14 May 2008

Florida License for Virginia Living

I'm in Misdemeanor court when a guy is called before the bench on a charge which has something to do with his license. As part of the case, he pulls out his driver's license and hands it to the judge. It's a Florida driver's license, but it has, plain as day, a residence on it of 123 Kyle Busch Street, Shire, VIRGINIA. The judge looks at the license skeptically, but the guy keeps saying something about Florida giving "dual-residence" and the license being valid. Nobody buys it, but the case ends without the judge (who tries) convincing him he ought to get a Virginia license.

I go down to my office and spend a good portion of my lunch trying to figure this out. I look on Florida's DMV site, but it doesn't tell me anything helpful and doesn't even give me a number I can call for help. However, it does give me links to local offices and they have phone numbers. First, I try calling a couple bigger localities, figuring they probably have more people working and more experience with strange things. But, after hitting automatic answering machines, I realize this isn't going to work. Finally, I purposefully call a smaller office in Hardee County. Lo and behold, a live person answers and as a bonus he's polite and helpful (always the advantage of calling a smaller office instead of a big city one). I explain who I am and what I am checking out. He tells me he's never heard of such a thing, unless someone is in the military, but offers to let me speak to his supervisor. She gets on the phone and I explain it again. She doesn't know about this sort of thing either. Still, she's helpful as can be and gives me the number for the Tallahassee main office.

Next, I call Tallahassee. I get a customer service rep who helps me out a little, tells me she's heard something about this, and offers to link me up to an "analyst" who can help me further. I agree and she puts me on hold for about 10 minutes.

Then a man picks up the phone. I again explain to him that someone who lives in Pitcarin County Virginia, in the town of Shire, has a Florida license with a Virginia residence listed on it.

"Oh, sure, we do that."

Me, stunned and after picking my jaw up off the floor: "Ummm . . . Are there any limitations you place on this? After all, she has a house in Virginia."

"Not really. Some other States don't like it too much. And car rental places usually won't rent to people with this type of license. That's about it."

1 comment:

Windypundit said...

Huh. I guess it's about snowbirds. If you spend your winters in Florida, it would be awkward to have to return to your home state for your license if it expires during the winter.

As I understand it, Florida will also issue concealed weapon permits to out-of-state folks (as will Virginia, and if a guy from Illinois takes his Florida concealed weapon permit to Virginia, that will work too, if I'm reading the reciprocity rules right). So I guess the driver's license thing isn't that surprising...