MONTREAL – Are you planning to drive down to Florida to escape the winter blues?
Quebecers may be surprised to know that they may get a ticket as they travel through the State of Georgia.
Why? Because Quebec licences are in French, not English, and that’s illegal.
“It’s only in the State of Georgia,” explained Anne-Sophie Hamel with CAA-Quebec.
“It’s required legally, that a driver that has a driver’s licence in a language other than English has an International Driver’s Permit (IDP).”
Here are three things you need to know if you plan to drive through the State of Georgia:
Consider an international licence
Georgia State Patrol recommends operating your vehicle with an International Driver’s Permit along with your Quebec driver’s licence.
The law that requires a driver’s licence be in English, even for non residents, came into effect Jan 1, 2009.
It’ll cost you
The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) charges $25 for an IDP.
To obtain an IDP, you must fill out an application form and submit it to your local CAA office.
Once you obtain your IDP, it is valid in all countries that have signed the United Nations 1949 Convention on Road Traffic.
You may not get fined
Although the State of Georgia has made it a requirement to have an English-language driver’s licence, CAA-Quebec told Global News it has never heard of a case where a driver holding a Quebec driver’s licence was given a citation or warning from Georgia State Patrol.
“What we’ve been told [by AAA] is that the authorities in Georgia are really tolerant because Quebecers that go to Florida through Georgia are legion,” said Hamel.
“If there are cases of people having problems, we haven’t been told.”
Ultimately, Hamel said it’s up to drivers to decide if they want to buy an IDP or not.