Do I need an International Driving Permit?

Do I need an International Driving Permit?

*Updated April 2015

What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit is a legal document that allows you to drive in other countries. It translates your license information into 10 foreign languages and acts as proof that you, as the driver, have a valid driver’s license in your home country.

It is accepted in over 150 countries that signed the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic. It’s useful for driving in countries where English is not the spoken language (especially for those who travel often for work).

In countries where the International Driving Permit is not required, it provides backup identification in the case that you get pulled over. In countries where it is required by law, you may or may not be asked for it, but you could face a penalty without.

CAA is the only organization in Canada authorized to issue an International Driving Permit (you don’t have to be a member). It takes less than 2 days to process via mail, or under 30 minutes if you visit a store. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older; a $25 fee applies.

Do you need an International Driving Permit in Florida?

No. In 2013, Florida legislation changed, requiring foreign drivers to have a permit. However, the state of Florida quickly repealed that law and reverted back to allowing a valid provincial driver’s license from the driver’s home country.

*Some states, such as Georgia, have been reported fining Quebec residents for not carrying an English-language driver’s license.

Have questions? Consult your travel agent.

4 Comments

  1. I am flabergasted. 3 million of us Canadians are now breaking the law, and didn’t know about it. Exempt us, for now, or at least give us time to comply. We do not want to disobey, but you passed a law and didn’t tell anyone, and I mean anyone. WHY? WHY? WHY? I’ve been coming here for 5 months a year, for 23 years. Why upset millions like me?

  2. CAA just released an announcement stating the following:

    CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is offering a full refund to travellers who purchased an International Driving Permit (IDP) and passport photos on Wednesday February 13 or Thursday February 14, 2013.

    Customers who bought an IDP and passport photos at a CAA South Central Ontario location will have until Friday March 15, 2013 to obtain a refund.

    Customers must bring back the IDP issued and the original receipt to any CAA SCO store.

    This refund is only available to CAA South Central Ontario customers.

    They went on to say that while enforcement of this new law may not take place (at least for now), travellers are still encouraged to consider obtaining an IDP… just in case.

  3. When we go to Florida it’s usually on the spur of the moment so with this new law we may just go somewhere else.

  4. ~UPDATE~
    It’s official… according to TRAVELHotNews.com:

    “Florida legislators have officially repealed a law requiring all foreign visitors to have an international driving permit to drive in the state.”

    Whew!

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