We like Florida. Aside from the fact that eTags is based out of the Sunshine State, it’s also ripe with millions of enthusiastic vehicle owners. We do, after all, focus our business around motor vehicle services but aside from that, it’s easy to find interesting information in this lovely state. The kind of information that likely zero people will search for (so, how did you find this article??) but motor vehicle geeks like us rave about. Ever wondered how many vehicles are registered in Florida? Of course you have!
Registered Vehicles, Pedestrians, and Public Transport
According to a 2014 census, Florida has close to 20 million residents. We currently have over 14.2 million registered vehicles in the state. While many people own more than one vehicle, that many registered vehicles still results in a much larger portion of the population owning a vehicle versus not. What does that tell us?
- Florida must not be a pedestrian friendly state resulting in more people needing a car to get around. The city with the highest walk score is Miami, but the large majority of cities in Florida have scores below 50.
- Florida’s public transportation system must not be too good. Sure, there are pockets where the bus and train transport is great, but that is not true for most cities, small and large alike.
- People like their cars. With a not-so-hot public transportation system and minimal focus on developing more and safer routes for people who walk and bike, we kind of don’t have a choice.
Registration Renewals, State Revenue, & Wishes
It costs roughly $230 to register a vehicle in Florida but every 1 to 2 years, that registration must be renewed. Registrations, or its vehicle tags, must be renewed on or 90 days before the primary owner’s birthday or in June or December if under a business name. The cost of the renewal can vary greatly based on multiple factors like the vehicles weight, whether it is leased or owned, and more.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, who is in charge of all motor vehicle related services, grossed over $112 million last fiscal year in motor vehicle services. This would include renewals and newly registered vehicles, among a few other things. These vehicle registration taxes collected covered the following expenses:
|CATEGORY||OPERATING BUDGET||AMOUNT SPENT|
|Maintenance, Repairs And Construction – Statewide||375,829||326,622|
|Operating Capital Outlay||471,930||471,930|
|Other Personal Services||771,312||771,312|
|Salaries And Benefits||67,096,123||67,096,123|
|Acquisition Of Motor Vehicles||556,358||556,358|
|Automated Uniform Traffic Accounting System||913,905||913,905|
|Deferred-Payment Commodity Contracts||71,104||71,104|
|Grants And Aids – Purchase Of License Plates||9,026,071||9,026,071|
|Grants And Aids – Safety Data Improvement Grant Program||94,488||94,488|
|Lease Or Lease-Purchase Of Equipment||102,482||102,482|
|Payment To Outside Contractor||5,527,078||5,527,078|
|Purchase Of Driver Licenses||9,929,101||9,929,101|
|Risk Management Insurance||1,662,989||1,662,989|
|Tenant Broker Commissions||261,639||261,639|
|Transfer To Department Of Management Services – Human Resources Services Purchased Per Statewide Contract||558,902||558,902|
|Transfer To TSA And Florida Dept. Of Law Enforcement For Background Checks||1,097,888||1,097,888|
Here is what I know:
- The first itemized expense, “Expenses”, is lacking just a little bit of detail
- “Other Personal Services” could also use more detail or, at the very least, a name change. When I think “Personal Services”, I think salon services. I hope our tax dollars aren’t going toward that.
- The total amount spent is $49,207 less than the operating budget. I move toward a return of those funds to the citizens. If we dived that amongst the 14.2 million vehicle owners who likely generated the amounts used for this operating budget, we would all get 3 cents. I could use that money to throw into a fountain and wish for more money.
- This operating budget doesn’t account for the total revenue collected by the department from new registrations and renewals but I I’m fine with just a return of the 3 cents.
Because we are an online registration renewal service providing an alternate option to renewing directly through the state, we had to talk about this data that is posted on the flhsmv.gov site. The number of internet renewals in 2015 so far is 1,609,476. That of course doesn’t include the amount of renewals we have processed: over 70,000. Take that FLHSMV! Okay, so maybe we are a far cry from renewing as many vehicles as the state but, if you would like to help us try, here are a few reasons why you should renew through us (self-advertisement ahead!). We:
- Process registration renewals up to 300% faster with our in-house engine
- Ship to any address in the Continental U.S. regardless of the vehicle owner’s registered address
- Process registration renewals online even for individuals whose tags are already expired
- Provide updates on the orders processing and shipment status by email, by phone, or online, upon request.
- Process renewals without the need to collect sensitive information like social security or driver license number
- Provide support to identify why a renewal cannot be processed online whether it’s because of a state-imposed hold or a simple error in entering information.
For more information and statistics on any of the information listed above (except my opinions), you can visit the Vehicle and Vessel Reports and Statistics page.