CAA update on developments regarding IDPs

UPDATE Feb 20, 11am
Scott Wants Driving Permit Law Overturned
UPDATE Feb 20, 9:45am:
Florida Travel: Politician responsible for licence law debacle apologizes, CAA still recommends buying the international drivers permit but like the Florida Highway Patrol, local police have been informed not to enforce the law

UPDATE Feb 15:

Saint John  – The government of Florida announced this afternoon that the Florida Highway Patrol will defer enforcement of a new law requiring Canadians to have an International Driving Permit to operate a vehicle in Florida. Florida says this is pending an assessment of the jurisdictional authority the state has to enforce the law they recently enacted regarding IDPs. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has also sent a message to other law enforcement agencies in Florida, encouraging them to follow suit with their plan to defer implementation pending this review.

CAA is grateful that the state of Florida has responded to efforts by CAA and thousands of concerned Canadians to review this issue. CAA continues to take a leading role in lobbying the State of Florida to rectify this situation. Ultimately the best corrective action is to amend the law.

In addition, the Canadian insurance industry through IBC has released the following information regarding this situation late this afternoon:

“IBC is contacting Florida officials directly for more information on the nature and duration of this reprieve, as well as the state’s intentions for implementing the regulatory change and the law’s potential applicability to Canadian residents. In the interim, IBC strongly discourages any insurer from using the amended Florida Statute as a reason to deny coverage on the basis that the non–resident driver was not authorized to operate a motor vehicle in the State of Florida.”

It appears that at least temporarily, things are moving in the right direction in Florida. Enforcement of this new law in Florida may not take place at least for now. The timeframe for this deferral remains unknown, and the implications in case of another reversal based on the jurisdictional review are unknown. But progress is being made.

Based on how rapidly the situation is evolving, we continue to recommend for those Canadians travelling to Florida in the next few days, you should consider obtaining an IDP. For those who will not be travelling for some days, and those already in Florida, we advise you to wait for developments. We will issue further updates as the situation becomes clearer. CAA’s points of concern remains as:

  • Will insurance providers ensure that a driver driving without an IDP in Florida will be covered in case of an accident. Despite the recommendations of the IBC the driver without an IDP driving in Florida is not properly licensed.
  • Will all police agencies in Florida follow the lead of the Florida Highway Patrol and not ticket?

For anyone who has purchased an IDP from CAA and would like a refund:

  • For the reasons stated above there remains a lack of clarity on the situation in Florida. . CAA continues to recommend that you acquire an IDP for travel to Florida.
  • However, CAA will issue a refund upon request with the return of the IDP if purchased after February 13 for travel to Florida and the refund is processed before the traveler leaves Canada. Refunds will not be issued after travel to Florida is completed.

CAA is a federation of nine clubs providing more than 5.8 million Members with exceptional emergency roadside service, complete automotive and travel services, member savings and comprehensive insurance services. CAA also advocates on issues of concern to its members, including road safety, the environment, mobility, infrastructure and consumer protection.

For further information, please contact:

Gary Howard
Office: 506-649-6288
Mobile: 506-654-6554


Copy of News Release from State of Florida:

~ Highway Safety agency reassures visitors that travel to the Sunshine State is business as usual ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Whether you fly or drive to Florida, visitors can be assured the Sunshine State is doing business as usual. Earlier today, DHSMV released a statement to media around the world that the Florida Highway Patrol will defer enforcement of a law that requires visitors from outside the United States to have an International Driving Permit to drive lawfully in Florida. The statement explained that the law may potentially conflict with an international treaty.

The Department understands the concerns of the international community and is working with its partners to ensure that visitors are not inconvenienced. Visit Florida, AAA, Canada Automobile Association and law enforcement agencies around the state are helping DHSMV get the message out that Florida’s doors and roadways are open as usual to all visitors.

The Department will be working with the Florida Legislature in the coming months to ensure that the law reflects Florida’s rich history of welcoming our friends from around the world to the Sunshine State.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit, follow us on Twitter at @FDHSMV or find us on Facebook.


The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is committed to Service, Integrity, Courtesy, Professionalism, Innovation and Excellence in all we do. Please let us know how we are doing via our online customer service survey at

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