International Driving Permit Enforcement
Suspended (15th Feb 2013)
On 1st January 2013 a new law was introduced in Florida which meant that if you were a non resident you would have to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP) in addition to your UK driving licence.
This law has caused some confusion as the whole point of an International Driving Permit is to translate a driving licence in to English. Thankfully, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has seen sense and has issued 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.
The UK Government issued the following travel advice:
The State of Florida has repealed a law requiring non-resident drivers to carry an International Driving Permit. You can drive in Florida using a valid UK driving licence. (source)