As a Florida resident, it is required by state law to register your vehicle with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. A FL car registration is proof of having paid taxes and car title fees on your vehicle.
How to Register Your Vehicle in Florida
- Visit a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle office.
- Bring your car title, proof of ID and auto insurance card.
- If you are a new Florida resident, you need to have a VIN inspection and odometer reading completed before going to the DHSMV.
- Pay the initial $225 vehicle registration fee, title fees, plate fees, and taxes.
Continue reading for more information.
If you need to renew your existing vehicle registration, you can renew your car registration online. DMV.com not only offers a safe and secure alternative, but one that is quick and convenient. You also have the option to visit your local county tax collector or license plate agency in Florida.
Types of Vehicle Registration
You must register the following vehicles with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV):
- New cars
- Used cars
- RVs or Motor homes
- Custom-built vehicles
- Salvaged vehicles
ATVs and OHVs don't need to be registered, but owners must title the ATVs or ORVs with the FL DHSMV. Also, vehicle registration is not necessary if you own a slide-in camper, a modular home, or a trailer weighing less than 2,000 pounds.
Depending on which type of vehicle you have, you will need to get one of the following types of vehicle insurance:
- Car insurance
- Motorcycle insurance
- Commercial car insurance
- Boat insurance
- RV insurance (motorhome insurance)
- Trailer insurance
- Sports car insurance
Registering Your Vehicle
A motor vehicle must be registered within 10 days of the owner becoming employed, establishing new residency in Florida, or enrolling a child in public school. Car registration and car titling are in accordance with each other so the process for both will be done simultaneously.
How do I register my car in Florida?
If you are registering a vehicle for the first time, you must submit the original title and proof of Florida auto insurance, with a valid FL drivers license, to your local tag agency.
Florida requires all vehicles to be insured. If you currently do not have car insurance in the state of Florida, click here to compare low auto insurance quotes.
Registering an Out-of-State Vehicle
If you have just recently moved to Florida, you have 10 days from the day you established residency to get your vehicle registered. To register your car, you must have FL auto insurance, the original title and a valid Florida drivers license. Follow the step-by-step process below to get your new car registration:
- Make an appointment at your local tax collector's office.
- Bring the following documentation with you when getting your car registration,
- Valid Florida drivers license
- Proof of Florida car insurance
- Your out-of-state car title
- Fill out the Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification Form HSMV 82042.
- Bring a signed and completed Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (Form HSMV 82040).
- Pay all the auto registration fees. (See the Car Registration Fees section below for more information.)
Registering a Vehicle Bought from a Dealership
When you buy a new car from an authorized dealership, the dealer issues a temporary license plate to you, and can file the car title and vehicle registration for you. The dealership may charge you additional fees that you may not be aware of for this service. If you agree to this, the dealer then has 30 days to transfer the title and car registration into your name. If the dealer fails to transfer your title and registration within the month, contact the Division of Motor Vehicles to find out the current status.
Take note: You must have Florida auto insurance to drive the vehicle off the lot. Unless you show proof of car insurance, you will be prohibited from taking the vehicle.
Registering a Used Car
In Florida, you are responsible for filing your own car registration and car title transfer documents when you buy a used car in a private sale. To register your vehicle, you must fill out the forms below and submit them to the county collector’s office.
You and the seller need to submit a FL Bill of Sale to have proof the transaction occurred. It is the seller’s responsibility to submit it to the tax collector’s office. DMV.com advises you to get the Bill of Sale notarized for stronger evidence of the transaction, as well as keeping a copy for your own personal records.
Take the following steps when registering your used vehicle:
- Fill out the Bill of Notice with the seller, then submit it to the county tax collector’s office.
- If this is the first time the car is being titled in Florida, you will need to get a VIN inspection. (Read below for more information)
- If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, you must complete an odometer/mileage disclosure. Form HSMV 82042 - Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification form
- Show a proof of Florida auto insurance.
* If you purchase a vehicle that is currently titled in another state, you will need to complete and submit an Application for Certification for Title With/Without Registration (Form HSMV 82040) and the Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification form (Form HSMV 82042).
- Pay all fees (For more details see the Car Registration Fees section below)
- Title fee
- Car registration fee
- Florida sales and use tax: 6% and local county fees
- If required, a license plate fee
- Get your license plates and place your registration sticker on your plate.
Car Registration Fees
Your car registration is associated with the owner of the vehicles birth month, and the year-long registration period begins on the first day of that month.
