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International Driving Permit - Florida Rentals

15 February 2013: Further update: It's confirmed an IDP is NOT required for car rentals in Florida if your license is in English

As per the news and advise from both the FCO and ABTA, the new law introduced in Florida has now been deferred, and customers no longer need to purchase an international drivers permit in order to drive a car in Florida if your license is in English. Please see below information as per the FCO website today.

"The State of Florida has suspended enforcement of a recently introduced driving law requiring non-resident drivers to be in possession of an International Driving Permit and a UK driving licence. Following the change, a valid UK driving licence, or licence issued by another foreign government or US State, is the only requirement for driving a car in Florida."

We will continue to closely monitor the situation, and in the event that this law is re-introduced at a further date, will again advise accordingly with as much notice as possible.

15 February 2013: Clarification that the new Law will not be enforced for now

Further news was released yesterday from the Florida Department for Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which looks like it means the new Law might be on a temporary hold. We quote from their website (http://www.flhsmv.gov/IDP.htm):

"During the 2012 legislative session, the Florida Legislature amended section 322.04, Florida Statutes, to require visitors from outside the United States to have an International Driving Permit in order to drive lawfully in Florida. This change took effect Jan. 1, 2013.

It has come to the Department's attention that this requirement may violate the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic (1949), an international treaty to which the United States is a signatory. Treaties to which the United States is a party preempt state laws in conflict with them.

Therefore, the Florida Highway Patrol will defer enforcement of violations of the amended statutory section until a final determination of the alignment of the amendment with the treaty can be made. Non-resident visitors to Florida who wish to drive while here will be required to have in their immediate possession a valid driver license issued in his or her name from another state or territory of the U.S. or from their country of residence. However, the FHP will not take enforcement action based solely on the lack of an International Driving Permit."

13 February 2013: International Driving Permit required for all Florida rentals

As of January 2013, a new law has just been announced in Florida requiring all International drivers to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) with them at all times. You need to carry this along with your regular driving license. Until now, only non-English language license holders had to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP), but this now applies to ALL non US license holders.

All drivers picking up their rental car in Florida must now carry an International Driving Permit (IDP). These can easily be obtained from your local post office (for UK customers) or from your licensing authority for other nationalities. The local post office issues the International Driving Permit (IDP) on the spot, by filling in a form. To check which UK post offices issue these you can use the link below:

http://www.postoffice.co.uk/branch-finder

For more details and further discussion, please see our car hire forum topic on the subject at this link.

Please note that rentals in other States are unaffected and remain as they were before the new Florida law was brought in.

Further details can be found at our FAQ.