Like Californians love Disneyland, so do Floridians love Disney World. But each year, the Central Florida Disney Parks welcome hundreds of thousands of Guests from other states, as well as other countries, and a new Florida law now makes it illegal for certain Guests from five other states to visit the Disney World Resort if they’re driving.
A new law in Florida makes it illegal for certain Disney fans to visit the Walt Disney World Resort if they are driving from their home state or renting a car and driving from Orlando International Airport to their Resort hotel room at Disney World.
Effective July 1, certain driver’s licenses from other states became invalid in the Sunshine State. The new law, part of Senate Bill 1718, is part of a larger legislative effort against illegal immigration in Florida that was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis on May 10, 2023.
Florida Senate Bill 1718 was signed into law and was effective July 1, 2023. The law prohibits the issuance of a driver’s license to anyone who fails to provide proof of lawful presence in the United States. It further specifies that out-of-state licenses issued exclusively to undocumented immigrants are invalid in Florida. Section 322.033 of the new law specifically reads as follows:
“If a driver license is of a class of licenses issued by another state exclusively to undocumented immigrants who are unable to prove lawful presence in the United States when the licenses are issued, the driver license, or other permit purporting to authorize the holder to operate a motor vehicle on public roadways, is invalid in this state and does not authorize the holder to operate a motor vehicle in this state.
Such classes of licenses include licenses that are issued exclusively to undocumented immigrants or licenses that are substantially the same as licenses issued to citizens, residents, or those lawfully present in the United States but have markings establishing that the license holder did not exercise the option of providing proof of lawful presence.
A law enforcement officer or other authorized representative of the department who stops a person driving with an invalid license as described in subsection [above] and driving without a valid license shall issue a citation to the driver for driving without a license in violation of s. 322.03.”
In short, any driver stopped by an officer of the law and found to have an invalid out-of-state driver’s license as defined by the new law will be issued a citation for driving without a valid license. That means that Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort from any of the five states listed below may be driving illegally if they either drive from their home states to Florida, or if they rent a vehicle at Orlando International Airport and drive the rented vehicle from the airport to the Central Florida parks.
Since the law went into effect, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles published a list of out-of-state license classes that are invalid in Florida.
- Connecticut: licenses that indicate “Not For Federal Identification”
- Delaware: licenses that indicate “Driving Privilege Only” or “Not Valid for Identification”
- Hawaii: licenses that indicate “Limited Purpose Driver’s License,” “Limited Purpose Instruction Permit,” “Limited Purpose Provisional Driver’s License,” or “Not Valid for use for official Federal purposes”
- Rhode Island: licenses that indicate “Not for Federal Identification,” “Driver Privilege Card,” or “Driver Privilege Permit”
- Vermont: licenses that indicate “Not for REAL ID Purposes Driver’s Privilege Card,” “Not for REAL ID Purposes Junior Driver’s Privilege Card,” or “Not for REAL ID Purposes Learner’s Privilege Card”
If Guests visiting from these five states have been issued any of the above-mentioned driver’s license types, they can avoid a ticket for driving with an invalid license by flying into Orlando International Airport and choosing a transportation service that takes Guests directly to Disney World, such as Mears Connect or the Sunshine Flyer, which are merging, effective August 1, 2023, and will be known as Mears Connect Driven by Sunshine.