Bring back "Civilian Overseas Driver's License Extensions" in Florida
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- Both U.S. military and Department of Defense Civilians are stationed overseas for years at a time.
- Florida has offered driver's license renewal online or offered Civilian Temporarily Overseas and Military Overseas Driver's License Renewal/Extension paperwork in the past.
- However, since sometime in 2016/2017 Florida discontinued this option for Civilians overseas, even those on DoD orders and now only offer "Military Overseas Extension" paperwork.
- If you are a DoD civilian, you have the option to renew once online, after which you must be physically present to renew, which means purchasing an international plane ticket to renew a driver's license.
- Please sign the petition to urge Florida to rename the extension paperwork, "Military and DoD Civilian Overseas Extension" to allow DoD civilians to renew from abroad. DoD Civilians could provide a copy of their orders just as active duty military would provide.
- It would be most effective to not only sign the petition, but to also call your congressman, and/or also your Florida House Representative since this is likely a Florida State issue, rather than a congressional one. To search for your representative type your address here: www.myfloridahouse.gov
- Florida House Representative, Mel Ponder is already aware of the issue. His office has written:"If there is a demand, there is certainly cause to revisit their decision to discontinue the option."
- Please let Mr. Ponder's office know there is a demand. His office #850-833-3713 (leave a message if no answer)
- His website: http://melforhouse.com if you prefer to email.
Why I started this petition?
I am a DoDDs teacher, wife, and mother of three little girls. While we are offered travel to the U.S. once every two years for a visit (most other DoD Civilians DO NOT have this option, thereby reinforcing the need for this petition), it does not always line up with when my driver's license will expire. Florida will not renew it for my husband and I early just because we happen to be in Florida that year. It could be that we would then return overseas on a license that will expire abroad before our next visit to Florida in two years. We would then continue driving on an expired license for a year or two before our next trip - thereby invalidating our Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) driver's license which is only valid with a U.S. license. Getting a foreign driver's license is not an option. We are American citizens, employees of the Federal government, and registered Florida voters allowed to vote from abroad, but not renew our driver's license?
In response to my question why DoD Civilians on government orders are not entitled to renew from abroad but U.S. military can, a representative of Mel Ponder's office wrote: "military personnel are required to forego a number of liberties and options related to flexibility and mobility that are unrestricted for DoD civilians." This reasoning makes little sense to me.
I wish Florida would support ALL its federal government employees. DoD Civilians still need to renew our driver's licenses, even if our mobility "appears" greater, nor does our level of "mobility" make international flights free.
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