Basic Florida Vehicle Registration Fees
Based on the type of vehicle you are registering, Florida charges different fees. Factors taken into consideration are the vehicle’s weight, the license plate you choose and if you plan on registering the vehicle for one or two years.
Breakdown of The Cost to Register Your Car
- Initial registration fee: $225
- This one-time fee is for all vehicles that have never had a DMV FL car registration.
- Title transfer: $75.25
- You don’t have to pay the initial registration fee if you are transferring a title to a new vehicle.
- New issue plate: $28
- Private-use automobiles:
- Up to 2,499 pounds: $14.50
- 2,500 to 3,499 pounds: $22.50
- 3,500 pounds and up $32.50
- Commercial and private-use truck fees:
- Up to 1,999 pounds: $14.50
- 2,000 to 3,000 pounds: $22.50
- 3,001 to 5,000 pounds: $32.50
- Vehicles "For Hire" that carry less than nine passengers: $17
- Vehicles "For Hire" that carry nine passengers or more: $17
- License plate fees:
- Dealer and manufacturer license plates: $17
- Exempt official license plates: $4
- Original/replacement license plates: $28
New Resident Vehicle Registration Sales Tax
A sales tax, use tax and local discretionary tax may be applied on your vehicle when you are registering your car for the first time in the state of Florida. The length of time you have owned the car determines whether or not you pay the taxes.
If you have:
- Owned your vehicle for less than 6 months:
- You are responsible for a 6% Florida sales or use tax, as well as any local discretionary taxes your new city or county might require.
- The Florida sales tax is pro-rated based on taxes you have paid previously in another state.
- If you paid a 4% tax in a previous state, then you will only owe a 2% FL sale or use tax on your vehicle.
- Owned your vehicle for more than 6 months:
- You won’t be charged for sale, use or local discretionary vehicles that have been owned and registered in another state. It must be stated on your out-of-state car title and registration that you have owned the vehicle for more than six months.
When purchasing a used vehicle, you are encouraged to run a vehicle history record check before finalizing the sale. With a vehicle history record check, you can review a detailed motor vehicle report that lists all previous accidents, maintenance, as well as a true odometer reading.
To get the most accurate report, only use a company that requires using your vehicle registration number (VIN). If you are unsure where the VIN number is located on your car, you can ask any police officer, Florida DMV inspector, car dealer or active-duty military officer.
The Florida DMV does not provide this service; fortunately, once you have the VIN number, you can request a vehicle history report online. instaVIn, a safe and trusted source, is approved by the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS), and will conveniently run a report for you.
Temporary Tags for Florida Vehicle Registration
Non-Resident Florida Vehicle Registration
If you purchased a vehicle in Florida and you are not a resident, the state offers a temporary registration tag that will legally allow you to drive the vehicle back to your home state. You can get the temporary registration tag from your county tax collector’s office. You will have to pay Florida sales tax and also provide proof of insurance for your vehicle.
Vehicle Registration for Military Members in Florida
Vehicle registration for members of the military differs depending on your residency; if you are a FL resident living within the state, a Florida resident stationed overseas or out of state, or if you are a resident of another state but stationed in Florida.
Military Florida Residents
A Florida resident who is a member of the military is still required to register their vehicles, but the initial car registration fee will be waived. You must complete the Military Initial Registration Fee Exemption Affidavit (Form HSMV 82002) to claim your exemption.
Military Florida Residents Stationed Out-of-State
If you are living in another state, but you are a member of the military who is also a Florida resident, you can still register your vehicle in Florida. You will need to bring the following documents along with registration fees to your county of residence’s tax collector’s office.
Documents to bring:
- The original vehicle title, or anApplication for Certification for Title With/Without Registration (Form HSMV 82040)
- Florida Insurance Affidavit(Form HSMV 83330).
- Military Insurance Exemption Information.
- Military Initial Registration Fee Exemption Affidavit(Form HSMV 82002)
- Exemption from Florida Sales Taxfor U.S. military service members.
You may file a Power of Attorney that will allow someone else to file paperwork, including your vehicle registration, on your behalf at a tax collector's office.
Military Non-Florida Residents Stationed in Florida
If you are an out-of-state resident stationed in Florida, it is not required that you get FL car registration for any vehicles you will be using during your deployment. Instead, you must keep the vehicle registration you currently have from your home state, and have proper auto insurance that you will need to carry with you at all times.
Registering Motorcycles OHV, Boats, RVs, Custom Built Cars
In Florida, all motorcycles, mopeds and disability access vehicles must display a license plate, with the exception of motorized scooters. The requirements for getting a motorcycle registration and motorcycle title are different depending on the vehicle. You need to get a motorcycle registration and have it titled to your name, for motorcycles, but mopeds and disability access vehicles only need to be registered, but not titled.
