RENEWAL PERIOD CHANGES FOR HEAVY TRUCKS
The registration renewal period of hundreds of thousands of heavy trucks weighing between 5,001 pounds and 7,999 pounds is changing from December to the primary registrant’s birthdate. The state-wide change affects heavy trucks owned by individuals only, and not those owned by businesses. The transition to the Primary registrant’s birthdate will take place during this year’s 2020 renewal period. This change affects the registration renewal date, but will not change any fees or registration uses.
During this year’s renewal, registrants have a few options, allowing them to renew from this December until their birthdate in 2021, or to renew through their birth month in 2022. Owners with a birth month between January and June will have the option to renew for 1 to 18 months while owners with a birth month between July and December have the option to renew for 7 to 24 months.
By Florida law, registrations can be renewed 3 months before their month of expiration. As a result, owners of Heavy Trucks can renew as early as September 1, 2020.
The change is a direct result of the passage of House Bill 87 during the 2019 Legislative Session, a bill whose origins began in Okaloosa County years earlier. In 2018 the Okaloosa County Tax Collector’s office began to work with the Florida Tax Collector’s Association and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to draft legislation. The initial draft failed to pass during the 2018 Legislation Session but was again filed in 2019 and passed. The transition eliminates the need for thousands of vehicle owners to have two renewal periods in a single calendar year; one for their cars, boats, and trailers on their birthday, and the other for their Heavy Trucks in December. The change reduces confusion for vehicle owners, as well as reduces customer traffic in Tax Collector’s offices during December, the busiest month for Tax Collector’s offices throughout the state.
Without the partnerships and the support of the Florida Tax Collector’s Association, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and Representative Mel Ponder, the bill’s sponsor, the change would not have been possible.