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Any plans to drive in Florida? Click here first

Thursday, February 14, 2013   by: SooToday.com Staff

NEWS RELEASE

CANADIAN AUTOMOBILE
ASSOCIATION (CAA)

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Florida implements new requirement for Canadian drivers

International Driver's Permits now required for Canadians driving in Florida

OTTAWA - The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) advises Canadians that the state of Florida has passed into law a requirement for all non-U.S. residents, including all Canadians, to carry a valid International Driver's Permit (IDP) when driving their own vehicle or a rental vehicle in Florida.

State officials say the law was passed so that Florida law enforcement officials would not be faced with license documents in languages they could not read, but the law captures drivers from all countries, including Canada.

The law now requires both a valid license from the home country or province, and an IDP.

CAA has obtained the following official comment from the state of Florida regarding this change:

Effective January 1, 2013, section 322.04, Florida Statutes were amended to require foreign visitors who drive in Florida to obtain an International Driving Permit in addition to their valid home country driver license.

"The intent of the change in Florida law regarding the International Driving Permit was to aid law enforcement in Florida when interacting with drivers holding a license in a foreign language. The Department of Highway Safety will seek to clarify the law in the upcoming Legislative session, which begins next month, to make it clear that a license already written in English would be acceptable. Until the law is clarified, drivers should obtain an IDP," said Kirsten Olsen-Doolan, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spokesperson.

International Driving Permits should be obtained before arriving in the U.S. Individuals should contact their home country agency for assistance. For more information, and a list of agencies issuing IDPs, go to DHSMV's International Driving Permit page.

CAA will be requesting that Florida officials follow through and amend this law.

Millions of Canadians have driven in Florida for decades without incidents related to the lack of an international driving permit.

In the meantime, however, CAA believes that given the law as it stands today, Canadians planning on driving in Florida should consider acquiring an International Driver's Permit.

An IDP is a special document which allows motorists to drive internationally, when accompanied by a valid driver's license from their country.

CAA is the only organization in Canada authorized to issue an International Driving Permit.

For more information on IDPs, visit here.

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Comments
24
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
Daiv 2/14/2013 1:01:35 PM Report

Can you imagine if Michigan does this?
Lovethenorth 2/14/2013 1:03:47 PM Report

Flying to Florida on Saturday! What a pain in the patootie!
Moonshiner 2/14/2013 1:07:07 PM Report

Canada should too,that will fix em.this opens a whole new can of worms,such as....what about the truckers?
Lovethenorth 2/14/2013 1:09:46 PM Report

Just got off the phone with our local CAA office, which is the authorized issuer in Canada. It costs $25 to get an IDP and takes about 10 minutes. However, if you are not a CAA member they will also charge you $14 for the photo!
thesharr 2/14/2013 1:18:56 PM Report

Shouldn't the passport be enough.Sounds like a money grab.
the_fuzz 2/14/2013 1:27:37 PM Report

I understand them not wanting to have to deal with licenses in other languages, but c'mon...

Although, it DOES say that they are looking into those who have English licenses, so fingers crossed this law will be changed!

But then, what about Canadians who are French? Then somebody will probably cry discrimination or something.
Lygus 2/14/2013 1:39:45 PM Report

Leaving for Florida tomorrow and just found out, $39.15 + half hour wait, felt really sorry for friendly, understanding, swamped CAA employees, phone ringing constantly. Only matter of time other states follow suit, can complain all we want but it is their state (country) and as such they set their rules, travelling (entering) into another country is a privilidge not a right. Perhaps we can implement similar requirement. Just wish they had publicized this a little more.....
Stevie-E 2/14/2013 1:51:42 PM Report

United States

...anything to make it a more arduous process, they will find it; but hey, it creates job security in Canada lol!

The rule should be that if you come from a Non English-speaking region, this law would apply.
right wing 2/14/2013 2:10:18 PM Report

Knee jerk reactions...a most prolific disease.
The law will be amended to permit English language licenses.
There is no evidence that other States will adopt this and if they do they will most likely learn from the mistake that Florida has made not including English language licenses.
"Canada should too,that will fix em", tit for tat mentality?
Drinking some of your moonshine?

guestwho 2/14/2013 2:26:57 PM Report

as I`m reading this ,CHCH news was doing a bit on this issue,which was told that Forida will not target Ontario drivers because our license is in english,Que.drivers may have to get this permit because they`re in french,but some car rental companies may ask for permit.
Me Myself an I 2/14/2013 3:14:19 PM Report

Can you say Cash grab? guarantee any rental car or Non USA licence plate gets pulled over, and if you don't have this you get a nice pricey ticket...
Oldie Goldie 2/14/2013 3:27:01 PM Report

If all Canadians---including Quebecers---stayed away from Florida the State would be big-time losers.
Go to Georgia or Alabama or Arizona--They would love to have you visit their State.
I have been to Florida many times and I know how they want Canadians there but restrictions like the International Permits are only a nuisance and good income for the C.A.A.
I have been to several other countries also and they always accepted my Driver's License from Canada when I drove or rented a car there.