Review the following steps to register your motorcycle:
- Book an appointment at your local county license plate agency.
- Bring your FL drivers license.
- Proof of FL motorcycle insurance.
- Present proof of ownership:
- Bill of Sale
- Vehicle registration certificate
- Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin
- Signed affidavit stating you are the legal and rightful owner of the vehicle
Registering a Trailer or Boat
To register a used boat or a trailer that weighs 1,999 pounds or less, you must bring all of the following documents:
- (1) proof of ownership:
- Signed bill of sale with VIN number and vehicle information
- Prior car registration and bill of notice
- Dealer invoice
- Out-of-state title, car registration or Manufacturer's Statement of Origin
- (1) proof of empty weight:
- Weight slip
- Dealership paperwork indicating weight
- Weight indicated by registration, title or MOS
When registering a new boat or trailer that weighs 1,999 pounds or less, you are required to bring:
- (1) proof of ownership:
- Manufacturer's Statement of Origin
- (1) proof of sales price and tax paid:
- Invoice from dealer
- FL Trailer Sales Tax Statement
Get RV Registration or Motorhome Registration in Florida
If you purchased an RV or motor home from an authorized dealer, the seller will take care of the vehicle registration. Before you can get your RV registration, you must have Florida RV insurance that complies with the minimum liability standards, and a valid FL driver’s license. You will also need the following documentation when you go to your local tax collector’s office to register an RV:
- An out-of-state title or newly transferred title
- Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin or Bill of Sale
- Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification form (Form HSMV 82042)
- Completed Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (Form HSMV 82040)
Register Custom-Built Vehicles
To get a car registration for a custom-built car, you will need a signed and completed Application for Registration of a Street Rod, Custom Vehicle, Horseless Carriage or Antique (Permanent), provide a written affidavit stating that your vehicle meets all safety and equipment standards, and show proof of automobile insurance. You will then need to take these documents with you when you go to your local tax collector’s office to register.
Titling for OHV, Salvaged Cars, Rebuilt Cars
To get a title for an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) in Florida, you will need to bring a completed Application for Certificate of the Title, proof of sales tax payment, a lien satisfaction (if applicable), and proof of ownership to the Florida DMV.
Salvage Title Cars
A salvaged vehicle is one that has been badly damaged and cannot be driven in the street. These cars are usually destroyed in a junk yard, but others can be rebuilt and used again.
You will need a salvage car title if are going to get rid of the car, or plan on rebuilding it. If you are applying for a Florida salvaged title, you will need to bring a Completed Application for Salvage Title/Certificate of Destruction, and proof of ownership, like an original Florida certificate of title, Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin or an out-of-state title to the local tax county office.
Rebuilt Car Titles
If you are in the process of rebuilding a car, you need to get a rebuilt salvage title, or a Salvage Rebuildable title. The tax collector's office will provide a special decal that must be placed on the car at all times. All rebuilt vehicles must have a notice on its title stating that it is a salvage/rebuilt vehicle.
Suspended Vehicle Registration in Florida
Your Florida vehicle registration can be suspended by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle if:
- You lack proper vehicle insurance. In the state of Florida, it is a required of all residents to carry auto insurance that meets certain minimum standards. If you do not produce proof of insurance within the given timeframe allotted by the FL DMV, your registration will be suspended.
- Your car insurance policy is cancelled, and you don’t have new vehicle coverage. In order to reinstate your vehicle registration, you will need to visit the DMV and show proof of insurance.
How to Apply for Handicap Placards
To qualify for a handicap placard application in Florida, you must have the following disabilities:
- Inability to walk without assistance
- Permanent need for a wheelchair
- Restriction caused by lung disease
- Use of portable oxygen tank
- Experiences severe functional limitations:
- Cardiac condition
- Neurological disorder
- Orthopedic condition
- Legally blind
- Fill out the Application for Disabled Person Parking Permit and state the reason for handicap
- Request an additional handicap placard for a disabled driver who travels frequently by plane, train, bus or boat and will need two permits:
- One handicap permit for the vehicle parked at the departure location
- One handicap parking permit to use in a vehicle at their destination location
The cost for a handicap tag is free in Florida.
Moving Out of State
If you move out of Florida, you will have to return your license plates and transfer your vehicle registration to your new state's Department of Motor Vehicles office. You can expect to need to show proof of identity, Social Security, newly established residence, and legal presence if you are a non-U.S. citizen.