header image

DRIVING in FLORIDA + Car Insurance for Brits


 SINCE FLORIDA has some 1.4 million UK tourists a year, many of whom wish to drive a car while here, FABB gets more queries about driving than any other.  This resource page was created to answer your questions!   Florida has its own driving laws,  many differing from other USA states.    

►   In Florida, no foreigner can get a driving licence without showing PROOF of Florida residency IN PERSON at an official Florida driver’s center.  Find  them listed on the state’s only official  website www.flhsmv.gov.   Florida does not issue permanent drivers licences to non USA residents.  So visitors from the UK who do not have permanent residency cannot obtain a Florida driver’s licence.   British visitors may use their international or UK licence for the 3 months of your tourist visa OR 6 months if you own property in Florida.

CAR INSURANCE IN FLORIDA—-FIRST STEP:  CONTACT OUR INSURANCE AGENT TRAE WEST FOR THE CORRECT, CURRENT ANSWERS.  FABB works with West Insurance Group,  based in Ft Lauderdale with a Tampa satellite office.  West specializes in auto insurance for Florida Brits, newcomers and longtime residents.  Phone office (954) 649-2310 and ask for Trae West. FABB members since 2002.  Or email:  traew@john-galt.com   On subject line put:   TO TRAE–British driver query.  Or call Trae’s British office colleague there Andrea,  on  [954] 491-1942 who can advise British drivers in Florida.  NOTE:  Many British newcomers to Florida over the last 20 years have used Trae to navigate through car insurance and get coverage. We recommend him highly!    TRAE says  “70% of my clients are Brits and FABB members and our agency will get you insured and advise you how to overcome problems.  Many insurance agents will NOT be able to answer your questions on international car insurance.  We can!”    FYI:  Once you’ve settled in Florida, West Insurance also offers homeowners, commercial property, business insurance and workers compensation–all useful for Brits living in Florida.  

►    FOR FLORIDA PERMANENT RESIDENTS ONLY:  HOW TO GET A FLORIDA DRIVING LICENCE:    CONSULT THE OFFICIAL STATE OF FLORIDA WEBSITE FOR DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES:  www.flhsmv.gov   Or phone the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee on [850] 922-9000 and ask all your driving questions. 

►  BUYING A CAR IN FLORIDA       British visitors on a tourist visa,  including those who own a Florida holiday home and spend several months a year here,  may have difficulty buying a car in Florida.  That’s because you can’t get insurance without official proof of residency.   Contact West Insurance below to ask what’s possible in your case.   Also where are you going to store it safely for your months back in UK?   So most UK visitors rent a car each time they come over to Florida.  You can purchase a car without a Florida Driver’s licence but it’s not easy.   Newcomer resident Brits will pay a higher premium till they get established.

WE RECOMMEND buying a used car from CARMAX.  Honest, hassle-free, no haggling over price.
Locations all around Florida on their website

► US insurance companies do not recognise your past UK driving record, however perfect.  When you move here, you start from scratch and must build your credit/driving record and prove your trustworthiness.

►    Good News: In Florida it is the CAR not the driver who is insured, so anybody licensed to drive your car is insured, with certain restrictions, of course.    NOTE:  
Florida authorities want to see you in person with your actual proof of residency documents, to obtain a Florida licence.

Beware of look-alike websites trying to get money from you!  ONLY consult  this official website above.  


£   TIP:  WANT TO SAVE WHEN TRANSFERRING over UK CURRENCY?   DON’T USE YOUR BANK!  Use Moneycorp.  [ I use Moneycorp myself–FABB President.]    TO FIND OUT MORE:    Phone Moneycorp’s Kelly Cutchin on  [863] 207-6616 at their USA HQ in Orlando to ask all your questions.  Or email your query to Kelly Cutchin  kelly.cutchin@moneycorp.com     The pound is unpredictable. That affects all expats in Florida who still have UK dealings. To transfer your precious funds, we highly recommend you use the services of Moneycorp.  At lower rates than any bank!  This will save you fees and grief, as we Londoners say!  What your own bank won’t do is save considerable  exchange fees, like Moneycorp.   NOW is an advantageous time for you to transfer any funds you have.  THE BEST WAY:   Moneycorp, the UK company with an office in Florida and droves of satisfied Florida clients. It is the only UK currency exchange company licenced to deal in 50 states.   Many expat Brits here have used this currency service for years and report huge savings and satisfaction.  Moneycorp’s HQ is in England.   Posted by the Florida Association of British Business [FABB].  Moneycorp have been trusted members since 2005.