If you are traveling to Florida and you will be driving a car, it is important to be familiar with Florida’s traffic laws. Depending on how long you will be staying in Florida and the reason for your visit, you may want to obtain an international drivers license. Usa.gov gives information about obtaining an international drivers license. “If you plan to drive when you visit the United States, check the driving rules in the state(s) you’ll be visiting to verify that you can use your non-U.S. driver’s license. You should get an International Driving Permit (IDP), which translates the information contained on your official driver’s license into 10 languages.” You must obtain the international drivers license before you leave your home county, because “the United States does not issue International Driving Permits to foreign visitors.”
If you have a foreign drivers license but do not have an international drivers license, you need to know the Florida drivers license laws and traffic regulations. Among other laws, there are two Florida statutes you should be aware of. Florida Statute Section 322.04 lists people that are exempt from having to obtain a Florida drivers license. It states:
(1) The following persons are exempt from obtaining a driver license:
(a) Any employee of the United States Government, while operating a noncommercial motor vehicle owned by or leased to the United States Government and being operated on official business.
(b) Any person while driving or operating any road machine, farm tractor, or implement of husbandry temporarily operated or moved on a highway.
(c) A nonresident who is at least 16 years of age and who has in his or her immediate possession a valid noncommercial driver license issued to the nonresident in his or her home state or country operating a motor vehicle of the type for which a Class E driver license is required in this state.
(d) A nonresident who is at least 18 years of age and who has in his or her immediate possession a valid noncommercial driver license issued to the nonresident in his or her home state or country operating a motor vehicle, other than a commercial motor vehicle, in this state.
(2) This section does not apply to any person to whom s. 322.031 applies.
(3) Any person working for a firm under contract to the United States Government whose residence is outside this state and whose main point of employment is outside this state may drive a noncommercial vehicle on the public roads of this state for periods up to 60 days while in this state on temporary duty, if the person has a valid driver license from the state of the person’s residence.
You should also be familiar with Florida Statute Section 322.031. This law tells you when a nonresident is required to obtain a Florida drivers license. Read When Does a Nonresident Need a Florida Drivers License? for more information about Section 322.031. Some Jacksonville traffic tickets are civil infractions. With most Jacksonville tickets, you are able to pay the ticket without setting a court date. A Florida speeding ticket is the most common example of a civil infraction. Some citations are criminal. If you are issued a criminal citation, you are required to set a court date within the allotted time period. If you do not, a capias will be issued. This is similar to a warrant for your arrest.
If you were given a traffic citation in Duval, Clay, Nassau, or St. Johns County, contact a Jacksonville lawyer to discuss your options. A Jacksonville attorney with experience may be able to help you. Call (904) 564-2525.