Titles and Registrations

OnwardMotorist Services


Florida uses a metal license plate with the alpha numeric system, meaning there are combinations of letters and numbers used for identification. The month and year decal is affixed in the upper right hand corner of the license plate (unless otherwise specified). The license plate is displayed on the rear of the vehicle with the exception of certain commercial vehicles. The plate is issued to the owner for ten years. The owner will receive a new plate (with new numbers and letters) during the 10th year.

Vehicles are registered on a staggered basis according to the registered owner’s birth month. The registration expires at midnight on the owner’s birthday. The only exceptions to this schedule are: company owned vehicles and short term leased vehicles are renewed in June; long term leased vehicle renewals are staggered throughout the calendar year; truck-tractors, semi-trailers, and trucks weighing over 5000 pounds are renewed in December. Nine passenger and over vehicles used for hire are also renewed in December. All vehicles are licensed according to weight. Travel trailers and mobile homes are licensed according to length.

Initial Registration Fee

The first time a license plate is purchased for a motor vehicle in Florida, a $225.00 Initial Registration Fee may be imposed. This fee applies to private automobiles, motor homes and trucks less than 5,000 pounds.

Duplicate Registration

Duplicate registrations are available for a fee of $2.50. The owner is required to provide the license plate number. You can request a duplicate registration in any of our branch offices or by mail. If applying by mail send a signed written request and a check made payable to the below address or you can also request a duplication registration online at www.GoRenew.com. The fee online is $3.75

Sam C. Steele, Tax Collector
PO Box 1129
Key West, FL

Vehicle Identification Numbers

All motor vehicles being registered in Florida for the first time must have the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) verified (Form 82042). The Tax Collector’s Office performs this service as a courtesy at the time of registration (weather permitting). The VIN can also be verified by any law enforcement officer, a Florida notary public or a Florida motor vehicle dealer.

EXCEPTION: All used vehicles coming into Florida from a foreign country must have the vehicle identification number verified by a DMV Compliance Examiner/Inspector. This does not include vehicles from American Samoa, Virgin Islands, Guam or Puerto Rico.

Reasons That Your Renewal Could Be Refused

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles can withhold the registration of a motor vehicle for the following reasons:

  • Failure to comply with directives or pay fines ordered by traffic court. This type of suspension is known as a driver license D6 suspension. For further information contact the Tax Collector’s Office.
  • Registration is paid by a dishonored check. This stop is placed on the registration owner regardless of who wrote the check. Contact the local Tax Collector’s Office for further information.
  • Driver license suspension because of delinquent child support. For further information, visit a local Child Support Offices or contact the Department of Revenue at 1-800-622-5437.
  • Wrecker Operator Lien is claimed against an individual for recovery, towing and storage of an abandoned vehicle, vessel, or mobile home. Contact the wrecker company (if known) or the local license plate agency for further information.
  • Failure to pay parking tickets or toll violations. Contact the local Tax Collector’s Office for further information.
  • Failure to turn car over to re-possessor.

**Registration stops should be indicated on registration renewal notices.

Requirements & Additional Information

Proof of Insurance Required

Proof of Florida insurance (binder, policy or card) from a certified Florida agent or Florida broker is required to purchase and renew a license plate in Florida. The vehicle owner must present to the Tax Collector documentation of Property Injury Protection (PIP) in the amount of at least $10,000 and Protection Damage Liability (PDL) insurance in the amount of $10,000. Motorcycles, mobile homes and trailers are exempt from the insurance requirement.

Florida residents, on military assignment outside of Florida, are not required to submit proof of Florida insurance coverage. This exemption does not apply to vehicles registered solely in the name of a non-military spouse or dependent(s) of the military member. Military Members should visit: www.flhsmv.gov/military/titles-registrations-military-members/.

