Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Southern Ontario Snowbirds to Get Refund for Florida License Flap, CAA

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Southern Ontario Snowbirds to Get Refund for Florida License Flap, CAA

Article excerpt

Snowbirds to get refund for Florida license flap


TORONTO - Southern Ontario drivers who scrambled to accommodate a Florida law that's on the verge of being revised can be compensated for their trouble, the regional chapter of the Canadian Automobile Association said Friday.

Recent changes in Florida legislation required all foreign drivers, including Canadians, to acquire an international driving permit in order to operate a vehicle in the Sunshine State.

The rule went into effect quietly on Jan. 1 but only became widely known earlier this week, prompting a flurry of applicants for the special permit.

Authorities in Florida, however, have since announced that they will be modifying the law to accommodate Canadian drivers.

The South Central Ontario chapter of the CAA has responded by offering a full refund for anyone who purchased an international driving permit and passport photos on Feb. 13 or 14. Customers have 30 days in which to claim their money.

The CAA chapter, however, did not discourage future travellers from acquiring the permit, which translates existing licence information into 10 languages and is meant to supplement a person's ordinary license from home.

Officials in Florida have said they are reviewing the current law and have not yet determined how they will accommodate Canadian drivers.

"I'm not sure exactly how we're going to end up working it but we're going to determine how to modify it to accommodate the concerns of Canadians and others,'' said Kirsten Olsen-Doolan of the state's Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

She also said officials are aware that Canadian licences are issued in both English and French and haven't determined how they will redraft the law to take that into account.

The South Central Ontario CAA urged would-be snowbirds to keep the rules in mind while the state's review is taking place.

While enforcement of this new law in Florida may not take place at least for now, we continue to recommend for those Canadians travelling to Florida in the next few days, to consider obtaining an IDP," the chapter said in a statement. …

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