It wasn't publicized, so hardly anyone noticed a law that went into effect January 1, 2013 in Florida. The law requires Canadians and other foreign citizens to have an International Driver's Permit to drive in Florida. That permit would be in addition to a valid driver's license from the country where they reside.
Canadians that spend the winter in the Sunshine State have been blindsided and are understandably upset over the new requirement. The bad news is that apparently the only way for a Canadian to obtain the permit is from the Canadian Automobile Association. Those that are already in Florida have no way of doing that. The good news is that Florida announced on February 14 that they were suspending enforcement of this law to reconsider its uniformity with international law regarding the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic.
While the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said the law was passed so police will be able to read and understand the information contained on foreign licenses, no one anticipated the fallout from our English-speaking northern neighbors. Let's hope Florida's legislature comes up with a workable solution this spring. And, let's hope Canadians accept our apology... they spend a lot of time and money in Florida.