Despite recent legislative amendments made in Florida, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is NOT REQUIRED in order for a visitor to legally operate a vehicle in the state.
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.” The CSA remains confident that a permanent solution for all Canadians is imminent.
In regards to the CSA Automobile Insurance Program (a CSA Member Benefit), the underwriter, RSA (Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance), has confirmed that it will not use this law to deny any claim made in accordance with its policies. The CSA would like to ensure its members that it will assist any snowbird in the unlikely event that a Canadian insurer attempts to decline a claim based on this new law.
Keep up-to-date on the latest developments, concerning this and other important snowbird issues, by accessing the Canadian Snowbird Association website at www.snowbirds.org.