They may accept English Licenses by making an exception to the new law but the new law should never have been passed---Some other Countries desire an International License but Florida is part of North America the last time I looked at a Map and could hardly be considered a Foreign Country !

By the way I could not get a Credit Card in Florida even though I proved my Rent and Utilities and T.V. Contracts were all paid and on time and my Credit Rating in Canada is Excellent---Yet they allowed Credit Cards to Floridians who were poor Credit Risks.
They always accepted my Canadian Credit Cards but I wanted a Wal-Mart Credit Card that saved 3 cents on every gallon of gas I bought but I was refused.
Intruder 2/14/2013 3:32:38 PM Report

There is an article on CBC.ca that Canadian licences are valid in Florida. No international drivers permit required as the law as it stands will not be enforced.
Koolaid 2/14/2013 3:33:29 PM Report

BOYCOTT Florida !!
OnTheHill 2/14/2013 3:43:26 PM Report

Indeed. It all comes down to who wants out Canadian dollars (converted of course). If people were to leave their Florida vacation homes, going to another State, it would teach Florida that stupidity results in failure. Our big bucks are helping them, as Canadians help MI survive. Granted there are other "foreigners" who contribute more but we still contribute a huge amount to the success of the USA. God bless Canada and God bless Canadians.
TFinn 2/14/2013 4:08:44 PM Report

guestwho 2/14/2013 2:26:57 PM

I'm pissed, time to send Que a message

This "is" because of the Quebec drivers, since the rest of Canada has the drivers licence in ENGLISH.. it should be up to the Government to make the Quebecer's have both ENGLISH and French on theirs, and they should have to pay .... NOT the rest of us. Mine is in ENGLISH ...which any cop in the USA or Canada can read.

It's finally bit us in the ass....with Quebec acting as a separate country, not wanting to have English as a primary language, like all the rest of the Provinces and Territories.
KRF91 2/14/2013 4:20:36 PM Report

Won't be going to Florida, Then.
fullstringer 2/14/2013 4:31:04 PM Report

Below is a copy n paste from the Department of Motor Vehilces

"Statement from DHSMV on International Driving Permits

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 "
vixen 2/14/2013 4:41:41 PM Report

We are in Florida, just checked with authorities, no action will be taken until a review, watch for this in other states as all the States are taking new regulations for Driver's permits---Homeland Security driven
right wing 2/14/2013 5:06:24 PM Report

Some of you should read what has been posted before adding to a majority of meaningless statements.

THE 'NEWS' REPORT IS MOOT.........
stiJJy 2/14/2013 5:21:05 PM Report

Oh well, I think it's legitimate. What's a few bucks for a license?
molder2 2/14/2013 7:45:18 PM Report

This is another money gouging scam,anyway CAA can money...l have a piece of swamp land in Florida l`ll sell yas.. l`m surrounded!
blue diamond 2/14/2013 10:20:09 PM Report

This is a C&P from the Globe & Mail...

Although the new rules took effect on Jan. 1, no one apparently noticed – or got arrested for flouting it – until the Canadian Automobile Association issued a warning to its members and the public. The CAA noted that “the state of Florida has passed into law a requirement for all non U.S. residents, including all Canadians, to carry a valid International Driver’s Permit (IDP) when driving their own vehicle or a rental vehicle in Florida.” State officials “say the law was passed so that Florida law enforcement officials would not be faced with documents in languages they could not read, but the law captures drivers from all countries, including Canada,” said the CAA – which also happens to be the only organization in Canada with a mandate to issue the International Driving Permit, for a fee of $25.

Seems CAA is drumming up business, by by creating panic. If these types of IDP become required, it should be done at LIC. Bureau. CAA hooks you to get photos... and I bet they try to sell you their overpriced, often semi useless CAA service. And those who don't like that about CAA service, your day may come with them and their service... I do not wish that on you. BUYER BEWARE!
Looks like the FLorida police are a bit more realistic than CAA. Go figure. At least cancelled the law .. IS CAA GIVING ALL A REFUND ????????????
Rachel01 2/15/2013 12:28:03 AM Report

WE ARE CANADIANS !!! If WE DON'T LIKE IT DON'T DO IT !!!
Comments
24
Note: Comments that appear on the site are not the opinion of SooToday.com. If you see an abusive post, please click the link beside the post to report it.
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