QUEBEC CITY, May 5, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Georgia has abolished its legal requirement for non-residents holding a driver's licence written in a language other than English to be in possession of an International Driving Permit (IDP) when driving in or through the state. CAA-Quebec applauds this successful outcome, which favours thousands of Quebecers who pass through Georgia every year on their way to vacations in the southern United States. As of January 1, 2017, they will need to show only their passport and Quebec driver's licence if asked.
This decision comes in the wake of sustained efforts by various authorities and organizations—including CAA-Quebec, the national office of the CAA, and the American Automobile Association (AAA) Auto Club Group—with authorities in the State of Georgia to have the requirement revoked.
"This legal requirement attracted a fair amount of media coverage when rumours began circulating of tickets and hefty fines levied against Quebec motorists simply because their driver's licence was in French only," explains Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec's Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs. "Although we could not find proof that the measure was ever enforced on that basis, our U.S. partner at the AAA defended the interests of Quebec drivers and helped ensure implementation of a fair solution."
Support from partners
With the situation now resolved, CAA-Quebec also acknowledges the indispensable support provided by the Ministry of International Relations and La Francophonie as well as the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ).
Don't forget the IDP for other destinations
CAA-Quebec reminds travellers that an IDP is still a requirement in certain countries. If they are planning on driving outside Canada, they should check first with a travel counsellor.
The IDP is an official translation, in 10 or so languages, of a Quebec driver's licence. Where needed, it can help with communication, for example, if a driver is stopped by police in a location where officers do not understand French. Lastly, the CAA is the sole Canadian agent authorized to issue the IDP. In Quebec, it is available from any of CAA-Quebec's 14 Travel Centres, or via the organization's website, caaquebec.com.
CAA-Quebec, a not-for-profit organization, provides all of its members with peace of mind by offering them high-quality automotive, travel, residential and insurance benefits, products and services.
For further information: Philippe St-Pierre, Director, Public Affairs, 514 861-7111, ext. 2418, Cell.: 418-580-1633, [email protected]