Are Floridians required to set up emergency contacts?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

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The most recent question asks: Does the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles require emergency contact information?

Although having emergency contacts listed on your driver’s license is not required by law, the question should be why would you not want to list an emergency contact?

Here in the state of Florida, we are prone to some pretty crazy conditions, whether it be our resident Florida man or the wild weather we get year-round. From tornadoes to tropical storms to our annual hurricanes, disaster can strike at any time.

First responders throughout the state have access to the Florida Crime Information Center, or FCIC. The program allows law enforcement to check everyone’s driver’s license.

Their mobile computers give back information pertaining to the specific license. Everything from name, date of birth, residential address and of course, status of that driver’s license. But if you add an emergency contact that information will be clearly listed at the bottom of all the other information.

Hundreds of times I have investigated a crash where, unfortunately, someone involved was in serious enough condition to where they could not tell me who their next of kin was or a family member to get in touch with. Having an emergency contact listed allows law enforcement to go the extra mile and get you that friend or family member to you in times of need.

We are in the middle of hurricane season and as we have seen before, these storms can get pretty serious, causing damage to our homes and causing major crashes. Now is the time to update your emergency contact if you have not done so.

I have provided the link here to the state website to where you can update this contact information and have it ready in case of emergency.

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