Here are some tips for visitors who are driving in Florida on their vacation.
Florida Driving Tips
- Of course, remember to drive on the right side of the road.
- Legal speed limits are posted on the right side of the road.
- You may turn right at a red light after coming to a complete stop, unless a sign indicating “no right on red” is posted at the intersection.
- Headlights must be on from dusk to dawn, as well as in fog or rain. Turn off windscreen wipers when stopping at toll booths.
- When law enforcement vehicles are in one of the “break-down” lanes, either assisting a motorist or pulling over a speeding vehicle, you must move to the far lane, away from the police or slow to 20 miles per hour below the speed limit.
- Law requires wearing your seat belt. In addition, children under age 4 or less than 40 pounds (15 kg) must be in a child car seat, usually available from your car hire company.
- Driving in Florida while drinking alcohol or while under the influence of alcohol is illegal. Appoint a “designated driver” in your group who will drink only non-alcoholic beverages and drive home safely.
- Drivers may dial *FHP on Florida interstates and highways in an emergency to reach the Florida Highway Patrol (state police).
- Some interstate highways have tolls – for example, the Florida Turnpike (Ocala to Homestead), Alligator Alley (1-75 between Miami and Naples) and the Bee Line Expressway (Orlando to Cape Canaveral). Many coastal islands have bridges, at which a fare is also charged.
- Motorists who travel Florida’s Turnpike in Miami-Dade county will pay Florida tolls via an all-electronic collection system. Officials caution motorists that under no circumstances should they attempt to stop in high-speed electronic tolling lanes. For more information about the toll road changes, click here.
- You only need your documentation of identification, such as your driver's license from your native country, to drive in Florida. You do not need an international driving permit.
To rent a car you must have your driving license, passport and a credit card. The minimum age for car hire is 21, but some agencies will charge more for drivers under 25 years of age. Major companies will allow you to pick up a car in one location and drop it off in another (for an extra charge). Most major companies also have programs allowing customers to utilize the TOLL-BY-PLATE electronic collection system wherein tolls, plus varying service fees, are automatically charged to the credit card used to rent the vehicle. For details, including pricing options at participating car agencies, visit www.sunpass.com/rentalcar. You can generally make reservations before you leave your country, either by phone or online.
There are also alternative ways to get around Florida without a car. With these tips for driving in Florida in mind, enjoy the warmth and relaxation that the Sunshine offers!