International Driving Permit is now mandatory for all overseas visitors to Florida
A very unpublicised new Florida law came into effect on the 1st of January 2013. All overseas visitors must possess a valid International Driving Permit when taking to Florida's roads.
As of January 1st 2013, Florida's Department of Highways Safety & Motor Vehicles had decreed that all visiting internationals must possess an International Driving Permit, or face fines or detention.
"While the cost and inconvenience to tourists is an issue", Kevin Maw, Editor of totalorlando.com warns that, "the most disturbing aspect of this new law is the astonishing lack of publicity surrounding the introduction at the turn of 2013.
Even the Orlando Tourism Board's official tourism guide website fails to mention any aspect of the International Drivers Permit!"
What is unclear at this moment in time, is whether the car rental companies will request a copy of the permit at the collection desk, nor is it clear how vigorously authorities will impose penalties upon motorists failing to present a permit when stopped.
Motorists without a permit, should recognise that despite the potentially low risks of being stopped and charged, they would technically be driving illegally on Florida roads and that may have a knock on effect upon the insurance cover during their stay.
International Driving Permits are generally issued on an annual basis by the driver's home country's travel organisations such as the AA or AAA, the permits are a further costly distraction in the run up to preparing for a vacation.
The Permits are not a substitute for the driver's actual driver's licence and both must be presented upon request while driving.
Permits cost typically around $15 per year and require annual renewal.