Florida and Texas requirements for licences and identification cards

Winter 2009 CSANews Issue 73  |  Posted date : Dec 12, 2009.Back to list

As Canada and the U.S. continue to increase the anti-counterfeiting security features of government-issued photo identification cards (such as driver's licences, photo ID cards and health cards), as well as move towards mutually recognized border-crossing "compliant" documents such as the passport, "enhanced" driver's licences and "enhanced" provincial identification cards (for non-drivers), several U.S. states have recently made changes to the eligibility rules to obtain or renew their version of these documents.

Effective immediately, Florida will no longer issue or renew "valid in Florida only" driver's licences in addition to their "regular" licensing system. Snowbirds who currently have one of these limited-use licences for driving their "Florida car" are urged to formally surrender their licence (when it expires) at a local Florida DMV office instead of just cutting it up and throwing it away. This will ensure that the Florida driver's licence number is properly removed from the state's database, should you subsequently be stopped by Florida law enforcement and accused of driving with an expired licence. Similarly, you will no longer be required to have a Florida driver's licence number in order to obtain licence plates for a newly purchased Florida car. Snowbirds are also urged to speak with their Florida automobile insurance broker to update their file noting that, in future, they will be driving their "Florida car" with their regular Canadian driver's licence.

As a Canadian driver's licence or provincial identification card is deemed to be compliant with Florida identification, snowbirds will not be able to obtain or renew a Florida Identification Card. Just as in Canada, you may have either a driver's licence or photo identification card, but not both – even if one type is issued in Canada and the other is issued in the U.S.

Effective immediately, Texas will no longer issue or renew state photo identification cards to individuals who have not been lawfully admitted to the U.S. for more than six months (such as a college or university student with a visa or someone with a work permit). This measure eliminates Canadian snowbirds who are admitted for up to 182 days (six months less one day) only.