Car owners must replace stolen or lost car registration in Florida through the state Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) as soon as the document goes missing. Failure to obtain a copy of car registration certificates is punishable by law and often results in traffic tickets, fines and possibly even identity theft. Additionally, drivers must replace car registration cards that cannot be read or understood clearly. Drivers must obtain duplicate car registration documents whenever a registration card sustains physical damage or becomes unreadable, no matter the cause. To learn more about how to replace car registration in FL, review the information below.
When You Need to Get a Duplicate Car Registration in Florida
Vehicle owners must replace a Florida DMV lost registration card as soon as the document acquires damages or becomes illegible. For instance, drivers must replace auto registration cards if the document acquires damages from water, humidity, heat or another factor. Furthermore, drivers must obtain a duplicate vehicle registration card if the document is stolen or goes missing. Under Section 320.0605 of the Florida Statutes, drivers must retain the vehicle’s original or certified registration certificate inside of the vehicle at all times. Upon demand, drivers must present the registration card to law enforcement officials and failure to do so results in citations, fines or possible reason for vehicle impoundment. To avoid instances such as these, motorists must replace a DMV lost registration card as soon as the document sustains damages, becomes illegible or goes missing. Additionally, drivers cannot operate a motor vehicle without affixing the license plate decal in the square space on the upper right-hand corner of the vehicle’s license plate.
Note: When replacing car registration in Florida, drivers must first report stolen registration documents to local law enforcement.
Replacing Car Registrations in Florida Online
Car owners may replace car registration online in Florida to avoid waiting times and long lines at a county tax collector’s office. However, drivers who apply online for their DMV copy of registration documents must pay for the duplicate certificate in addition to a nominal service fee. The DHSMV accepts MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express payments. To replace vehicle registration online, car owners must first locate their driving records by entering their last name (as it appears on their driver license), birth date, street address, Social Security Number, driver license number and license plate number.
When replacing vehicle registration in FL, drivers may either enter their full Social Security Number or the last five digits of their Social Security Number and one of the following: a driver license number, title number, license plate number, vessel number or documented vessel number. After applicants with a lost car registration certificate enter this information, the DHSMV determines whether they may request a duplicate vehicle registration certificate online or if they must complete the process in person at a tax collector’s office.
Replacing Vehicle Registrations in Florida in Person
Drivers who cannot replace auto registration online in Florida or those who prefer to request a replacement in person may do so at a county tax collector’s office. The specific process of replacing auto registration cards varies by county, so it is important to contact the tax collector’s office before heading in. In many cases, drivers who need to replace vehicle registration cards must present their tag or license plate number and vehicle identification number (VIN) when applying for a duplicate card in person. In some cases, drivers may request a duplicate car registration by mail; however, it is best to contact the tax collector’s office to verify whether the county allows it.
Replacing License Plates and Registration Stickers in Florida
In addition to the services of replacing vehicle registration in Florida, the DHSMV issues replacement license plates and decals as well. To request a DMV copy of registration stickers or plates, car owners must obtain and complete an Application for Replacement License Plate, Validation Decal or Parking Permit (Form HSMV 83146). When completing the form to replace DMV lost registration stickers or plates, applicants must provide the names and addresses of all vehicle owners and lessees, as well as the vehicle’s make, type, year, color, title number and VIN. Claimants who need to replace vehicle registration plates must also provide a reason for the replacement and whether the document was stolen, damaged, lost or never received. Drivers who need to obtain a copy of car registration stickers or license plates must complete the form and return it to their county tax collector’s office or license plate agency, along with a copy of their current registration certificate and all applicable payments.
Note: If drivers need to replace stolen or lost car registration stickers or license plates, they must report the incident to law enforcement. Motorists may replace stolen registration documents at no charge; however, car owners must pay a nominal fee to replace lost, defaced or damaged license plates. If car owners need to obtain a FL DMV registration copy of license plates or stickers that were lost in transit, they may request a duplicate document at no charge if they submit Form HSMV 83146 within 180 days from the date of issuance. If possible, vehicle owners must surrender their current license plates when applying for a replacement.