Change of Address

In order to maintain accurate records all changes of address must be reported to the Tax Collector’s Office within 20 days. It is the responsibility of each registered owner to ensure that the vehicle’s registration is kept current. Renewal notices are mailed as a courtesy service only to help facilitate the renewal process. You can change your address in any of our branch offices. The fee to change your address on a current registration is $2.50. You may also change your address online at MyDMV Portal. Enter your new address and choose to purchase a duplicate registration. The fee online is $3.75.

Vehicle Titling Information

Florida Vehicle Titles

To transfer a Florida title, the seller must complete the transfer information on the current title, including the purchaser’s name, the selling price, and the odometer reading at the time of sale. (A bill of sale may be submitted for proof of purchase price.) Sales tax will be collected if applicable**. All transfers of ownership must be completed within 30 days of the date the vehicle is assigned by the seller or a $20 fee is levied at the time of transfer, along with title and registration fees.

Out-of-State Titles

An out-of-state title must be submitted as proof of ownership and if transfer of ownership is involved, it must be properly assigned indicating the new owner’s name and address. An application (Form 82040) for Florida title must be completed and accompanied by verification of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and odometer reading. If you are applying by mail, please refer to Florida Title Application Instructions Package. Title fees, lien fees and all registration fees must be paid, if applicable. Sales tax will be collected if applicable**.

New Vehicles

All new vehicles are required to have a MCO (Manufacturer Certificate of Origin) or MSO (Manufacturer Statement of Origin) which must be signed and notarized, if applicable, by a licensed dealer for transfer to the buyer. An application for Florida title must be properly completed with owner’s complete name and Florida address, date of birth, sex, drivers license number, complete description of vehicle and any lien to be recorded. If you are applying by mail, please contact our office for assistance. Sales tax will be collected if applicable**. All title fees, lien fees and registration fees must be paid, if applicable.


Beginning October 1, 2018, anyone who purchases or registers a qualifying motor vehicle may designate $105, of the state sales tax due at the time of purchase or registration, to the Hope Scholarship Program per Florida Statutes 1002.40. If the state sales tax due is less than $105, the designated amount would be the state sales tax due.

A qualifying “Motor vehicle” means any automobile, truck with a net vehicle weight of 5,000 pounds or less and any other vehicle operated on the roads of Florida used to transport persons or property. Heavy trucks, truck tractors, trailers, motorcycles, and mopeds are not “motor vehicles” for purposes of the Hope Scholarship Program.

Persons interested in designating sales tax to the Hope Scholarship Program must complete the Florida Department of Revenue Form DR-HS1 and submit it with the Florida title application to the local Tax Collector’s Office.

Duplicate Florida Title Information

A duplicate Florida title may be obtained by completing an application for duplicate or lost in transit/reassignment for a motor vehicle, mobile home or vessel title certificate (Form 82101). It must be signed and submitted with an $85.25 fee to your local Tax Collector’s Office. The application must be signed by the lien holder if an outstanding lien exists.

Surrendering Your License Plate

If you have sold or otherwise disposed of your vehicle, and have acquired a replacement vehicle, you may be able to transfer the license plate. This transfer may exempt you from the $225 Initial Registration Fee.

If you have cancelled your auto insurance but still have possession of the vehicle, the registered owner must bring the license plate and valid photo identification into a local Tax Collector’s Office. The specialist will take possession of your license plate and provide you with the documentation that you will need to retain. If you choose to reinstate your insurance and register the same vehicle or another vehicle you acquire, you would need to submit this documentation to avoid the $225 Initial Registration Fee, if applicable.

Returned Check Service Fees

Should a check for payment of taxes be returned to our office, by your bank, as unpaid, Florida Statute 68.065 authorizes the Tax Collector to assess a service charge as follows:

  • Check amount between $0.00 to $50.00 = $25.00
  • Check amount between $50.01 and $300.00 = $30.00
  • Check amount $300.01 and greater = $40.00 or 5%, whichever is greater, with a maximum of $150.00