This week we brought you news that The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles had decided that any non-resident that visited the state would require an International Driver Permit to make them totally legal. In the event of this happening and people from the UK arriving in Florida without realising it would have caused huge problems as they would have been refused the rental of any vehicle in the state as well as the use of any other car. Knowing how this could impact a huge number of travelers to Orlando we wanted to make you fully aware of the situation. That is until today, when the DHSMV issued a statement that has U-turned from their original decision due to some oversights in international law that the United States had signed up to. On their website you can see the following statement.
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.