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Snowbirds: Florida suspends requirement for International Drivers License

February 14, 2013 - 11 comments


The Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, in a Feb. 14 statement, suspended the state’s recently enacted International Driving Permit requirement pending further study. International visitors who plan to drive in Florida now need only a valid driver’s license issued from their own country.

The International Drivers Licenses are available from such organizations at the CAA. 

Here is the full statement from DHSMV:

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 Permit.



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