How to Register a Car in Florida

All vehicles must be registered through Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) or through eTags, which is an online registration system approved by the state. If you are new to Florida, you have 10 days to register your vehicle as soon as you establish residency, which includes any of the following:

  • Starting work in Florida
  • Children go to school
  • Renting, leasing, or buying an apartment or house

New residents registration

If you are a new resident in Florida and you wish to register your car, you will need to provide the following:

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Proof of auto insurance
  • Out-of-state title
  • VIN verification
  • Completed application for certificate of title with/without registration
  • Completed vehicle identification number and odometer verification
  • Registration and tax fees

As soon as you purchase or are given a vehicle, it must be registered in Florida. If you purchased the vehicle from a dealer, they can issue you a temporary license plate and file the registration/title for you. This should be done within 30 days by the dealer. If it has not been completed, contact the Division of Motor Services to inquire about the status of the paperwork.

Registering a vehicle bought from a private seller

If you purchase a vehicle from a private party you must register that vehicle in your name. To do so you will need to provide the following:

  • Filled out title
  • Completed odometer/mileage disclosure
  • Bring the completed title to the county tax collector’s office and submit it to an agent
  • Proof of insurance
  • Completed application for certification for title with/without registration and VIN and odometer verification forms
  • Registration fees

Military

Military members who are stationed in Florida, and are residents, are required to register a vehicle just like any other Florida resident would. The initial registration fee is waived for military residents. To have this fee waived, complete a Military Initial Registration Feel Exemption Affidavit.

Military members stationed in Florida who are residents of another state do not need to register their cars. A current vehicle registration must be maintained in their home state and have up to date auto insurance as well.

Military members who are residents of Florida, stationed in another state, but wish to register their vehicle can fill out the following forms:

  • Application for certification for title with/without registration
  • Florida insurance affidavit
  • Exemption from Florida sales tax
  • Military insurance exemption information
  • Military initial registration fee exemption affidavit

Registration fees

Fees for registering your vehicle vary depending on the type of vehicle you are registering, how much it weighs, and whether you register the vehicle for one or two years. Here are the fees you can expect to pay:

  • $225 one-time registration fee for vehicles that never had a Florida registration
  • Private vehicles that weigh up 2,499 pounds are $27.60 for one year or $55.50 for two years
  • Private vehicles that weigh 2,500 to 3,499 pounds are $35.60 for one year or $71.50 for two years
  • Private vehicles that weigh 3,500 pounds or more are $46.50 for one year or $91.20 for two years

Registering a vehicle in Florida can be done in person or online through eTags. If you have any more questions about this process, be sure to visit the Florida DMV website


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