Florida Driver's Licence and Insurance

Fall 2008 CSANews Issue 68  |   Posted date : Sep 19, 2008.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I read with interest the letters of my snowbird colleagues and would like to offer my experience and opinion.

1.) Do we need a Florida driver's licence? I do not now, but I have had one for 35 years and like it. I have never needed it in traffic. However, it came in very handy many times, when I made a purchase or other commercial transaction. Every snowbird knows how many times merchants ask to see the driver's licence for identification. Surely, snowbirds know that producing a Canadian driver's licence often creates reaction as if this is a piece of paper from Mars. Not all Floridians have heard of Canada, sad but true. Producing a Florida licence makes it so easy; that's why I have one.

2.) Florida car insurance. Some letter-writers refer to Geico and Allstate quoting high premiums, and that they require proof of a clean driving record. I have insurance through AARP. The rates they quoted me were about half of the other companies. As far as proof of a driving record is concerned: they simply asked the question, "Have you had an accident during the past five years?" My "no" answer was all that was required. Also, if you take the "55 Alive" one-day course (cost me $8), you get a special discount.

Fred Voytek
Burlington, Ontario

Response :
Ed: Great advice, Mr. Voytek. I have had my Florida licence for 15 years and have experienced the same conveniences. As to the insurance, AARP can be an excellent choice, as well as the others if you live in the right area. Your Canadian insurer or broker can, and will, easily provide you with any “claim free” letter that may be required. Have them e-mail it directly to your U.S. insurer prospect with a copy to you. Shop around, though, it pays!

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