NEW: You Will Require An International Driving Permit To Drive In Florida

Hi all,

BREAKING NEWS – Statement From DHSMV On International Driving Permits

There’s nothing better than altering a law and then not actually telling anyone, and this is what appears to have happened in Florida this year.idp

Florida Statute 322.04 that became valid on January 1st 2013 now states that non-residence full driving licences (paper and card parts) must be accompanied by an International Driving permit.

What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document recognized by many countries which allows the permit-holder to drive a private motor vehicle in that country. To be valid the IDP must be accompanied by a valid license from the home country. The document is slightly larger than a standard passport and is essentially a multiple language translation of the permit-holder’s normal driver’s license, complete with photograph and vital statistics.

There are two type of International Driving Permit the one you will require for the U.S. is the 1949 IDP.

The actual law change

The specific law alteration is -

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.

What could happen

With regards to car rental, our contracts state that the driver(s) must supply their full driving licence and specifically mentions that an International Driving Permit is not required, so the supplier is still covering you against accidents.

The main issue that could arise is if you are pulled over by the Police and asked to provide your licence and supporting IDP, in this case according to information I have seen the officer if sticking to the letter of the law, could arrest the driver and take him/her to jail or issue the driver a citation with a mandatory court appearance.

What our suppliers say

Alamo/National Rent A Car state this;

For rentals in the State of Florida an International Drivers Permit is also required for each driver of the vehicle. The International Drivers Permit must be issued by the driver’s country of residence

Alamo/National have also confirmed that they will not refuse pick ups that do not have the IDP over the next week or so.

Budget Rent A Car state this;

Yet to offer official statement, will update when they do.

Dollar/Thrifty Rent A Car state this;

DTAG does not require the customer to have an International Driving Policy to rent our cars in Florida. usrentacar.co.uk customers would still be fully insured in case of an accident (subject to our normal terms and conditions).

Sixt Rent A Car state this;

Yet to offer official statement, will update when they do.

Where can I get an International Driving Permit?

You can purchase an International Driving Permit from your Post Office (http://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit), they cost £5.50 for 12 months, to apply for one you will need to produce your full driving licence and supply a passport photo, please be aware that not all post offices are equipped to issue IDP’s immediately, I would suggest contacting the Post Office to clarify before heading down to one.

I believe you can also do this through the AA (http://www.theaa.com/getaway/idp/index.html) and RAC (http://www.rac.co.uk/travel/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit/).

U.S. Rent A Car’s view

We are pretty amazed that this law amendment has been passed, we’d understand if an International Driving Policy offered something more than a UK driving licence does but it really doesn’t. We are also surprised how quietly this law has been altered, we contacted all our suppliers when we first heard about this from a customer, Mr John Marshall (thanks John) none of them had heard about this alteration, we also called a few tourist board representatives and they to had heard nothing.

We will continue to monitor this and will update you all on any changes however for now we would recommend that all drivers carry with them an International Driving Policy to avoid inconvenience and for piece of mind but this is obviously a customer choice.

Kind regards,

James

 car hire USA

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