Registering a Car in Florida
To finish your car registering in Florida, you must have your title, proof of identity, Florida auto insurance documents, and the payment for registering at your local DHSMV location.
Those who have just moved to Florida or have been here one year to two years will have to get a VIN inspection, have an official odometer reading done, and get new license plates. You must also make a payment for any possible sales tax on the out-of-state vehicle. Fees for registering will be different on a motor vehicle to vehicle basis and will also depend on the length of the registration and if you need a license plate.
Florida law makes it mandatory that all residents bring their vehicles in for registration with the Florida DHSMV. You can register your automobile for one or two years.
On this page, you'll find the steps you need to if you must register your first-time motor vehicle in Florida, all rights reserved. In Florida, you complete both the registration and titling at the same time. Thus, you'll only need to finish this process once.
Just Moved to Florida?
If you've just moved and have your new license plates, Florida law says you'll have 10 days in which you will need to register your vehicle with the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles after you have started:
- Working in Florida.
- Registering your kids in a Florida education program.
- A lease or rental agreement with an apartment owner or homeowner.
You must get Florida insurance, title your motor vehicle in FL while you are registering and getting a new license plate for it. You may title your car without going through registration, but it won't be legal to drive on Florida roads without complete registration, all rights reserved.
Registering an Out-of-State Vehicle
If you have an out-of-state motor vehicle, you must:
- Obtain a driver's license in Florida.
- Obtain auto insurance in Florida.
- Get a VIN check and official odometer filing done.
After you've done these, visit the FL county tax collector’s office to:
- Present your FL driver's license. If the motor vehicle has multiple owners, they must all be present to show proof of identity.
- Show proof of being insured in Florida.
- Show the out-of-state title.
- For those who don't have the title due to it being held by a lienholder, the county tax collector will get in contact with the lienholder to have the new title sent out as well as the new license plate.
- Get your car's vehicle identification number (VIN) and official odometer reading confirmed via Sometimes your vehicle identification number is wrongly called the FL registration number, and very rarely confused with your license plates. You might have the option of having it verified when you visit the tax collector’s office, or you can have it done beforehand by the following authorities:
- Police officers.
- FL car dealers.
- Car dealers from prior state on the dealership letterhead.
- FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles examiners or inspectors.
- The State of Florida Notary Public.
- Active duty military officer, Navy legalman, or provost marshal.
- Present a filled-out for applying for a Certificate of Title. The signatures of all owners need to be present on the form, and they will need to present proof of identity even if not there in person.
- You will have the option of registering the vehicle for either one year or two years.
- Turn in the filled-out VIN and Odometer.
- Provide payment for any fees associated with registration Florida, getting a new license plate, and Florida sales tax. (information below)
New Resident Sales Tax
In Florida, you may be subject to paying sales, use, and local discretionary taxes on your automobile when first registering it in your home state. Whether or not you're required to pay the taxes will depend on the length of time you've had the vehicle and your choice of license plate. For motor vehicles owned six months or less:
- The owner has all rights reserved and must pay a 6% sales or use tax along with local discretionary taxes that your area might call for.
- FL sales tax is prorated depending on taxes you've already paid in another state.
- For example, let's say you've paid 4% in another state. You'd subtract that from the 6% FL tax, making it only 2%.
Vehicle owned over six months:
- You will not have to pay sales, use, or discretionary taxes for a vehicle that has been owned and bought in a different state.
- Your title and initial registration fee from a different state must confirm that you've been the owner of the vehicle for over six months.
Florida Vehicle Registration
FL residents have to register their motor vehicles whenever one is purchased or given to them. This process can vary and depends on if you bought the car from a dealer or private party.
Authorized dealers are allowed to issue a temporary license plate and do all of the titling and charge an initial registration fee at the time of purchase. It'd be a good idea to ask the dealership if they are able to do Electronic Temporary Registration and the Electronic Filing System.
The dealership must transfer the vehicle's title and registration in 30 days or less. If the dealership has not done it in that timeframe, please call the Department of Motor Vehicles to figure out how to proceed.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will have the contacts you need to get a hold of in your county. Please see this list of FL counties to determine the correct phone number to contact.
Leased Vehicle Registration
The dealer doing the leasing will also finish the titling and registration process for you. Please note that the fees associated with leasing a vehicle are higher than owning a vehicle.
Initial Registration Fees/Taxes on Dealership Buys
The fees that go along with the title and registration usually don't show up in your contract. If they happen to, the dealership is allowed to only ask for the exact dollar amount in fees that have been already paid. Dealers are allowed to add an extra filing fee for the title and registration of a vehicle, but those charges must be disclosed separately.
Private Party Purchases
When buying a car privately, you need to fill out all of the forms for titling and registration on your own, and then turn them in to the county collector's office. You also need to complete a Bill of Sale with the previous owner for record of the purchase. The seller must then turn in this form to the tax collector's office, but you should also have your own copy to keep record of it. Once you've both filled out a Florida Bill of Sale, follow these next steps for registration of the vehicle:
- Write out the title with the previous owner.
- Ensure you check the VIN on the vehicle to make sure it matches with the title's VIN. If the vehicle does not have a FL title, you must go get a VIN inspection.
- Fill out an odometer and mileage document. (only applies to vehicles less than ten years old)
- Bring the completed title to your county's tax collector's office to give everything to an agent.
- Present proof of being insured in Florida.
- If you need to title the vehicle in FL (if you are buying a vehicle tiled in another state), please fill out Form HMSV 82040 to apply for a Certificate of Title along with the VIN and odometer.
- Make a payment for the fees. (check below)
- Titling fee.
- Fee for registering.
- FL sales/use tax=6%.
- Your county's fees.
- Possible temporary license plates fee.
- Obtain license plates plus registration sticker.
Temporary Vehicle Registration
For those who are not a Florida resident but have bought a vehicle in FL, you might be able to get a temporary license plate and car registration tag with the local county tax collector's office. This will allow you to legally drive your vehicle back to the other state before you register it at your home state. You'll have to pay FL sales tax and show proof of being insured before you can obtain a temporary tag.
FL Vehicle Registration Fees
The state of Florida has different fees depending on what kind of automobile you register, the weight, the chosen license plates, and the length of time you register your car for. First registration fee: $225
- The first registration fee needs to only be paid once for automobiles that haven't been registered in Florida. For those who transfer a title to a newly purchased automobile, you do not have to pay the first registration fee.
- 0-2499 pounds will cost $27.60/1 yr and $55.20/2 yrs
- 2500-3499 pounds = $35.60/1 yr and $71.50/2 yrs.
- 3500+ pounds = $45.60/1 and or $91.20/2 yrs.
Commercial or private trucks:
- 0-1999 pounds = $27.60/1 yr and $55.20/2 yrs.
- 2000-3000 pounds = $35.60/1 yr and $71.20/2 yrs.
- 3001-5000 pounds.: $45.60/1 yr and $91.20/2 yrs.
Leased vehicles: $17 flat fee plus:
- For-hire automobiles that hold under 9 people = +$1.50 per 100 pounds of weight to the flat fee.
- For-hire automobiles that hold 9+ people = +$2 per 100 pounds of weight to the flat fee.
License plate fees:
- A transfer fee is $7.35.
- A new issue plate fee is $28.
FL License Plates
You'll get your Florida license plates and registration stickers after filling out all of the needed forms. Put your registration stickers on the correct spot of the temporary license plate. You will be able to decide if you want standard license plates or specialized/custom license plates.