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International Driving Permit for Florida

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

  1. Obi Wan Kenobi

    Obi Wan Kenobi DIS Veteran

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    The only countries where I have had to have an IDP have been countries where English is not their first language, I.e. Japan for example. If you have a non English driving licence you have always needed an IDP in the USA.
     
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  3. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

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    I have been reading about this all weekend, didn't start a thread because 99% off what I have read is utter rubbish.
    Hopefully more info will come out to clear this up.
    As it stands now I go on 1st April and have no intentions of buying one but will be reading lots more about it.
     
  4. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    I've been reading a lot too. But IMO the link provided by the OP ( http://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2012/322.04 ) from the Florida Senate (which should be as legit as it gets) makes things rather clear :

    quoted for reference :

    This text can be interpreted to charge any "alien" without an IDP with driving without a license.

    This text states that you are allowed to drive a car in Florida (as a visitor) without a proper Florida license, if you have either a License from another state of the US, OR if you have a national license AND an IDP

    The text is crystal clear and put in another term : if you don't have a national driver's license AND an IDP, you are required to get a Florida driver's license to operate a car on Florida's roads.

    It is not clearly stated that YOU MUST have an IDP, but it is clearly implied that if you don't have an IDP you're NOT EXEMPT from obtaining a Florida Driver's License. In other words if you have neither a FL Driver's licence nor an IDP you are considered to be driving without a valid license
     
  5. wilma-bride

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

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    chmurf, I am afraid I disagree with you as I see the Florida statute as being the law that applies to those people required to hold a driver's licence in Flroida. I honestly don't believe that it applies to International visitors to the US who have a rental car. If it did, the rental companies would be aware (and they aren't) and there would be far more checks in place to make sure you had a valid IDP before you were allowed to drive a car.

    In fact, the previous chapter to that quoted states when a non-resident is required to obtain a FL driving licence. As we would not be required to obtain a FL licence (as visitors to the state) then the exemptions actually would not apply either since we are not required to be licenced in the state (that made sense in my head but doesn't read so well when reading it back).

    In other words, we don't need to meet the requirements to be exempt from obtaining a licence since we are not required to obtain a FL licence in the first place. Hope that makes more sense :goodvibes
     
  6. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    I understand what you say, but you are required to get a FL License to be allowed to drive on FL roads, UNLESS you are exempt as per the statute quoted above (including the need for an IDP)

    here is the relevant statute

    as per (1) a person (US Citizen, alien, you, me) may not drive in Florida unless they have a valid FL license (except if they are exempt from getting one)

    so we are required to get a FL license in the first place, unless we meet the exemption criteria mentionnend in statute 322.04

    let me put it yet another way : statute 322.03 requires that a person is required to get a Florida License to operate a motor vehicle on FL roads, unless they are authorized by another article in chapter 322, and that relevant article for us is 322.04 indicating that visitors should both have a national license and an IDP.
     
  7. orangetiggs

    orangetiggs Married my sweetheart in DISNEY!!!!!

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    Has anyone actually asked the rental car companies?

    Lots of dis members in fl at the moment, they all might have cars, do they have one?
     
  8. Elise79

    Elise79 Moderator Moderator

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    Playing devils advocate here - but how I can be exempt for getting something that I can not actually apply for? I can not apply for a FL as I am not resident in FL :confused3
     
  9. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

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    Someone has had a reply from USrentacar on the Dibb

    "We are aware of an ambiguous alteration to Florida driving laws, however when speaking to the suppliers none of them have confirmed that this is relevant to car rental.
    We have asked them if it would effect insurances, which they have verbally stated it would not.
    Of course, we would never withhold information from our customers, I think I should make it clear that over 2000 customers have collected vehicles this year without any problems, a small minority of these have been involved in accidents and remain fully insured."


    They are currently putting together a blog post which will hopefully go live this week detailing confirmation from each supplier.
     
  10. orangetiggs

    orangetiggs Married my sweetheart in DISNEY!!!!!

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    Thanks wayne, not on the dibb so didnt see that :-)
     
  11. wilma-bride

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

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    Or unless you are a non-resident as per the link above (and extract below)...

