Keeping Canadians Happy

The purpose of an international driving permit is to convert a foreign drivers license into English, so it is readable by police.

Lawmakers didn't remember than Canadian and UK driver licenses were in English before requiring one of these for everyone. Now the lawmaker responsible, Rep. Ben Albritton of Wauchula calls it an unintended consequence.

"At the end of the day, folks in Canada I am sorry, I didn't mean to cause any problems for you and we're going to get this fixed one way or another".

The law was quickly suspended after concerned Canadians hit state motor vehicle officials with the barrage of questions.

Kirsten Olsen-Doolan is a Highway Safety Spokesperson. "I think we got calls from everybody in Canada. Certainly all the Canadian media."

Visit Florida, the state's official tourism agency, says on its web site that: questions remain about insurance coverage. The Office of Insurance Regulation responded to inquiries, saying it is unable to determine what is covered by a policy issued in another country, but adds if the carrier also writes policies in Florida, drivers would be covered whether or not they had an international driving permit.

The Chairman of the House Transportation Committee, Rep. Daniel Davis of Jacksonville, says his staff is already working on a fix. "We do everything we can in this committee to make sure we solve that problem for our tourism industry in the State of Florida."

An estimated three million Canadians come to Florida each year.

One of Governor Rick Scott's first trade missions in 2011, was to Canada to seek more visitors and industry. The Governor is also calling for quick fix to the law.


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