Canadians technically now need an international driving permit to get behind the wheel in Florida.
Legislators in the Sunshine State passed a law that requires non-U.S. motorists, including those renting cars, to have an international permit in addition to their regular driver's licence as of Jan. 1, said Ian Jack, spokesman for the Canadian Automobile
But lawmakers there said they are scrambling to modify the rules to allow driver's with English-licences to drive there without the international permit. Unfortunately that will likely take until the summer to close the loophole, as the next legislative session isn't until March. So, until then the permit will technically, by law, be required for the many Canadian spring breakers and snowbirds who head south over the winter months.
"At CAA, we're reluctantly recommending to be better safe than sorry," Jack said.
Florida officials said officers won't be actively enforcing the law for Canadian-licenced motorists, but the decision will be at the discretion of police and the courts.
Employees from Enterprise and Hertz car rentals in Florida, however, said Thursday they hadn't heard of the new requirement and Canadians can rent vehicles
with just their regular driver's licence.
An international driving permit is printed in 10 languages, is valid for one-year, and allows the holder to operate a vehicle without further tests or applications in more than 150 countries. Drivers can get the permit at any CAA office.
More Canadians travel to Florida than any other country.
In 2011, about 3.3 million Canadians travelled to the Sunshine
State, according to Visit Florida Research.