Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Florida to demand international licence for drivers

Canadians visiting Florida may be surprised to hear they now need an International Driving Permit to motor around the state.

Under rules introduced at the start of the year, Florida requires all visitors with foreign licences to have an international permit issued by their country of residence in addition to a valid licence from home.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says the rules apply to any vehicle, including rentals.

Story continues below advertisement

The change seems to have caught many Canadians off guard.

The Canadian Automobile Association — which issues international driving permits — says Florida state officials have said the law was passed so police would not be faced with licence documents in languages they could not understand.

The CAA says the state's department of highway safety is seeking to clarify the law in Florida's upcoming legislative session, which begins next month, to make it clear that a licence already written in English would be acceptable.

A department spokeswoman told the CAA that until the law is clarified, drivers should use an international permit.

The CAA is calling on Florida to amend the law, but in the meantime, the association is also advising Canadians who plan on driving in Florida to obtain an IDP. The permit costs $25 and can be obtained through CAA offices.

An IDP translates existing driver license information into 10 languages and is valid for one year. It is not a substitute for a valid drivers licence but rather, accompanies one.

Report an error
Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.