International Driving Permit for Florida

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

  1. Disneynutinlondon

    Disneynutinlondon <font color=blue>It's been such a blast with all t

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    This is from the VH website

    Driving in Florida

    Latest update: 15th February 2013

    The Florida Department of Highways Safety and Motor Vehicles have been reviewing their recent changes to the requirement of an International Driving Permit (IDP).

    As a result, they've confirmed that the enforcement of an IDP for UK drivers has been deferred. This means that UK drivers will not be required to purchase and provide an IDP when driving in Florida.

    Some rental companies continue to uphold this requirement however we can assure you Alamo have confirmed they'll continue to rent vehicles to customers with a UK license and no IDP.

    Please look here for further information but we'll continue to monitor this situation and will update you as and when we receive further information.
     
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  3. disneyholic family

    disneyholic family <font color=teal>Wayne always catches me<br><font

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    the year before last, i got an international driving permit (such total BS if you've ever gone and done it by the way) and when i got to alamo at the airport in orlando they just didn't know what to do with it...
    so i gave them my regular driver's license (from Israel - it's all in english as well as hebrew)..

    then this past summer, i had DD get an International driver's permit for her trip to alaska and WDW, just in case...

    when she and her husband went to rent a car in alaska and then again in florida, the rental companies (avis and alamo) couldn't figure out what the international thing was and just wanted their regular driver's licenses (from israel)..

    so in october, i didn't bother with the international nonsense and just gave them my regular license...

    i guess when i go in august, i'll go get that stupid thing again, but it's such a waste of money, paper and time..
     
  4. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    Am I being thick or what ?
    Everybody speaks about DHMSV and FHP, but once again, what about the other law enforcement agencies ?
    It's not like in our countries where it's basically "the police". In the US there are many kind of police agencies, the FHP is not the only police force.

    Just a short example :
    a city law forbids you kids to skateboard in the neighborhood.
    The owner of the largest house in the street says he won't call the cops and you tell your kids it's ok to go skateboarding ... ignoring the dozen of other neighbors who could get your kids into trouble ...

    still everyone seems happy and not to bother about the specificity of US law enforcement ...

    puzzled ...



    of course they don't know what to do with it. The IDP has no legal value whatsoever (as far as the ability to drive is concerned). It's just a translation. It cannot be used alone.
    Think of it as a dictionnary. It's of no use as per the driving itself. It's as useful as the rental agency asking you to show your last receipt from walmart to prove that you're able to use a parking lot ... silly indeed, even if it's the law.
     
  5. disneyholic family

    disneyholic family <font color=teal>Wayne always catches me<br><font

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    especially considering my driver's license is already in English!!!!!
    so the IDP is completely superfluous....no point to it at all...
    and to confuse matters even more, it has a number that's different than the number on my 'real' license....so which one are the rental companies supposed to use?
    they don't know either...
    such ridiculous bureaucracy...but the US is great for adding unnecessary bureaucratic requirements
     
  6. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

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    We can only go on the information we read. Like this for example telling us everything is as it was http://www.flhsmv.gov/news/pdfs/PR021413.pdf car rental companies are trying to get the message out nothing has changed, our own FO http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and...y-country/north-central-america/united-states
    The whole Florida tourism industry is trying to get people to believe its all as it was.
    Anyone that is still not happy with not having one then they can buy one, I wouldn't at this stage, as it is now I have no intentions of buying one for April unless they change the advice.

     
  7. zippy99

    zippy99 DIS Veteran

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    Still none the wiser... Seems like a get rich quick scheme to me - if you are getting one of theses- exactly who are you paying!

    If it was essential the hire car companies would be the first to know - they would not give a car to so someone with no DL as it is a necessity - therefore if this IDP is essential it should be on their t&cs and no car should be issued unless criteria is met therefore no one may unexpectedly find themselves in hot water.

