Motor Vehicles

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All motor vehicles and trailers in the State of Florida must be registered and /or titled. It is the responsibility of the Tax Collector, in his capacity as agent for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, to provide the necessary services and operations to accomplish this job. The Tax Collector works very closely with this state agency to ensure all transactions are conducted according to state statutes.

Tag Registration & Renewal

Florida uses a metal license plate with the alpha numeric system, meaning there are combinations of letters and numbers used for identification. The renewal decal with the vehicle description and month of expiration is placed in the upper right hand corner of the plate. The license plate is displayed on the rear of the vehicle with the exception of certain commercial vehicles. The plate is issued to the owner for ten years. The owner will receive a new plate (with new numbers and letters) during the tenth year.

Private and long term vehicles are registered on a staggered basis and expire at midnight on the first registered owner’s birthday. The only exceptions to this schedule are: company owned vehicles and short term leased vehicles are renewed in June. Truck-tractors, semi-trailers, and trucks weighing over 5000 pounds are renewed in December. Nine passenger and over vehicles used for hire are also renewed in December. All vehicles are licensed according to weight. Travel trailers and mobile homes are licensed according to length.

Proof of Insurance

Proof of insurance (binder, policy or card) from a certified Florida agent or broker is required to purchase and renew a license plate in Florida. The vehicle owner must present to the Tax Collector documentation of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in the amount of at least $10,000 combined bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance in the amount of $10,000. Motorcycles, mobile homes and trailers are exempt from the insurance requirement. Commercial vehicles require additional Insurance coverage. Please contact our office for further information.

 Registration Renewal by Mail

Most registrations can be renewed by mail. You must send the renewal card or a copy of the current registration along with proof of Florida insurance. Renewals can be processed up to three months in advance of the month of the expiration.  For convenience, the majority of vehicle registrations may be renewed for one or two years.

A Military resident of Florida stationed outside of the state and still wanting to register their vehicle in Florida must send their renewal card or a copy of the current registration, an out of state mailing address, an affidavit for exemption of Florida insurance stating that the vehicle is used in Florida for transient purposes only, and a copy of the orders showing the owner is stationed outside of Florida, plus proof of out of state insurance.

A Military non-resident of the state of Florida must send in their renewal card, proof of Florida insurance, and an affidavit stating the owner is still an out of state resident stationed in Florida. Both of these items are found on the renewal card for your convenience.

License plates, decals and registration receipts can be mailed to the vehicle owner.

Change of Address

In order to maintain accurate records all changes of address must be reported to the Tax Collector’s Office within 20 days.  The vehicle owner is required to provide the license plate number along with the address change report.

Vehicle Identification Numbers

All used motor vehicles with out of state titles being registered in Florida for the first time must have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verified. The Tax Collector’s Office will perform this service at the time of registration. The VIN can also be verified by any law enforcement officer, a Florida notary public or a motor vehicle dealer.

Rates

Annual license taxes, for the operation of motor vehicles as defined by Florida Statutes, must be paid at the time of registration and renewal. All fees are subject to change by Legislative Act.

For more information about fees please click for the following schedule. http://www.flhsmv.gov/DHSMVFees.htm

To see a sample fee structure. http://www.flhsmv.gov/FeeSamples.htm

Initial Registration Fee

The first time a license plate is purchased for a motor vehicle in Florida, an Initial Registration Fee may be imposed. See Tax Collector’s Office for additional information.

Military Non-Resident Rates

Members of the Armed Forces stationed in Florida, but who maintain their legal residence outside the state of Florida, are classified as non-resident military and are eligible for special registration rates. To qualify for the special rates, Florida law requires that the vehicle owner must submit a copy of their military orders for review. Proof of Florida insurance is mandatory.

If the vehicle is not titled in Florida, a copy of the out-of-state title or registration is required for application. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) must be verified by a Tax Office employee, Florida notary, motor vehicle dealer or a state or military law enforcement officer.

Regular rates will apply if the non-resident’s status changes. Also, if military orders transfer the owner out of the state of Florida, they are no longer entitled to Florida registration.

(WARNING: Military personnel who file for non-resident status on a vehicle will not be eligible to file homestead exemption in the State of Florida. Contact the Okaloosa County Property Appraiser’s Office for more information on Homestead Exemption)

Florida Vehicle Titles

To transfer a Florida Title, the seller must complete the transfer information on the current title, including the purchaser’s name, the selling price, and the odometer reading at the time of sale. (A bill of sale may be submitted for proof of purchase price.) Sales tax will be collected if applicable. All transfers of ownership must be completed within 30 days of the date the vehicle is assigned by the seller or a $20 fee is levied at the time of transfer.

Out-of-State Titles

An out-of-state title must be submitted as proof of ownership and if transfer of ownership is involved, it must be properly assigned indicating the new owner’s name and address. An application for Florida Title must be completed and accompanied by verification of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and odometer reading (DHSMV Form 82042). The owner(s) or purchaser(s) must sign this form or give power attorney. Sales tax will be collected if applicable.

New Vehicle Titles

All new vehicles are required to have a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) which must be signed and notarized (if applicable) by a licensed dealer for transfer to the buyer. To obtain a Florida title, the MCO must be filled out completely and attached to the title application form (DHSMV Form 82040) as well as the Federal Odometer Disclosure and a bill of sale. The information must include the owner’s complete name and Florida address, date of birth, sex, Florida driver’s license number, a complete description of the vehicle and any lien to be recorded. Sales tax will be collected if applicable.

Parking Permits for Disabled PersonsPARKING PERMITS FOR DISABLED PERSONS

A placard can be obtained by any individual with disabilities who holds a Florida Driver’s license or Florida ID card that limit or impair the ability to walk or is certified legally blind. The parking permit entitles the driver transporting the disabled passenger to utilize handicap parking facilities. The placard is transferable to any vehicle transporting the disabled person. The placard is to be hung on the rear view mirror when using the designated parking spaces.

Applications may be obtained from the Tax Collector’s Office and must be completed and signed by the applicant and their Physician

A temporary disabled parking placard is also available for a $15.00 fee up to six months from the date of issuance. A second temporary parking placard can be issued within 12 months of the last issuance. There is no charge for the second temporary parking placard. Application must be completed by a physician.

Types of Payment

The above motor vehicle transactions can be paid in person by cash, personal check, cashier’s check, money order, Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express.  You may in person, or over the phone. If paying online the following credit cards are accepted, Visa, Master Card, American Express and Discover, A bank card fee will be added if paying with credit/debit card on all credit card payments whether paid in person over the phone or on the internet. Paying by E-check online is free at the office and online.