After receiving backlash from several major Canadian newspapers, the Florida Department of Highway and Safety announced this afternoon that it won’t enforce a new state law requiring foreign visitors to have an international driving permit while driving in Florida.
“It has come to the Department’s attention that this requirement may violate the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, an international treaty to which the United States is a signatory,” the department announced in a statement today. “Treaties to which the United States is a party preempt state laws in conflict with them.”
The Florida Highway Patrol will defer enforcement of violations on the international driving permit. Non-resident visitors to Florida won’t have to carry an international driving permit. They just have to have a valid driver license issued in his or her name from their country of residence.
The change in law went into effect Jan. 1. State legislators made the change so Florida officers would not be faced with license documents in language they could not understand.