This may be of interest to some of you and your guests. It has recently been reported on some of the forums that from 1st January 2013, drivers in Florida require an IDP (International Driving Permit). This new requirement has not quite filtered down yet but I would imagine that before long the car rental desks will be expecting to see one. As usual it took some time to find out exactly because even some departments were still unaware of it. Even the US embassy website makes no mention of it in the section about driving in the US. This is a new state requirement and other states may not require it. I think it is an example of stupid bureaucracy. I would understand it more if the original driving license was in a foreign language. If stopped by the police you must produce both your driving license and the IDP. As far as I can see it will also apply to all visitors to the US including Canadians.
Here is the Florida statute.
322.04 Persons exempt from obtaining driver license.-
(1) The following persons are exempt from obtaining a driver license:
(a) Any employee of the United States Government, while operating a non-commercial motor vehicle owned by or leased to the United States Government and being operated on official business.
(b) Any person while driving or operating any road machine, farm tractor, or implement of husbandry temporarily operated or moved on a highway.
(c) A non-resident who is at least 16 years of age operating a motor vehicle of the type for which a Class E driver license is required in this state if the non-resident has in his or her immediate possession:
1. A valid non-commercial driver license issued in his or her name from another state or territory of the United States; or
2. An International Driving Permit issued in his or her name in his or her country of residence and a valid license issued in that country.
(d) Any person operating a golf cart, as defined in s. 320.01, which is operated in accordance with the provisions of s. 316.212.
(2) This section does not apply to any person to whom s. 322.031 applies.
(3) Any person working for a firm under contract to the United States Government whose residence is outside this state and whose main point of employment is outside this state may drive a non-commercial vehicle on the public roads of this state for periods up to 60 days while in this state on temporary duty, if the person has a valid driver license from the state of the person’s residence.
As I said it may be taking some time to filter down to the car hire companies but you can be sure that it won’t be long till someone is stopped by the police and fined for not having one.
Where to get them.
UK residents can get them from the post office http://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit or from the AA and RAC and Canadian residents can find more info here http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/documents/international-driving-permit
Visitors from other countries should Google it to see where to apply. Some countries may already have to use them as their license would not be in English.