A Florida DMV license plate must be obtained by motorists who have recently purchased a new or used car. During a vehicle’s initial registration process with the FL Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV), drivers can receive car registration plates in addition to the car tag decals that display the registration’s month and year of expiration. Furthermore, motorists get license plate validation stickers whenever they renew their vehicle’s registration credentials.

Besides the option of acquiring new registration plates in FL, vehicle owners may transfer their existing license tags to a new vehicle, if they wish to do so. On the other hand, the FLHSMV generally requires registration plates to be replaced every 10 years. To learn more about how to get license plate credentials, as well as how to renew, replace or transfer them, review the information below.

Types of License Plates in Florida

Drivers must apply for new registration plates in Florida whenever they title and register a new or used vehicle in the state. Some of the most common car registration plates offered by FLHSMV include:

  • Standard plates
  • Special plates for commercial, emergency, historical, military or governmental vehicles
  • Specialty plates for environmental causes, universities or sports teams
  • Special interest plates for other local causes

Currently, the state sells three different standard Florida DMV car tags, including the Sunshine State plate, the State Motto plate and the County Name plate. Moreover, drivers may personalize their standard plates or specialty plates if they wish to do so. However, every license plate in FL must display a month and year validation decal on the upper right-hand corner of the plate.

How to Apply for a License Plate in Florida

Vehicle owners must visit a county tax collector’s office or license plate issuing agency in order to apply for Florida car registration plates in person. To obtain new car tags, drivers must submit the vehicle’s certificate of title, proof of auto insurance and payment for registration and license plate fees. On the other hand, you may apply for FLHSMV car tags by mail if you are outside of the state. To do so, you must complete the appropriate application form and send it to the mailing address of a county tax collector’s office or license plate issuing agency.

Furthermore, the state of FL issues 30-day temporary car registration tags for eligible drivers to use until their permanent plates arrive. If vehicle owners purchase a vehicle from a car dealership, they may obtain temporary plates from the dealer. Conversely, they may purchase temporary plates from their county tax collector’s office if they buy a vehicle from a private seller.

How to Renew License Plate Tags in Florida

Vehicle owners must renew license plate and registration materials every year, or once every two years if they pay for a biennial registration renewal. In most cases, drivers must complete the Florida car registration renewal process during their birth month. However, as a general rule, the license plate renewal month for commercial vehicles is the last day in May (for vehicles with semi-annual registrations) or the last day of December (for vehicles with annual registrations). Furthermore, motorhome owners must complete the car tag renewal process before the last day of December.

When renewing license plate credentials, car owners may complete the procedure online, in person or by mail. Overall, if the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department already has proof of auto insurance for a particular vehicle owner, he or she may renew car tags online. On the other hand, if a current insurance policy is not on file, applicants must renew their plates in person at a county tax collector’s office. When renewing car tags in person, applicants must present their current registration card or renewal notice, submit proof of car insurance and pay for the applicable renewal fees. For drivers wondering how to renew a license plate by mail, it is important to note that motorists must mail their tag renewal notice, proof of auto insurance and payment for renewal fees to their county tax collector’s office.

How to Replace License Plates in Florida

You must replace a license plate if you damage or misplace your FLHSMV car tags and/or validation stickers. To do so, you must complete the appropriate application form and submit it along with a copy the vehicle registration certificate at your local license plate agency or county tax collector’s office. If you are replacing a license plate that has been stolen, you must file a police report in order to receive a replacement tag at no charge.

How to Transfer License Plates in Florida

Instead of applying for new registration plates after buying a new or used vehicle, you may transfer your current car tag to the vehicle that you recently acquired. To do so, you must transfer your FL car registration tags upon registering the newly acquired motor vehicle with the FLHSMV.

If you do not transfer your FLHSMV license plate after selling or disposing of your current vehicle, you must surrender the plates to your county tax collector’s office or license plate facility. You may surrender the tags in person or by mail, along with a written request to cancel and recycle your license plate.

Florida License Plate Fees

Car owners must pay registration fees based on the type and weight of a vehicle when applying for car registration plates in Florida. Moreover, drivers must pay additional fees when replacing car tags, transferring license plates or applying for a registration renewal. Furthermore, fees for car registration tags include initial registration and license plate fees in the case of new vehicle owners.

License Plate Lookups in Florida

Before you purchase a new vehicle, you may complete an online DMV license plate lookup to learn more about the car’s history. When you perform an FL car registration tag lookup, you can gather information about the vehicle’s manufacturer, engine type, safety ratings and recall information. In addition, you can learn about the car’s previous owner(s).

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