    322.031 Nonresident; when license required.—

    (1) In every case in which a nonresident, except a nonresident migrant or seasonal farm worker as defined in s. 316.003(61), accepts employment or engages in any trade, profession, or occupation in this state or enters his or her children to be educated in the public schools of this state, such nonresident shall, within 30 days after the commencement of such employment or education, be required to obtain a Florida driver’s license if such nonresident operates a motor vehicle on the highways of this state. The spouse or dependent child of such nonresident shall also be required to obtain a Florida driver’s license within that 30-day period prior to operating a motor vehicle on the highways of this state.
    (2) A member of the United States Armed Forces on active duty in this state shall not be required to obtain a Florida driver’s license under this section solely because he or she enters his or her children to be educated in the public schools of this state if he or she has a valid military driving permit or a valid driver’s license issued by another state.
    (3) A nonresident who is domiciled in another state and who commutes into this state in order to work shall not be required to obtain a Florida driver’s license under this section solely because he or she has accepted employment or engages in any trade, profession, or occupation in this state if he or she has a valid driver’s license issued by another state. Further, any person who is enrolled as a student in a college or university and who is a nonresident but is in this state for a period of up to 6 months engaged in a work-study program for which academic credits are earned from a college whose credits or degrees are accepted for credit by at least three accredited institutions of higher learning, as defined in s. 1005.02, shall not be required to obtain a Florida driver’s license for the duration of the work-study program if such person has a valid driver’s license issued by another state. Any nonresident who is enrolled as a full-time student in any such institution of higher learning is also exempt from the requirement of obtaining a Florida driver’s license for the duration of such enrollment.
    (4) A nonresident who is at least 21 years of age and who has in his or her immediate possession a valid commercial driver’s license issued in substantial compliance with the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 may operate a motor vehicle of the type permitted by his or her license to be operated in this state.


    I read that as stating that, unless you are included in the examples above, if you are a non-resident you do not have to have a FL licence.
     
  12. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    well ... partly correct

    It states that if you are included in those examples, you DO need to get a FL license

    It doesn't mean that if you are not included in those examples, you do not have to have a license that's valid in Florida

    In other words, as a non resident, if you do engage in the activities mentionnend in that article, you DO need to get a FL license as any other form of permit will no longer be sufficient.

    The other articles state that you do need a valid driver's license in Florida, and that a driver's license that's valid in florida is either a florida issued license, OR a license from another US state OR it is a foreign license accompanied by an IDP
     
  13. wilma-bride

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

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    If you take the document in context and in order, Chapter 322.03 states that you must be licenced except as a non-resident unless you fall into the categories stated in Chapter 322.031 (a sub-chapter to 322.03 as indicated by the numbering). Chapter 322.04 deals with those exempt from obtaining a licence but, as a non-resident who does not fall into the categories contained in Chapter 322.031 you are already exempt from having to obtain a FL licence and thereby Chapter 322.04 does not apply anyway.

    It is fairly simple really ;)
     
  14. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    ok, let me try another angle here.

    What purpose does 322.04 serve then ?

    322.04 is the article that exempts you from getting a FL license.

    If not, how can the following item have any meaning or purpose ?

    If you read in context and order

    322.03 : a driver must have A license (any kind of license as defined by the whole chapter 322)
    322.031 : if the nonresident is engaged in the activities mentionned in the article, then it is mandatory to get a FL License within 30 days

    if the non resident is not engaged in such activities, then 322.03 still applies : a driver must have a license in one of the forms provided by chapter 322


    then 322.04 states that a non resident does not need to obtain a FL license if they can produce a national license and an IDP

    I understant that somewhere between 322.031 and 322.04 it might be tempting to consider that 322.04 does not apply to us (non residents) but there is no reason to deduce that at all.

    322.031 states the specific cases in which a non resident HAS TO get a FL License, but never does it states that this condition is final to the capacity of being exempted from getting a license. It's a step, not an end point.
     
  15. wilma-bride

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

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    chmurf, we are clearly never going to agree on this. You do what you believe is necessary and I will do what I believe is necessary (which, at this stage, is nothing). As you have already stated that you need/have an IDP anyway, I am not entirely sure whether you are trying to convince me or others but, either way, people can read this thread, the information available and the other updates provided (e.g. from car hire companies' Ts&Cs) and make an informed decision for themselves.
     
