Skip to comments.Canadians require special permit to drive in Florida
Posted on 02/14/2013 7:41:12 AM PST by Squawk 8888
Canadians now require an international driving permit in addition to their provincial licences while driving in Florida after a state law quietly went into effect on New Years Day.
With March break just weeks away, CAA is alerting motorists about the change as it lobbies Florida state lawmakers to exclude Canadians from the rule, which applies to all non-U.S. residents. It is estimated that millions of Canadians visit Florida each year.
Florida passed the law so that its law-enforcement officials would not encounter drivers licence documents in languages they could not read, according to CAA.
Despite its position on the law, CAA is urging Canadians to acquire an IDP if they plan to drive in Florida, be it in their own vehicle or a rental vehicle.
An IDP is a special drivers licence that allows licensed motorists to drive in other countries without additional road tests or applications, and is proof that the holder possesses a valid licence in his or her home country, according to the Canadian government.
The IDP, which is translated into multiple languages, must be accompanied by a valid drivers licence. The document is valid in all countries that have signed the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic and is recognized in many other countries.
Motorists can obtain an IDP at any CAA office for $25. CAA is the only organization in Canada that is authorized to issue the document.
It would be more than a minor inconvenience here in Michigan.
Good plan. They are the interlopers; let the burden fall on them, not Americans. We should do the same with Spanish.
Clearly a Canadian license can be read by a Florida police man. The big problem could be at the car rental kiosks. I’ve rented cars in Canada and the UK without any problem using a Massachusetts drivers license.
This is idiotic. They need to fix this NOW.
Guess Floriduh doesn’t need Canadian money.
Granted Canucks spend money here.
Some of them are real shmucks though.
And they drive REALLY slowly !
“Florida passed the law so that its law-enforcement officials would not encounter drivers licence documents in languages they could not read”
Can their law enforcement officials understand plain English?
It's that damn metric system conversion.
At least in Fort Lauderdale, the vast majority of visitors are French-Canadians.
Since the upper half of the Canadian head flies up when they talk (thus hindering proper vision) it is easier and more profitable to require permits than require they don’t talk while driving.
This is not news for non-us citizens driving in the USA. (non commercial)
There is a multilateral treaty where you have a permit document, with your picture affixed, you carry with your standard DL. It is good in most countries AS LONG AS you have a valid DL in place of origin.
This is moure about selling CAA memberships.
AAA membership gets you the permit document for free. (AND pictures if you have an enhanced membership.)
I agree they should waive this for Canadians.
This gives me an idea though. Perhaps pro-2nd Amendment states could refuse to recognize driver’s licenses from states that don’t honor their resident’s gun permits.
Follow the money.
Kinda stupid as from what I’ve heard an IDP is FAR easier to get than their Provincial license back home. (I’m told in some countries it’s as simple as paying the proper bribe to the proper hack official)
Yes ... obviously anyone who can understand plain English will have no problems with a Quebecois Permis de Conduire.
“Can their law enforcement officials understand plain English?
“Probably not in south Fla. a lot of hispanics down there dontchaknow.
any business would do the practical common sense thing and exclude the canadians.
the govt. can not do this or the Mexicans will cry foul.
Government can not do anything that is practical or common sense.
Ever been to Quebec? The signs are in French. I assume the drivers' licenses are, too.
Look, I have to get a freaking PASSPORT to travel to Canada. Yet, the Floridians are the bad guys for wanting not to have to train their officers in French?
Come on, people.
Florida has visitors from all parts of the world. Lately, Brazil has been providing a lot of revenue with their tourists. I’ve driven in Europe, Mexico and Canada without having to purchase an IDP. Surely, a Florida cop is able to read a license with a name, picture and dates on it.
What is more disturbing is a story in today’s Orlando Sentinel about a Canadian with a green card, who has a fruit and vegetable business in Winter Park that employs 20 people. He is being told that his visa will not be renewed and he must leave the country. His crime? His business does not employ any engineers, architects or other professionals.
This is why we have the multilateral DL treaty. The international proof of DL document is in multiple languages and also deals with DLs in less common languages.
ie japanese, arabic, russian, greek, italian, etc.
