British travelers who are heading to Florida in the United States may be in for a shock. In fact, recent reports show that there has been a lot of confusion over new driving laws in the state. Apparently there is a new un-publicized law that is calling for Brits to carry an International Driving Permit.
According to reports, this law was secretly introduced back in January. It is requiring international drivers to prove that they hold an International Driving Permit prior to being allowed to rent a car. Not only did this law take travelers by shock, but apparently it took many of the state’s local car hire firms by surprise as well.
Oddly enough, even AAA said that they did not know about this new law change. They are calling on the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to review this new law. For people who did not know, the AAA is pretty much the United States’ equivalent of AA.
Although this law has already affected some people, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said that it was under pressure from AA to change the law. So for the time being, Florida is going to “defer” enforcement of this law. However, this does not mean that the law is going to be changed. They may just be giving themselves time to make the new law more well-known.
Despite this latest announcement, many car hire firms in the United States are refusing to hire cars to British drivers who do not have an International Driving Permit. Thus, travel firms and motoring organizations in the UK are urging all Brits to get an International Driving Permit before they travel to Florida.
In general, this law is doing more harm for Florida than good. That is because Florida tends to make most of its money of tourists. If international tourists from the UK are confused about driving laws in Florida, it might be the deciding factor that causes them to travel elsewhere. Then Florida loses out on that extra money.
AA went on to confirm that this new law may have a negative impact on tourism for Florida. They said that it is pretty absurd to think that this new law may keep Brits from traveling to Florida, which is the home of Disney World. Think about the Brits that made the trip and did not know about the law. They already paid for everything, and now they are in Florida unable to rent a car.
AA added that most people are worried about what happens if a UK driver without an International Drivers Permit gets into a crash. Lawyers may try to point out that this law has been infringed upon, even if enforcement is being deferred. This is why so many car hire companies are refusing to rent to British travelers without this driving permit. They do not want to get involved in some kind of lawsuit. All of this just continues to add to the confusion of what people need to rent a car when visiting Florida.