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All motor vehicles and trailers in the State of Florida must be registered and/or titled. As agent for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, it is the responsibility of the Tax Collector to provide the necessary services and operations to accomplish this. The Tax Collector works closely with the State to ensure all transactions are conducted in accordance with state statutes.
Tag Registration & Renewal
For each original registration, Florida issues a metal license plate that utilizes the alphanumeric system. Each plate is stamped with a combination of letters and numbers providing individualized registration identification for the vehicle or trailer to which it is assigned. Metal plates are issued to the owner for ten years providing the owner maintains vehicle or trailer registration in his or her name. The plate will be replaced with a new license plate (new plate number) during the tenth year. In addition, a renewable decal which displays the month and year of expiration, the license plate number and a decal number is issued for each registration. It is to be placed in the upper right-hand corner of the metal plate and made visible to law enforcement. With the exception of specific commercial vehicles, the license plate is displayed on the rear of the vehicle.
Private and long-term leased vehicles are registered on a staggered basis and expire at midnight on the first registered owner’s birthday. Company owned vehicles expire June 30th each year and short-term leased vehicles are renewed in varying months based on an alphabetical renewal schedule. Truck-tractors, semi-trailers, and trucks weighing over 5000 pounds all expire on December 31st of each year. All motor vehicles and regular trailers are registered based on their weight whereas travel trailers and mobile homes are registered based on their length. Registration renewals can be processed as early as three months in advance. There is no penalty for early renewal however a late fee of $10 will be assessed for registrations renewed after the 10th day following the registration month.
Proof of Insurance
Proof of insurance (binder, policy or card) from a certified Florida agent or broker is required to purchase and/or renew a registration in Florida. The vehicle owner must present to the Tax Collector documentation of current Personal Injury Protection (PIP) with minimum limits of liability in the amount of $10,000 for bodily injury caused to a single person, $20,000 for bodily injury caused to multiple persons and $10,000 for property damage to another person’s property. This coverage is commonly referred to as PIP/PD 10/20/10. Motorcycles, mobile homes and trailers are exempt from the insurance requirement. Commercial vehicles require additional Insurance coverage.
Any insurance proof provided, whether paper or electronic, must indicate “Florida Insurance Card.”
In addition, proof of Florida insurance must be verifiable as of the date the vehicle is registered to avoid suspension of a driver license, license plate(s), and registration(s). Insurance purchased for the vehicle you are currently registering must be bound on the same day as the issuance of the registration. Florida law requires Florida insurance be maintained throughout the registration period. Cancellation of insurance on a vehicle that still has valid registration will result in a suspended driver license. Suspensions can be avoided by surrendering your current tag to the Tax Collector prior to cancelling your insurance coverage.
Please contact our office for additional 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.
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.
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.
In the state of Florida, mobile homes must be registered. A numbered decal, instead of a metal license plate, is issued for identification. State statutes require mobile home registrations be renewed annually by December 31. A delinquent fee is charged if the registration is not renewed by the 10th of the following month.
Registration fees are set by the Department of Motor Vehicles and are based on the length of the mobile home. Double wide and triple wide mobile homes are considered two and three separate units respectively and the owner must purchase that number of decals. Mobile home owners are required to display the decal in a window clearly visible from the road in front of the home.
To register a mobile home, the owner must present to the Tax Collector’s Office the following documents:
- The current or last issued Florida Vehicle Registration Certificate for the mobile home (if lost, furnish the most current decal number.)
- The title to the mobile home (if financed, the owner must obtain a copy from the lien holder.)
- The title (from Florida or any other state) signed off by the previous owner, if it has not been transferred into the current owner’s name, and the bill of sale (the Tax Office will process the transfer).
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.
When you provide a check as payment, you authorize us to either 1. use information from your check to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account or 2. process the payment as a check transaction.