Some of our winter guests are worried about a new law that took effect in Florida January first. The law, passed last year by the Florida legislature says says any international visitor to Florida must be carrying an International Driving Permit.
Thousands of winter visitors, or Snowbirds, are concerned.and are bombarding the department of Highway Safety with questions.
the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles issued a statement this afternoon:
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.
Many local counties in Florida are taking a similar stance