International Driving Permit for Florida

Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by 15isto2, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. 15isto2

    15isto2 DIS Veteran

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    Juat a heads up in case anyone has not read the threads on the DIBB and V Flyer but it appears that as on 1st Jan 2013 you now need an international drivers permit to dirve in Florida, the hire companies appear not to have caught on but it has ben sugested that not having one may invalidate your car hire insurance
     
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  3. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    I saw some chat about this on FB yesterday. I have still to see anything which states it is now an official requirement. Most places I have looked, inlcuding the US Embassy, say that it might be useful to have one but not that they are definitely required. I have also read that you only need one if your driving licence is not in English.

    I am not personally going to get my knickers in a twist over it until I see something official.
     
  4. 15isto2

    15isto2 DIS Veteran

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    http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/322.04

    I assume you will accept the florida senate as officcial?
     
  5. Magic Megadegs

    Magic Megadegs Mouseketeer

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  6. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    There is no need for the sarcasm OP :sad2:

    As usual, official government documentation not the easiest to understand but it says that non-residents are exempt (as far as I can tell).

    From the document:

    322.04Persons 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:
    1.A valid noncommercial driver license issued in his or her name from another state or territory of the United States; or

    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.

    I still maintain that, if this was law, you would not be allowed to hire a car without showing an IDP along with your driving licence.
     
  7. 15isto2

    15isto2 DIS Veteran

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    At the risk of an accusation of sarcasm again :mad: when did the UK become a "state or teratory of the united states"
     
  8. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    You are right, I did not quote the correct part.

    Personally, I read the statute as the need to obtain a Florida driver's licence if resident in the state. I do not believe that it applies to out-of-state visitors. That is my right (and my risk to take). If you believe it is law then obtain an IDP and others can make up their minds accordingly.

    I will reiterate once again, though, that if you are not asked to present an IDP when renting a car, it canot be law and my understanding is that, as long as the police accept that your driving licence is valid in the country of origin, it wouldn't be a problem. The issue arises when/if the local police cannot verify that you hold a valid driving licence from your own country of residence.
     
  9. MrRomance

    MrRomance Planning and Plotting

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    I don't know if there has been any change but I think the advice has always been to get an IDP. I did an exchange to the US when I was at University and they recommended I get one. I never did, but I'm sure that was the advice.

    Surely, contacting your car hire company before you travel would soon clarify matters.

    I booked recently through BA (Fly Drive) and it is not on any of the paperwork I received.
     
  10. Red-Snapper

    Red-Snapper DIS Veteran

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    Whats with the snotty attitude OP ?

    Its pretty clear that for such a huge issue - people/companies/authorities that should take notice havent - therefore there is obviously a high degree of uncertainty around this.

    I have for instance seen it suggested that the site you quote above has been clumsily worded and the actual intent was to stop long term residents using their own cars from continuing to drive on foreign licences. It may be that the knock on effect means we toursits using hire cars are also affected or it may be they clarify/re-write it.

    Time will tell - meanwhile if travelling soon its obviously better to be safe than sorry. However to date (6 weeks in) noone has reported - 1) being asked for an IDP by the hire company - or 2) running into trouble over it after being involved in an accident/claim.
     
  11. 15isto2

    15isto2 DIS Veteran

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    I hope for your sake you are correct..

    Just a thought though, the LAW requires you have both parts of your drivers licence, in 20 years of visiting florida I have NEVER been asked for both parts, sort of disproves your argument. Of course I could always throw myself at the mercy of the police and argue that the hire company did not tell me, it might work.
     
  12. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    And I have been asked for BOTH parts on 4 out of 6 occasions.

    OP, I am not telling you NOT to get an IDP, only saying that (until I am told otherwise) I won't be worrying about getting one myself.
     
  13. Kath2003

    Kath2003 DIS Veteran

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    Given it's a state with 1 billion international tourists visiting each year, you'd think if they wanted it done, they'd be a little more vocal about it? Hiding it away in a document most tourists would never check is bonkers.

    As for the both parts of the driver's license - given that you need both parts as proof of the validity of your license, I'd always assume you needed both, as you would in the UK (neither alone is "the license" ergo you need both). But this seems IDP issue bonkers, not least when they're so vocal about other documentation (ESTA etc).

    Thanks for the heads up, though. Just another reason for us to keep riding the bus ;)
     
  14. MrRomance

    MrRomance Planning and Plotting

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    I don't know who you have been hiring with but since I started travelling to FL and hiring cars there, the only time I was not asked for both parts of my licence, was before the photocard was introduced. Both times last year (February with Alamo & July with Dollar) I was asked for both parts, but the paper part was given back straight away and the photocard was used to complete the transaction.

    I don't know whether or not there has been a change and I'm not disputing whether or not you are correct on your original post, but I have always been asked for both parts of my licence.


    UPDATE: As I said in a previous post, I have my car hire booked (through BA) for October '13 and I have just looked at the paperwork fine print just to check. My car hire is with AVIS and the paperwork states as follows:

    A full driving licence will need to be held for a minimum of one year. An international driving licencce is required for licences in non-roman alphabet.
     
  15. RobynPrincess

    RobynPrincess Looking around

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    I'm with you, when the online ESTA came about and the charge it was everywhere, TA's told you about it, online it was everywhere, tops of forums etc. When it gets like that for the Driving licence I will sort it. Until then I reserve judgement.
     
  16. catherine

    catherine <font color=red>Hey not fair, you guys already hav

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    I also checked our booking with Alamo through Holiday Autos and it states pretty much the same thing!
     
  17. Magic Megadegs

    Magic Megadegs Mouseketeer

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    They are fairly clear about the need to have one on the RAC and AA websites too. As many have said it probably would never be checked but for the sake of £5.50 why take the risk. America is the one country I would not want to be without 100% cast iron insurance x

    http://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit
     
  18. iHEARTflorida

    iHEARTflorida DIS Veteran

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    does any one know what an IDP looks like?

    is it similiar as a UK Driving license? a photocard with a photo?
     
  19. wilma-bride

    wilma-bride <<This space intentionally blank>> Moderator

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    Admittedly, I haven't look at the RAC website but the AA website only says it is recommended. It does not say that you legally have to have one. And it only says that insurance companies might need to see one. However, if you are renting a car, the insurance is through the rental agency and, unless they say you need one, I stand by my original statement.

    As you said, it is not expensive so might be worth getting if you want peace of mind.
     
  20. scoobydooby

    scoobydooby Dreaming of next Disney trip

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    I've been reading about this (original source) and while its about as clear as mud (!) it seems the main purpose of these licences is to translate the information on your licence into English. That said is probably why UK people seem to have no experience of been asked for them. However, for an extra £5.50 on a 9k holiday I will now get them just in case.
     
  21. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    it comes in different shapes and forms depending on the country.

    here is an example :

    [​IMG]

    UK might follow a different rule, since English is the official language. But here in France we are advised to get an IDP to drive in the USA

    On our Embassy's website, there are accounts of French Drivers who have been arrested and charged with driving without a valid license when they only could produce their national license.

    At the end of the day, it all depends on the cop checking your license.
    The fact that UK licenses are in English sure makes things smoother.
    99.9% of the time, you'll be fine without an IDP.
    The question remains, do you think it's wise to risk being stopped by the odd .1% of the cops who will frown upon your "local" license ?

    You may argue all you want and come up with many theories on the DIS. It's easy. But I wouldn't want to risk having to talk about those theories in a US Court ... especially for £5.50 ...
     

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