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Thread: 3 Million Canadians visit Florida each year! Please Read!

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    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    3 Million Canadians visit Florida each year! Please Read!

    For Canadians driving in Florida, Not a joke!



    Ther is a new law in Florida that states:
    International Drivers must carry a International Driving Permit

    Only available at CAA cost is $25 + passport style photo

    Good for one year!


    See article:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013...ng_permit.html
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    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    I get:

    "Sorry, the page you were looking for is not available."
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32232 View Post
    I get:

    "Sorry, the page you were looking for is not available."
    You need a permit!
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    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    I'll withhold comment on the Florida law until I can read the article.

    An international driver's permit serves two purposes; to translate the basic information on a driver's licence into one of ten languages the signatory countries expect any police officer can understand and to outline what vehicles a person is to entitled to operate.

    As Canadian driver's licences are in English (except Quebec), there is a reasonable expectation that a Florida LEO would be able to understand one as well as any US out of state permit.
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    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    here is the long version.


    Toronto Star:
    This just in from the department of red tape you didnÔÇÖt know existed: Canadians are now required by law to have an international driving permit in addition to their regular licences when driving in Florida.

    The state law quietly came into effect on Jan. 1, but no one in the tourism industry really noticed until a British journalist called this week.

    ÔÇ£We realize that tourists will be an unintended side effect of this new law,ÔÇØ said Kathy Torian of Visit Florida, who just got the heads-up from ÔÇ£the folksÔÇØ at the state highway department. ÔÇ£WeÔÇÖre trying to help spread the word to the tourism community around the world as well as our own industry in Florida.ÔÇØ

    Millions of international visitors drive in Florida each year, and state legislators thought the international driving permit ÔÇö a standardized document that translates the licence details into 10 different languages ÔÇö would help law officers interpret foreign licences.

    The new law applies to any non-resident, including all those Canadians getting ready for March break.

    The Canadian Automobile Association, while recommending Florida-bound travellers obtain a permit, is urging the state to modify or waive the law for Canadians, who make up FloridaÔÇÖs top international tourism market. (More than three million Canucks visited last year.)

    ÔÇ£ItÔÇÖs unclear at this point what the enforcement regime will be and whether the Florida authorities might reconsider this for Canadians,ÔÇØ said CAA spokesman Ian Jack. ÔÇ£For the time being, given that it is the law, you are better safe than sorry.ÔÇØ

    The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles confirmed it is looking to ÔÇ£clarify the lawÔÇØ so that English-language licences would be acceptable.

    The next legislative session begins in March, and the soonest any change might happen would be July 1, said spokeswoman Kirsten Olsen-Doolan, adding, ÔÇ£We love our Canadians.ÔÇØ

    Until the law is clarified, Canadian drivers found without the permit would technically be considered ÔÇ£driving without a valid licence,ÔÇØ she said.

    ÔÇ£Theoretically you could be arrested,ÔÇØ she explained. ÔÇ£Law enforcement officers use discretion, and if they pull you over because the tail light is out, most of them, as long as you conduct yourself appropriately and everything, probably would not choose to be super tough on you. But I canÔÇÖt speak for that, because there are 400 law enforcement agencies in Florida.ÔÇØ

    Georgetown resident Dianne Kayess, who plans to vacation in Orlando this March, learned of the law online.

    ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm not going down there to go to jail,ÔÇØ she said, noting she and her husband will likely get the permits, just to be safe.

    ÔÇ£My biggest concern is if we didnÔÇÖt have one and we were in an accident or got a speeding ticket or whatever, and the insurance company says, ÔÇÿYou were driving without a licence. WeÔÇÖre not going to cover the damage of your car,ÔÇÖ ÔÇØ she said.

    Canadians can pick up an IDP at a local CAA office for $25, plus the cost of passport photos. ItÔÇÖs valid for one year.

    Snowbirds already nestled in the sunshine state for the season must apply by mail, as the permits can only be issued in Canada.

    The new law applies to those renting cars as well, but Olsen-Doolan said she was unclear whether agencies would ask for the permit.

    The car rental industry itself is confused. At an Alamo outlet in Miami, the clerk hadnÔÇÖt heard of the law. Marlene Aziz, manager at Best Rate Car Rental in Kissimmee, also didnÔÇÖt know about it. ÔÇ£We ask about your licence and your passport, thatÔÇÖs it,ÔÇØ she said
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    Maybe(I doubt it) it will finally be possible to get a FL state park camp site on the hour the clock strikes eleven months prior to the next years winter camping season?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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    Registered User tourunigo's Avatar
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    I think that it is wise to have such a license when visiting any foreign country. Great 'opinion' article mentioned above but nothing on the CAA site regarding Florida specifically. Maybe it has a larger purpose and using a broad brush seemed simpler.