(no ebonics page)
There is no change in the law. This is a fluff piece to sell CAA memberships.
There’s a similar rule for pilots. My Canadian licence allows me to fly a Canadian-registered aircraft anywhere in the world, but I had to get an FAA certificate to rent aircraft in the USA. My certificate specifies that it’s only valid with my Canadian licence.
I don’t read French and I have never seen this document before, but I can read it and pick out birth date, expiration date, etc.
I’d have no problem reading that, but I grew up with bilingual labels on everything.
“Clearly a Canadian license can be read by a Florida police man.”
Do the licenses from Montreal have English translations? I know the rest of the provinces are required to translate everything into French, but I’m not sure if the law works the other way around.
I see it as a $25 extortion fee!!...Whats next...$25 out of state licensing fees?
Tons of Canadians winter in Fla....most with big ol honking RV’s..If they decide to go somewhere else it will be a net loss for Fla...Big time!
And the pix is not in French...
I spend a couple of weeks in Florida every winter.While there I’m amazed to see that half the cars have Ontario plates and a quarter have Quebec plates.Last month I even saw a couple of Alberta plates.Tourism is the most important part of the state’s economy and Canadians play a big role in that.What an absolutely foolish law.
I get an Intl Driver License whenever I go to Europe...just to be safe
It is just a document that translates someone’s DL into many languages
In FL there are tourists from everywhere....and the LEO in Orlando area are familiar with English, Spanish, and Hatian Creole. Not so familiar with Papiamento or Icelandic
Added benefit is that this law will help catch Illegal Alien drivers....until La Raza or Marco Rubio starts calling the law racist
Yep ... it works out.
My WV DL is accepted without question in UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand ...
Because it's in English. If it weren't, I'd have to get the IDL. No big deal, or shouldn't be.
I read and speak French moderately well (a fact which I do NOT reveal to Quebec businesses and government entities which I must sometimes deal with) ... So I have no problem with it. Someone who is of average intelligence, and literate in English only, may have issues. And if the law says it must be written in English ... that document doesn’t qualify.
Driving through Ontario last year on "the 401"...which is one of their major highways...I saw a couple of huge signs saying that if you're caught doing more than "X" number of kph over the speed limit you can get a $10,000 fine.I can't remember what that figure was and I don't understand kph but that's a whole lotta cash.Maybe that's why they drive slowly.I drive in Quebec from time to time and don't recall ever seeing such a sign so maybe it's not a national thing.
Mlle. Lapointe n'est pas coupable.
It might not be plain English but I can tell she has an expired license.
100km/h = 60mph. The most severe penalty kicks in at 50k (30mph) over the limit which will get your car impounded.
Aussies do NOT exceed the speed limit. For this lead-footed Yank, it took a bit of getting used to.
Can you imagine having to do the same if you visited Canada and wanted to rent a car (let’s say in Calgary). It would really be a pain. I can see the requirement for visitors (including illegal Aliens), but for Canadians who speak English and are strictly visiting?
That's not exactly true.IIRC Canada only requires proof of US citizenship to enter and they accept birth certificates as proof.The reason you need a passport is because of *US* law.My understanding is that *nobody's* allowed to enter the US without a passport...even US citizens.I recall having driven to Canada in the '70s and,IIRC,all I had to show was a US driver's license...both to the Canadian *and* US border officials.
Is that the “Motor Law” Rush refers to in “Red Barchetta”.
Guess Obama won't be visiting Canada anytime soon. ;)
It’s pretty F’d up that they require French signs all throughout Canada, even in the provinces where very few French people live, yet in Quebec, they do not have to have anything in English.
Then the law should address non-English permits, not foreign permits in general. Wouldn’t be surprised if some US state starts issuing permits in Spanish. Heck, I’m wondering what language some US territories use...
Yes,I do recall that having your vehicle impounded was also mentioned.But is that the only penalty? I could swear that the sign also mentioned a $10,000 fine.I remember it because I just about dropped my dentures after having seen it.I was driving from Detroit to Buffalo so maybe it was another highway...but it was a major one,the equivalent of one of our Interstates.
Go to Miami-Dade County, and English IS a foreign language.