    Having sat here and read this entire thread I agree with Wilma's stance - until such time concrete evidence states the IDP is essential - don't worry! If anything changes in the interim your car hire company or travel company is legally obliged to Innform you of any change to the T&Cs of any rental agreement that may arise - then by all means go head then.

    DISCLAIMER: i do not drive in Florida - I am on holiday and wish to have a break from the normal - and that includesv driving! While this situation does not affect me I felt obliged to comment having read a whole thread and still been confused! Hope some clarification can be reached for those seeking guidance - if people are concerned contact your hire company for WRITTEN confirmation.

    Good Luck!
     
  8. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

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    Will try a quick summary but its complex, here goes.
    There was a law change starting Jan 1st this year which meant everyone with a foriegn DL has to have an IDP. The IDP is a small document that translates a DL from another language into English. As our DL's are already in English its a complete waste of everyones time and money getting one. Problem is that has been written into Florida law. The people that put it into law now realise this was a mistake, problem is its already done and takes time to re-write the laws.
    It doesn't just affect us, its also the Canadians (who are fuming) and others. Pressure has been put on to find a solution, short term the authorities have put out statements saying no-one will be affected by the changes until they can re-write their laws.
    A few problems with all this, no-one was told of the law change, car rental companies, travel sites, tourism boards, no-one knew about the new law even 6 weeks after it came in. They all rushed to get out the new info but then the authorities tried to do damage limitation by saying they won't prosecute anyone. No-one knew where they were, too much conflicting info.

    2 main problems now. As chmurf points out are all the law enforcement agencies applying the same laws? I can't believe they are not.
    Other problem is insurance, the letter of the law says we need an IDP, even if they are deferring enforcement the law says we have to have it which leaves it open to problems.
    Its only been brought into Floridian law, no other state and it could have been brought in against the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949)
    A complete farce.

    You pay the Post office, AA or RAC to process one of these.
     
  9. zippy99

    zippy99 DIS Veteran

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    Fantastic summary Wayne!

    I gathered that was the gist but in the words of David Walliams on Little Britain - What a Kerfuffle!
     
  10. chmurf

    chmurf DIS Veteran

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    Let me try to answer from a non-UK standpoint.

    Living in France, and having a French DL, I was, more or less, required to have an IDP.
    Travel sites, even our "ministere des affaires etrangeres" (your foreign office), consulate, embassies (etc) were stating "IDP strongly advised". But there were also reports of french citizens being thrown into jail for not having the IDP. It didn't make the news though.
    But never once was I asked to produce an IDP despite the fact that the police could require to see one.
    It used to be a "hidden" law for the "rest of the world", it became law for english written DL last january.

    What about rental companies ? Do they even care ? They didn't care to check the IDPs of people like me who were "supposed" to have one. Would they change just because a few more countries were added to the list ?

    What about insurance ? Does the rental company really care ? In case of a crash, if the insurance company bails out, then it's the driver who's liable. It takes more time to get the money back, but the company will, eventually.
    Of course there is an issue here as to the liability of the company for not checking the IDP when they "should" be required to. But since the IDP has no legal value (as to the driving exam, and ability to drive) ... long legal battle ahead.

    now there is also one thing that needs to be clarified. On top of the other LEAs position, it's the position of the FHP itself.
    Mind the wording used i, the FLHSMV statement

    pay attention to the wording "solely on the lack of".
    this leaves a door open. If an officier has any reason to stop you and give you a ticket or a warning. The lack of an IDP could become an aggravating factor.
    The statement only says that, if the officer can only hold the lack of IDP against you, then you're safe. What happens if you inadvertently run a red light, or forget to buckle up, or even fail to stop for pedestrians (which is a state law not all drivers are aware of, let alone take into consideration)... what about then ... the lack of IDP could be held against them because it would not be the sole reason ... (am I overthinking it ? in the UK I would have said yes, because Courts are rather sensible. But in the US, you never know)

    This is an absolute mess, and it's bound to be lawyers' heaven pretty fast if they don't make things right soon
     
  11. andrewilley

    andrewilley GNU Terry Pratchett

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    I picked up our car at Dollar at MCO on Saturday afternoon, booked via USrentacar.co.uk and later linked to my Dollar Express membership.