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    Sir Darby Darryl Cainey's Avatar
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    I spoke with the local CAA Ofice this morning and they just found out about the new law yesterday.
    They are totally unprepared with no forms or extra staff to handle the onslaut of Spring Break Sun
    Worshipers looking for this new international licence.
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    If Canadians would be made excempt, how about British nationals? Australian? New-Zealanders? Any African country where English is the official language?

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    100,000+ miler 32232's Avatar
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    More here:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2...a-license.html

    As the US is a signatory to the Geneva Convention on road traffic, it appears that requiring an IDP to translate English into English is not required.

    How much thought went in to drafting this law? I'm sure Florida did not intend to create a disincentive to millions of tourists each year.

    Just like the "lead in children's products ban" that ceased the sale of children's motorcycles in the US for the past few years.
    Dave

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    Tonight's news said that an oversight was made. When back in session, the legislators are apparently going amend the law to exempt Australians, Brits and Canadians from the new law. Even so, the amendment won't take affect until July. Supposedly, the law will not be actively enforced with those nationalities. Having said that, I'd still get an international license if I intended to visit Florida before mid-July.
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    How are they gonna know if you stay legal?
    "If I had my life to live over, I'd dare to make more mistakes next time...I'd relax,I'd limber up... I would take fewer things seriously...take more chances... take more trips...climb more mountains...swim more rivers...eat more ice cream." Jorge Luis Borges at age 85.

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    new law

    "...Having said that, I'd still get an international license if I intended to visit Florida before mid-July..."
    Please be aware that if you come to Florida in the near future, you will be required based on your age to:
    Age <68 : You must drive very quickly, preferably in the center lane, or left lane on roads with less than 3 lanes in each direction.
    Age 68-72 : Drive very slowly, preferably in the left lane, but right and center lanes are acceptable.
    Age 72+ : Drive very very slowly, preferably in the left lane, with your blinker on. If you are from Quebec, or Europe, you must leave your right blinker on. Other Canadian provinces, Australia/New Zealand and South Africa you must use your left blinker.
    Thank you for your cooperation. Our speed traps and red light cameras are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

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    Prefers to play martinph's Avatar
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    In the News yesterday

    TORONTO - State officials in Florida scrambled Thursday to reassure anxious Canadians that they don't need to worry about new rules requiring them to have an International Driving Permit to motor around the Sunshine State.

    Changes are in the works to legislation requiring that all visitors with foreign licences must have an international permit issued by their country of residence in addition to a valid licence from home, a spokeswoman with Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said Thursday.

    "I'm not sure exactly how we're going to end up working it but we're going to determine how to modify it to accommodate the concerns of Canadians and others," said Kirsten Olsen-Doolan.

    "The main issue is public safety, not to give anybody a hard time or make it difficult to come visit."

    The quiet implementation of the regulations on Jan. 1 - which apply to any vehicle, including rentals - resulted in many Canadians being caught off guard.

    "I had no idea, we've been coming down here for years and never had a problem," said David Whitford, a Norwich, Ont., resident currently in Cape San Blas, Fla., who realized he'd technically been driving around illegally for the past few weeks.

    "I can't see what the problem is ... for whatever reason they've decided that we're being made to feel a little unwelcome here."

    Florida officials have said the law was passed so police are not faced with foreign licence documents in languages they can't understand.

    An IDP translates existing driver licence information into 10 languages and is valid for one year. It is not a substitute for a valid driver's licence but rather, accompanies one.

    Florida officials have received a flood of concern from not only Canadians, but residents of other English speaking countries like the United Kingdom, said Olsen-Doolan.

    "Oh my goodness, oh yes," she said in an interview Thursday. "Everybody has called about this."

    Earlier in the day the department issued a statement saying it learned its new requirement might violate the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, an international treaty to which the U.S. is a signatory.

    "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," the department said.

    "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."

    The Canadian Automobile Association - which issues international driving permits - called on Florida to amend the law to exempt Canadians.

    "No North American jurisdiction has ever asked for an IDP before from another North American jurisdiction. This is a first," CAA spokesman Ian Jack told The Canadian Press.

