state Rep. Ben Albritton, R-Wauchula, that dealt with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Albritton said the disruption caused by the requirement was “clearly an unintended consequence,” and he was working to address the issue during the Florida Legislature’s upcoming session.
    Another article on the Mail Online website refers to the concerns of the AA as to the issue of insurance:

    “The unknown is what might happen if a UK driver without an IDP is involved in a crash because lawyers will point out that the law has been infringed regardless of whether enforcement has been deferred or not.”
    And Rosie Sanderson, head of the AA’s International Motoring Services team, pointed out that although the legislation will not yet be enforced, drivers are still legally required to carry the permit.
    This is the current statement from the website of the AA:

    UPDATE 15 February 2013
    The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has since released a Statement from DHSMV on International Driving Permits. This says that the Florida law will not be enforced until a final determination regarding the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic can be made. Although the DHSMV states the law will not be enforced, theoretically this law still exists.
    Consequently, the AA strongly advises that you should obtain an IDP if you intend to drive in Florida until the possible repeal of the law in March.

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

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    Thank you for the update Mags :hug2:

    I don't know about anyone else, but if I was going before a final decision has been made I would pay the £5.50 for an IDP.

    I know theoretically they say it is deferred, but for my own personal piece of mind I would rather have one.
     
  18. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Same here.
    It would be just my luck for them to change the law when we are there and then we find out that we need one.
     
  19. keith
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    keith Camera nut Staff Member Administrator Forum Host

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    or for insurance claims to be turned down with a "well they may have suspended prosecutions but you were still driving without all the documents you needed"

    shudder
     
  20. Slowhand
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    Slowhand Cruise Director Forum Host

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    Yeah, it doesn`t bear thinking about for the sake of spending £5.50 or so for peace of mind. :yes:
     

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