    I just walked up to the garage kiosk (which was nice, as there were big queues for the main desk at the time), looked for my name and parking bay number on the board, and then got in the car and drove to the exit. At the barrier they scanned the car's barcode, I showed them my UK Driver's Licence (photo card only) for ID, signed the rental agreement on their hand-hand unit, and then drove away. Quick, easy and efficient - and not a mention of IDPs (although I did have one with me, just in case).

    Andre
     
  12. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

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    Have a great holiday.:goodvibes
     
  13. alibeau

    alibeau DIS Veteran

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    We travel in three weeks time and so when this discussion kicked off I decided I would rather be safe than sorry with our trip being so close....

    Our nearest PO that offered the service was miles away with no parking so used the RAC service. Posted the form off on Tuesday, IDP arrived today :thumbsup2

    All good :thumbsup2

    Ali:goodvibes
     
  14. Netty

    Netty <font color=deeppink>A six foot palm from Wal-Mart

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    I have read posts on this both here and on the Dibb, no i won't be getting one, its been deferred no need as far as i'm concerned. but its entirely up to you if you want to go out and get one, i don't understand why both sites have this thread still rumbling along.
     
  15. alibeau

    alibeau DIS Veteran

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    Sorry, perhaps I shouldn't have resurrected the thread :p. I just wanted to let those who wanted to get one know how quick and easy it was :goodvibes

    Ali :goodvibes
     
  16. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

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    Because its still unresolved Jeanette. There should be no problem on the US side, no-one will be prosecuted, the rental companies are self insuring so that should be covered but there are 2 sticking points as far as I understand it.
    1, It is actually the law we need one, doesn't matter how many people say its been deferred or against the road act of 1949 its still the law of the land and open to lawyers who love finding loopholes in the law. Until its tested thru a court no-one can be 100% sure either way.
    2, UK insurers won't say if we are(or are not) covered for personal liability, until they admit we are covered there is no guarantee they will pay out on a car accident.

    I hate paying out for anything and I hope this is resolved before I go in April but as it stands now I am on the fence but leaning towards what others say, for the sake of £5.50 it might just be worth doing.
     
  17. Netty

    Netty <font color=deeppink>A six foot palm from Wal-Mart

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    Ali sorry my post wasn't aimed at you! it was a general comment on this :goodvibes
    yep I understand all of that but I for one am not going to be worrying over it :p
     
  18. Netty

    Netty <font color=deeppink>A six foot palm from Wal-Mart

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  19. Elise79

    Elise79 Moderator Moderator

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    I am with you on this - however I am thinking it is probably not going to be resolved in time for us to go in April and as we will have to make a special trip on a Saturday to Peterborough I am going to have to make a decision in the next 2 weeks as we are busy all the weekends following.

    As it stands it is a law and only the enforcement has been deferred.
     
  20. bazzanoid

    bazzanoid where'sthespacebar?

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    The other issue that a lot of people seem to overlook is that its only the Highway Patrol that are deferring enforcement - get a problem or pulled over by the local PD and you may have issues.

    The UK equivalent would be the Traffic Police deferring a law - you're fine on motorways and the larger A roads but get pulled by the Met, Kent, Sussex Police etc and you'd have a problem.

    :goodvibes
     
  21. wayneg

    wayneg Moderator Moderator

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    No, not overlooked, its what chmurf was concerned about earlier in the thread. The authourities have tried to get the message out this is not an issue, the only issues are technicalities of law & insurance but neither can be 100% problem free. The law would have to be tested in court, liabilty insurance needs clarification from the Association Of British Insurers who upto yesterday would not comment either way.
     

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