Canada column for Sunday, Feb. 24/13
THE CANADIAN REPORT
(c) By Jim Fox
There are indications many Canadians will forgo their March-break trips to Florida over a contentious new law that requires International Driver’s Permits (IDP).
Even though Florida authorities say police won’t enforce the law that’s expected to be amended and requires the permits for all foreign drivers, including Canadians, that might not be enough.
“Until the law is changed, we continue to recommend Canadians traveling to Florida should consider obtaining an IDP,” the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) advises.
Since the law “remains in effect,” there is “some uncertainty on how insurance companies and Florida car rental agencies will interpret the law,” it said.
“Was going to go down for a trip next month driving but not now,” someone identified as “Rugby Norm” posted on the Toronto Star website.
“Plain and simple, Florida obviously doesn't care about Canadians,” he wrote, adding that a trip to the Toronto Blue Jays’ spring training is also “off the list of to do now.”
CAA offices have been packed with people buying the $25 international permits that supplement a provincial driver’s license.
Florida Tourism officials are concerned over the law’s impact as Canadians are the state’s top international market with 3.1-million visitors in 2010.