  16. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    Let me put it in simple terms :
    I prefer that this argument be held here, on the DIS, comfortably at home, rather than see a DISer have to "argue" about this before a US court/judge when they're charged with driving without a license.

    I'm not trying to convince anyone, I'm just stating facts and official texts.
    I wouldn't bother to write such long diatribes if I were not convinced (with a certain level of expertise) that these articles can be interpreted in such fashion that the IDP be required for non residents.
    As you said, I have an IDP, and I could just let it go keep my mouth shut, so I'm either a troll or someone who genuinely wants to help.

    My sole purpose is to state what seems obvious and legal to me, when I consider that some of us could be at risk encountering the odd cop who's had a bad day and who will give the poor unsuspecting Brit a ticket or a citation, that could ruin a day or a vacation.

    Now let's agree to disagree and leave it at this. As you said DISers are educated enough to make their own decision


    EDIT : in order for everyone to make up their own minds, here is the 2012 Bill Summary from the Florida Senate which sums up (in more clear terms than the statutes) the changes in the regulations

    http://www.flsenate.gov/Committees/billsummaries/2012/html/221 (effective Jan. 1st 2013)

    here is what the summary says regarding our topic :

     
  17. Magic Megadegs

    Magic Megadegs Mouseketeer

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    £5.50 folks, probably not worth the risk, especially in (arguably) one if the most litigious nations on earth.

    On a lighter note, almost all ADR's booked, just one more to go and got all our first choice times (just 2 were 10 mins later than requested) woop!
     
  18. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

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    £5.50, 25 mile round trip to the nearest PO (Leeds) that supply these documents and close the business for half a day while I go do it.:rotfl2:

    If this is something we have to get then they have to get the message across. As it stands now Car rental companies say we don't need it as far as they know but seeking clarification and Travel agents have no idea what we are talking about (nothing new there)
    I estimate less than 1% of people who goto Florida read these forums, of those 1% maybe half will buy this permit. 99.5% will be going without it. It has to be made clearer by car rental companies and Travel companies IF we need it.
     
  19. Tinks1984

    Tinks1984 <font color=red>We're having a mini party!<br><fon

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    From the AA website...with regards to driving in the USA...

    J – IDP recommended as, in the event of an accident, some insurance companies will insist on seeing one. Additionally those licences which do not incorporate a photograph need to be accompanied by photographic proof of identity.

    So, as far as I see, it's not compulsary at the present time, but could possibly have problems arise if, goodness forbid, any of our Dis'ers have an accident with another vehicle who holds insurance with a company who require them.

    Also, my Mum would need one if she wished to drive, as she only currently holds an old-style UK licence. No photo-card.
     
  20. MrRomance

    MrRomance Planning and Plotting

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    Here's my take on it...

    If there has been a change in statute, the state, tourist board, car rental companies etc. have an obligation to ensure that people have the relevant information.

    Laws don't change overnight. If there has been some sort of change, the it will have been in the pipeline for a while. Similar to when the smoking ban came in to effect, everyone knew months in advance that on a set date, the ban came into force. The fact that none of the car hire companies are not informing customers that they need an IDP, tells me that something is amiss here.

    Let's look at this logically... it is NOT in the interests of Alamo, Dollar, Avis etc. for their customers to hire vehicles from them without adequate paperwork or invalidated insurance. If I (as a tourist) hire a car with one of these companies, and I am not legally driving or my insurance is invalid, any accident or problem I have isn't covered so neither is their car! The car is an asset to their business and they're going to want it repaired or replaced FAST! If the matter is tied up in insurance wrangles, that won't happen.

    I think we need to wait and see what comes out from the car hire companies.
     
  21. bubblefactory

    bubblefactory DIS Veteran

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    I spoke to the AA IDP dept. this morning and they have just got back to me after checking with their AAA counterparts and their US legal team. The net result of which is that they appear to agree with you.

    I have requested confirmation in writing (by email) but it hasn't arrived yet.
     

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