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Q

I do not have a Florida driver's license. I am a visitor in Florida. Can I drive a car in FL with my foreign license?


A

Yes, normally if you have a valid foreign driver's license you can drive a car in Florida. The FL driver's handbook states that any non-resident who is at least 16 years old may drive in Florida without a Florida driver license, if they have a valid license from another state or country.

Typically in the United States you can drive up to 12 months on your valid foreign license as a visitor or tourist. If you move to Florida and have a valid license from another state or country, you must get a Florida license within 30 days of becoming a resident. You are considered a resident of Florida if you:

  • Enroll your children in public school, or
  • Register to vote, or
  • File for a homestead exemption, or
  • Accept employment, or
  • Reside in Florida for more than six consecutive months.

If your driver's license is not in English than it would be helpful if you obtained an International Driving Permit (IDP) before coming to the United States so that your license is translated into English in case law enforcement or others need to verify that your license is valid.

To find out how long you can drive in Florida on your foreign license and about your specific situation contact the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV). As for insurance to drive a car, if it is someone else's car than they need to make sure you are covered to operate their vehicle.

If you want to get your own vehicle to drive than it will be difficult to get insurance without a Florida license since Florida insurance providers will normally require you have a state license for them to rate you on.


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3 Responses to "I do not have a Florida driver's license. I am a visitor in Florida. Can I drive a car in FL with my foreign license?"
  1. Visitor

    I am British and have a house and car in Florida. I have no problems with insurance, State Farm covers me when I am in USA and suspends part of the coverage when I am away. Now drive on UK license as I had two 5 year Florida licenses but state government decided we needed to buy a new license every visit, due to 911. I think they have spelling problem we are tourists not terrorists. Still this saves me buying a license three or four times a year at the 5 year cost. Florida looses again, sad to say.

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  2. Anonymous

    PS the information on requirements for Canadians requesting a Florida drivers license in the Florida Handbook is WRONG. They went to press before the new rules came in and have not been updated.

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  3. Anonymous

    New rules, folks. I am a Canadian, not in Florida for more than 6 months, own property here, and have a Florida plated vehicle here. Canadian license works for the insurance folks but not for DMV. You now need to pass two written tests and one driving exam. No more reciprocity.

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