The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles has closed DMV offices throughout the state and merged all of its services to local county tax collectors. This affects all counties in Florida except for Miami-Dade, Broward, and Volusia. While the deadline to close all DMVs was set for June 30th 2015, many offices around the state have been closed for some time now.
Use eTags© to Quickly Complete Your DMV Service. Renewals, Title Transfers and More, All Online!
Now that Florida DMVs have closed and tax collector’s have assumed more responsibilities, what does that mean for you?
The decision to merge all DMV services to local tax collectors was voted upon and passed in 2010 by Florida Legislature. Florida isn’t the only state that has made this transition though. DMV.com reports that California, in addition to other states, have also transitioned from traditional, state-run DMV offices which includes the privatization of certain DMV services.
What services will local tax collectors assume?
- Renewing Florida driver licenses
- Duplicating and replacing Florida driver licenses
- Issuing Florida identification cards
- Specific reinstatements of licenses
- Testing including eyes, ears, and others (not every location will offer this)
- Vehicle, motorcycle, boat, trailer, and RV registration renewals
- Registration duplicates and replacements
Long wait times at DMV offices
The purpose of merging DMV services to local tax collectors is to try and make the whole process more efficient in addition to cutting down on government spending. Long waits associated with the inefficiency at the DMV have long been a major issue for residents of countless counties nationwide.
DMV.com recently conducted a study on the wait times around the country. Their study showed that Florida residents wait an average of 34.55 minutes at their local DMV office. To add to this, Florida ranks 20th out of all 41 surveyed states. These long wait times are generally attributed to many factors including:
- Florida’s rising population
- Introduction of the Real ID licensing program (security measure to protect driver’s licenses)
- Small staff (average 11 employees on staff)
While in 2011 Broward County, located in South Florida and home to popular cities like Fort Lauderdale, took measures to shorten the wait time at a few state-run DMV locations, the efforts were counterproductive. Broward though is one of the few counties in Florida which has privatized some of the traditional DMV services. Residents can get their tags renewed or obtain a duplicate at a tag agency without the long waits but are still required to do so in person and pay an additional fee.
Since several DMV offices have been transferring their services to local tax collector’s offices in most other counties, the wait times are not getting any better particularly in larger counties like Palm Beach. One convenience though that many counties in states across the country provide are wait time updates on their site, by text, email or some possible other form.
Avoiding even longer wait times at the Tax Collector
While many counties outside of the populous South Florida, Central Florida, and Tampa Bay area will not likely experience too much of an increase in wait times at tax collector’s offices, all county officials are advocating the use of their online processing systems. The online services will support simple requests like ordering license duplicates and renewals but will not offer the ability to do title transfers or other more complicated things.
For an additional service fee and as an alternative to renewing directly through the state, eTags not only process renewals faster, but customers also receive:
- An eTag: This is a free digital copy of the registration certificate which is scanned and emailed to you when the tags are shipped which can be printed and used temporarily as proof of having renewed (particularly useful if your tags have or will soon expire or need proof of renewal to show in court or other agency)
- Late Renewal: The ability to process your renewal online even if it is expired (particularly useful since the state site will only process registration renewals online if the month in which the tags expire has not passed)
- Support: Access to our Customer Care team available by phone and email (particularly useful if you have issues with your registration like a hold imposed by the state or reporting issues related to insurance or the tag itself for which you will find little web or phone support directly from the state)
- Replacements: A free replacement of your tags if they are lost in the mail and a free replacement of your plate if it is stolen and you file a police report (particularly useful since it can save you a trip to the tax collector’s office)
- Shipping: We ship tags to any address in the continental U.S. regardless of the address recorded on your vehicle registration information (particularly useful if you only live seasonally in Florida or are in the military and are stationed elsewhere in the country)
Those looking to avoid the tax collectors office and who choose to use eTags for their online vehicle registration renewal are provided a few more benefits than those listed above. In the interest of moving on though, you can find out for yourself when it comes time to renew your tags (psst!, choose eTags!).
Send By mail
County Tax collectors are also encouraging their residents to do whatever they can by mail. This includes requesting duplicates, renewals, or replacements of your license or registration certificate. More likely than not for registration renewals, you will be required to mail in your payment with a renewal notice. To verify and inquire about mailed renewal notices, contact your local tax collector’s office.
Call By Phone
Not all counties offer this option, but for those that do, the same basic services they provide online, they will offer by phone. You can contact your local tax collector’s office to find out if they offer services via phone
How will the merge benefit the state of Florida?
The merge will eventually benefit Florida residents and, likely, the state will also benefit as well. Currently, DMV offices cost all states an estimated at 7.1 billion according to DMV.com’s customer satisfaction study. However, by employing online government transaction services, that 7.1 billion can be decreased by 55%! Additionally, by employing 3rd party employees (privatization), variable costs per order can also be decreased by 70%!
Additional fees from tax collectors
In accordance with Florida law, each “DMV” transaction completed by the tax collectors can include an additional $6.25 fee. This additional fee is meant to offset the costs the tax collectors have incurred in lieu of this merge but is also supposed to be temporary. In addition to this, online services provided directly by the county but through a third party-processing platform will be subject to a convenience fee with every transaction.
When are the tax collectors going to restart servicing people who live in a different/adjacent county? It is much more convenient for me to go to a neighboring county tax collector to renew my registration, but they will not take me. I understand it used to be a COVID thing, but haven’t we gotten over that?
