If you are a Florida resident, it’s your civic duty to know the state laws that cover vehicle registration. Vehicle registration rules vary from state to state, and you shouldn’t get on the road without learning them all.
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Florida requires that residents register their vehicles with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV).
You have 30 days to complete your vehicle registration with your local DHSMV once you get a job in the state, register your children at a Florida school, and/or establish Florida residency.
Vehicle registrations are your responsibility, so keep your important documents ready in advanced. Here you’ll find common vehicle registration questions everybody asks.
What is an auto registration?
An auto registration is your legal proof that shows you paid the registration tax and fees on your vehicle. When you register your vehicle, you’ll get a metal license plate, a validation decal, and a registration certificate.
How Do I Register My Car in Florida?
People registering their vehicle for the first time must complete the following process:
- Visit a Florida DHSMV office.
- Bring your title, proof of ID, and car insurance card (Florida Licensed Insurance).
- New residents must have a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and odometer verification completed.
- Pay your initial $225 vehicle registration fee, title fees, plate fees, and taxes.
What are the common vehicle registration fees?
Apart from the initial $225 registration fee mentioned above, there are some other vehicle-related fees that you should include while going through the registration process.
Classification of vehicle by: Weight // Yearly tax and other fees – Every 2 years tax and other fees:
- Automobiles for private use: Up to 2499 lbs. // $27.60 – $55.20
- Automobiles for private use: 2500-3499 lbs. // $35.60 – $71.20
- Automobiles for private use: 3500 lbs. // $45.60 – $91.20
- Trucks, private and commercial: Up to 1999 lbs. // $27.60 – $55.20
- Trucks, private and commercial: 2000-3000 lbs. // $35.60 – $71.20
- Trucks, private and commercial: 3001-5000 lbs. // $45.60 – $91.20
Other Additional Fees:
- Transferring a license plate: $7.35
- New metal license plate: $28.00
What’s the tax rate that Florida charges for every registered vehicle?
It depends on how long you owned your vehicle. Check below:
Vehicle owned less than 6 months:
- Florida collects a 6% state sales tax rate or use tax and any local discretionary taxes your new city or county might require.
- Your sales tax rate will be allocated contingent on any taxes you paid in another state.
Vehicle owned more than 6 months:
- There is no sales, use, or local discretionary taxes for vehicles that have been owned and registered in another state.
- Whether you titled and registered your vehicle in another state, you’ll need to prove that you have owned your vehicle for more than 6 months.
How do I register a vehicle that I purchased from car dealership?
If you purchase a car from an auto dealership, they will handle the work for you.
Note that your dealer must transfer the title and registration within a 30-day window which is stated by law. Be cooperative and work together to make the process go smoothly.
Note that your dealer will be required to submit that prove of transaction to the tax collector’s office, but you should always keep a copy of every document for your own records.
Once you both completed the legal prove of transaction (Bill of Sale), take the following steps:
- Complete the title with the seller of the vehicle. You may be required to have your vehicle go under VIN inspection, if your vehicle hasn’t been titled in Florida.
- Get an odometer disclosure (for vehicles less than 10 years old).
- Submit your filled-out title to the county tax collector’s office and send it to the agent.
- Show proof of valid auto insurance.
- Pay all fees (Title fee, Vehicle registration fee, 6% sales and use tax, local county fees, license plate fee if required (there is no charge for transferring plates).
- Get your license plates and registration stickers
How do I register a vehicle that I purchased from private seller?
It’s a similar registration and titling process compare to purchasing a vehicle from an auto dealer, but with some extra points:
- The seller is required to complete the transfer and title section.
- Fill out the Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (HSMV 82040 Form).
- Show proof of valid auto insurance.
- Fill out the Florida Insurance Affidavit.
- Get a power of attorney in case you are leasing a vehicle and you need to sign on behalf of your leasing company.
- Payment for title transfer fees: $75.25 for an electronic title, $77.75 for a paper title, and $2 per lien.
- Registration and license plate fees based on the weight of the vehicle.
Note that you both need to visit your local DMV and have a copy of every filed document to avoid future complications. If you are outside of Florida, you have the choice to submit your fees and other forms to your local county office by mail.
Do I need to carry my vehicle registration?
Florida drivers must carry their car registration with them or in their vehicle at all times. It is always good to have it handy, if a police officer pulls you over and requires you to show your registration and driver’s license.
When will my vehicle registration expire?
Once you register your car, the renewal date of your car registration is on your birthday (every year or every two years depending on your case). If the car is registered to more than one person, the renewal day would be on the date of birth of the person listed on the vehicle registration.