Applying for a Florida license plate is a part of the auto registration process. You have the option between standard, special and personalized plates to choose from.
The standard Florida license plates features two oranges, but you can choose from a wide variety of backgrounds. Florida has myriad options – from university alma maters to special interests groups. See here the different types of license plates you can choose to personalize your vehicle with.
Apply for a license plate when you register your vehicle. If you are new to the state, you have 10 days. Yet if you purchased your vehicle in a private sale, then you have 30 days to get new car registration. New car owners don’t have to worry about a thing – your car registration and tags will be mailed to you directly.
Standard License Plates
The standard license plates in Florida features the same qualities:
- A license plate number (combination of letters and numbers)
- Oranges and orange blossoms against a silhouette of Florida in the center of the plate
- Choose between “Sunshine State”, the name of your county, or “In God We Trust” written at the bottom of your license plates
- A decal at the upper right corner of your license plates showing the expiration month and year of your registration
Special License Plates
- You can also choose the background of your license plate. This would be called a special license, and depending on the organization, you have the option between a random selection of tag digits or personalizing it.
- Categories of special license plates include:
- Special Interest
- Commercial Vehicle
- Disabled Person
- Front End for Emergency Personnel
- Historical Vehicle
- Native American
Personalized License Plates
To have a special message written on your tags, apply for a personalized license plate by following these steps:
- Use the FL DHS&MV online service to check the personalized license plate availability
- Visit a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles office
- Fill out the Application for Personalized License Plate
- Pay the personalized license plate annual fee of $15
Once your request for personalized tags is submitted, you can pick up your new license plate from your local tax county collector’s office in 45 days.
Temporary License Plates
Temporary license plates are valid for 30 days and can be obtained only when you purchase a vehicle from a Florida dealership. During these 30 days, you will be able to drive your car until you receive your new car registration and title.
If you buy the vehicle in a private sale, then you will not get temporary license plates. Follow the steps for getting new car registration here.
How much do license plates cost in Florida?
The cost for a license plate depends on the type of plate you choose and if you want to personalize it, in addition to:
- Your county
- Vehicle type
- Vehicle weight
There is an initial registration fee of $225 for cars, and then the costs will add on depending on the special interest group you want to support and if the tag is personalized.
Renew License Plates in Florida
Since applying for license plates and registering your vehicle must be done at the same time, you will be able to renew your license plates no more than three months before the expiration date of your vehicle registration. Upon renewing your vehicle registration, you will receive a new expiration decal for your license plates and it should be placed over the old decal.
DMV.com recommends renewing your car registration from a secure and reliable source. Using a company that you trust is important, and one that makes keeping your information confidential a priority. DMV.com has partnered with eTags to give you the quickest and most efficient way of getting your registration.
Replace Lost or Stolen License Plates in Florida
If your license plates are stolen or lost, replace your tag immediately with any local County Tax Collector’s Office. For your substitute license plate application to be accepted, also bring the following:
- Proper form of ID
- Completed Application for Replacement License Plate, Validation Decal or Parking Permit
- Current vehicle registration certificate
- Payment for the replacement fees
- The damaged license plates or decal
If your license plates were stolen, you will have to file a police report and take the report to the local County Tax Collector’s Office. With a copy of the police report, you will not have to pay a duplicate license plate fee.
Surrender License Plates in Florida
The FL DMV requires you to surrender your license plates by mail or in person at your local County Tax Collector’s Office in the following circumstances:
- If you sell the vehicle without transferring the license plates to your new vehicle.
- If you move to a new state.
- If you cancel the insurance on your vehicle.