Florida’s legislation requiring foreign drivers to possess an International Driving Permit to legally operate a motor vehicle has been officially repealed.
Immediately after learning of the requirement to obtain an International Driving Permit, the Canadian Snowbird Association (CSA) contacted the Governor of Florida’s office and expressed our strong concerns. We stressed our firm opposition to the requirement and noted the significant impact it would have on Canadians who are so critical to the economy of Florida. We were assured by the Governor’s office that this was not the intent and that changes to the legislation would be made. We emphasized that an immediate short-term solution would need to be put in place as the Florida Legislature would not be in session until March. This would ensure that our members currently in Florida would not be negatively impacted by the law during their stay.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) issued a statement confirming that the Florida Highway Patrol would defer enforcement of the law. Further, the statement also revealed that the DHSMV “will be working with the Florida Legislature in the coming months to ensure that the law reflects Florida’s rich history of welcoming our friends from around the world to the Sunshine State.”
On March 11, 2013 CSA officials traveled to Tallahassee to meet directly with Florida legislators working on a permanent solution to this problem.
On March 13, 2013, the Florida House voted 166-0 to repeal the law. On March 15, 2013 members of the Senate Community Affairs committee also voted to repeal the requirement. On March 27, 2013 the Florida Senate voted 38-0 to approve bill HB 7059 repealing the legislation and it was immediately sent to Governor Rick Scott for his signature. The repeal is retroactive to January 1, 2013.
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is NOT REQUIRED for a foreign visitor to legally operate a vehicle in the state of Florida.