Hi there, you can renew your registration online through etags
my truck will be in the repair shop for the next 6 months or longer. I have a tag and insurance on it. I want to know how i can keep the tag and what do i tell the insurance company so i can get a lower rate while it’s in the shop.
Just keep all your paperwork current, and discuss with your insurance what you can do to cut back on some of the costs. Sometimes, when you have less mileage you pay less.
I am trying to renew my auto registration online but it us not accepting my or my wife’s debit cards. Any suggestions?
I’m not sure if you’re using our etags service or dealing directly with DMV. With etags, at http://www.etags.com/app/fl?utm_source=blog%20question you can pay with debit card
Can you take a road test in any county here in Florida ? We live in Broward county but there’s no appts and palm beach has appts
this article should help: https://www.flhsmv.gov/driver-licenses-id-cards/licensing-requirements-teens-graduated-driver-license-laws-driving-curfews/class-e-knowledge-exam-driving-skills-test/
My sister died in an auto accident 11/27/18. I need help in transferring title to my name so that can purchase a new tag. I was able to renew the tag 5/10. I was told to bring the death certificate to DMV to transfer the title into my name. Is this something I can take care of online?
Here’s an answer from our title specialist: If this person has a physical copy of the original title, then eTags can provide that service online. She’d have to select this service: Transfer Title/Registration on http://www.etags.com/app/fl?utm_source=blog%20question
If they do not have a physical copy of the title, they can either (1) Obtain a duplicate title with eTags (Service Type: Lost Title or Replacement Title) or (2) Go in person to their local tag agency with the death certificate to title and register the vehicle in their name.
I am moving to FL and have a car collection that I would like to transfer title and obtain registrations. Do I have to pay sales tax on cars that I have owned for many years and already paid NJ/NY sales tax at original title?
No, you do not have to pay sales tax if you have owned the vehicle more than 6 months. Visit eTags.com/app/fl/title/transfer to place an order to get your title transfers and new registration for each vehicle.
I recently moved to Florida and my NY drivers license will be expiring soon where can I get a newFlorida Drivers license???
eTags handles registrations and titles, for drivers licenses check out DMV website for all details. Certain things may have changed due to COVID, there may even be extensions, we’re not sure.
it’s best to got to https://www.flhsmv.gov/ for details
I just moved to broward county Florida. How do I get Florida drivers license and Florida registration for my car?
eTags doesn’t handle driver’s license but it does do registrations online at etags.com/app/fl
For license, check DMV website to see how they’re handling them now during the pandemic. You may have to make an appointment online or check for extensions.
I am a veteran and would like to know if I can get a “V” designation on my driver license by email or mail. The3 license is not due for renewal for years but I wish to get the designation asap.
Hello Arnie! For Veteran special designation, you’ll need to go to your local DMV agency, present a DD-214, and pay a one-time $1 fee, apart from the $25 replacement or renewal identification card fee. This procedure needs to be done in person.
why is my tag 20+ dollars more in Miami Dade than in North Florida for the same vehicle. What is the base tax called
Hey Dale. This depends on a number of variables. To which fee are you specifically referring?
I ordered my tags last year and 2 years before online. No problems. I love not having to take off work and wait until my number is called. I certainly do not mind paying a fee for having my tags shipped to my door. It’s called progress and if it saves the state some $’s for more needed services, it is a great thing.
We couldn’t agree more, Carol! Thanks for your feedback.
I just used ya’ll for a 2 year renewal and I’m sold on it. This is the way it should always be! Quick and painless, thanks for taking the stress and headaches out of it.
We are glad that you found our service easy and convenient. We are honored to be able to serve you. Any questions you have or assistance you may need, please don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Care team: https://www.etags.com/customer-support
IN GENERAL IT’S A GOOD WAY TO GET YOUR TAGS, ETC RENEWED BY E-MAIL. HOWEVER, I DON’T FEEL WE SHOULD BE CHARGED AN ADDITIONAL FEE FOR COMPLETING THESE TRANSACTIONS BY E-MAIL. WE ARE SAVING THE STATE A GREAT DEAL OF MONEY BUT ONCE AGAIN AT THE TAXPAYER’S EXPENSE.
Online processing has the potential to save the state and individual counties a tremendous amount of money in many different ways but it does take a certain investment in order to set-up the online transaction process, tracking, and proper shipment. How each county chooses to handle those costs (whether to pass them on to those renewing online or take the hit) is really up to them but our service fee is what keeps our website processing renewals faster than the state and our Customer Care department staffed and ready to help all of our customers.
I have lived in many states in the last 50 years and by far the DMV office on Washington street in Sarasota was the most efficient government office I have ever been in and the customer service was superb. I will greatly miss that office and that wonderful helpful staff…Dr. Maue
It’s unfortunate that, in many counties, they closed down the DMVs first without first having the technology and people in place at the tax collectors offices to handle all the new responsibilities. Regardless though, we think all counties did their best to prepare and execute this transition taking into account the time and funding they had at hand. 5 years seems like a lot (2010 is when the legislation passed), but when you are managing an entire county, that time goes by quickly.
So the state’s solution to make the DMV suck less is to move services to another department and increase wait times. Yes, a true help for the ppl of Florida…
We believe the state is doing what it thinks is best to, eventually, make these processes better, but we have not choice but to put up with the growing pains.