    "They've subsequently told us that they've recognized that it was a mistake to include Canada and that they will be moving to exempt Canada, but on the other hand, because it's legislation and their legislature doesn't sit till mid-March, it's going to take some time for that to happen."

    While it has not had reports of Canadians being censured for driving without an IDP in the state to date, the CAA was still suggesting Canuck drivers obtain an international permit until the law is clarified.

    Florida's official state tourism marketing corporation has identified Canada as its top international market. Visit Florida said 3.1 million Canadians travelled to the state in 2010.

    As word of the change spread on Thursday, many expressed astonishment at the lack of publicity around the new rules. Even the CAA said it only learned of the change when an American Automobile Association worker in Florida called to discuss the new rules two days ago.

    "When I first heard I thought maybe it was a joke and then obviously it's not...it's serious," said Christine Ellison, a Georgetown, Ont., resident who often spends her winters in Florida.

    "The driving down here is no different than driving in Canada, our licenses are in English, surely they can read them. I don't understand why it would even be necessary."

    The IDP costs $25 and can be obtained through CAA offices. Canadians currently in Florida can apply for one through the mail.

    The association has been issuing the permits, which are recognized in some 140 countries, since the 1920s.
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    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinPH View Post
    TORONTO - State officials in Florida scrambled Thursday to reassure anxious Canadians that they don't need to worry about new rules requiring them to have an International Driving Permit to motor around the Sunshine State.

    Changes are in the works to legislation requiring that all visitors with foreign licences must have an international permit issued by their country of residence in addition to a valid licence from home, a spokeswoman with Florida's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said Thursday.

    "I'm not sure exactly how we're going to end up working it but we're going to determine how to modify it to accommodate the concerns of Canadians and others," said Kirsten Olsen-Doolan.

    "The main issue is public safety, not to give anybody a hard time or make it difficult to come visit."

    The quiet implementation of the regulations on Jan. 1 - which apply to any vehicle, including rentals - resulted in many Canadians being caught off guard.

    "I had no idea, we've been coming down here for years and never had a problem," said David Whitford, a Norwich, Ont., resident currently in Cape San Blas, Fla., who realized he'd technically been driving around illegally for the past few weeks.

    "I can't see what the problem is ... for whatever reason they've decided that we're being made to feel a little unwelcome here."

    Florida officials have said the law was passed so police are not faced with foreign licence documents in languages they can't understand.

    An IDP translates existing driver licence information into 10 languages and is valid for one year. It is not a substitute for a valid driver's licence but rather, accompanies one.

    Florida officials have received a flood of concern from not only Canadians, but residents of other English speaking countries like the United Kingdom, said Olsen-Doolan.

    "Oh my goodness, oh yes," she said in an interview Thursday. "Everybody has called about this."

    Earlier in the day the department issued a statement saying it learned its new requirement might violate the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, an international treaty to which the U.S. is a signatory.

    "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," the department said.

    "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."

    The Canadian Automobile Association - which issues international driving permits - called on Florida to amend the law to exempt Canadians.

    "No North American jurisdiction has ever asked for an IDP before from another North American jurisdiction. This is a first," CAA spokesman Ian Jack told The Canadian Press.

    "They've subsequently told us that they've recognized that it was a mistake to include Canada and that they will be moving to exempt Canada, but on the other hand, because it's legislation and their legislature doesn't sit till mid-March, it's going to take some time for that to happen."

    While it has not had reports of Canadians being censured for driving without an IDP in the state to date, the CAA was still suggesting Canuck drivers obtain an international permit until the law is clarified.

    Florida's official state tourism marketing corporation has identified Canada as its top international market. Visit Florida said 3.1 million Canadians travelled to the state in 2010.

    As word of the change spread on Thursday, many expressed astonishment at the lack of publicity around the new rules. Even the CAA said it only learned of the change when an American Automobile Association worker in Florida called to discuss the new rules two days ago.

    "When I first heard I thought maybe it was a joke and then obviously it's not...it's serious," said Christine Ellison, a Georgetown, Ont., resident who often spends her winters in Florida.

    "The driving down here is no different than driving in Canada, our licenses are in English, surely they can read them. I don't understand why it would even be necessary."

    The IDP costs $25 and can be obtained through CAA offices. Canadians currently in Florida can apply for one through the mail.

    The association has been issuing the permits, which are recognized in some 140 countries, since the 1920s.
    This is so stupid / sad, I can't even make a funny joke about it...........Almost as bad as having to have a passport to return home from visiting Ontario.
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