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Registering your out-of-state car in Florida is a task you must complete if you plan on driving your car in this state. There are specific steps you must take to legally register your out-of-state vehicle in Florida to avoid various penalties and fees. We’ll discuss everything you need to know about registering your out-of-state vehicle and what the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FL HSMV) Department needs from you.

Registering Your Out-of-State Vehicle As a New Resident of Florida

As a new resident of the Sunshine State, you have 30 days to register and title your out-of-state vehicle with your local FL HSMV Department once you establish residency or do any of the following:

  • Begin working in the state
  • Register your children for a Florida school

You also establish residency in Florida by renting, leasing, or purchasing an apartment or house in the state.

You must title your out-of-state car or truck in Florida at the same time you register it. You can title your vehicle without registering it, but you not be able to legally operate your vehicle if it is NOT registered.

Before you register your out-of-state vehicle, you must have the following:

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Purchase Florida car insurance
  • Complete a VIN inspection and odometer reading

Once you complete these steps, visit the Florida County tax collector’s office and do the following:

  • Present your FL driver’s license (if more than one person is listed as the owner of the out-of-state vehicle you want to register, all owners are required to submit proof of identity)
  • Provide proof of an active FL auto insurance policy
  • The car’s out-of-state title (if you no longer have the car title because it is held by a lienholder, the tax collector’s office can contact the lienholder and send them a new title)
  • Verify your vehicle identification number (VIN) provided on the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and Odometer Verification Form (Form HSMV 82042). In Florida, the VIN can also be referred to as the Florida vehicle registration number. 
  • You may be eligible to have your vehicle verified at the FL county tax collector’s office, or you can verify your car before going to register it from one of the following:
  • Any police officer
  • Florida car dealers
  • A car dealer from a previous state on dealership letterhead
  • Florida HSMV/DMV examiners or inspectors
  • Florida Notary Public
  • Active duty military officers, provost marshalls, or Navy Legalmam
  • Provide a completed Application for a Certificate of Title With or Without Registration (Form HSMV 82040). All vehicle owners are required to sign the form and provide proof of identity, even if they are not present. You can register your out-of-state vehicle for 1 or 2 years.
  • Submit a completed Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification (Form HSMV 82042)
  • Pay all required registration and tax fees

New Florida Resident Vehicle Sales Tax

Florida may charge sales tax, local tax, and local discretionary taxes on your out-of-state vehicle when you register it for the first time in this state. Whether you pay the taxes depends upon how long you have owned your vehicle.

If you have owned your vehicle for less than 6 months, you are responsible for paying the 6% Florida sales or use tax and all applicable local discretionary taxes your new city or county may require. Florida sales tax will be pro-rated based on any taxes you paid in a different state.

If you have owned your out-of-state vehicle for more than 6 months, you will not be charged sales, use, or local discretionary taxes. Your out-of-state title and registration must verify that you have owned the vehicle for more than 6 months.

Florida Vehicle Registration Fees

Florida charges various fees based on the type of vehicle you’re registering, its weight, the type of license plate you choose, and whether you will be registering the vehicle for 1 or 2 years. Florida vehicles that are registered for 2 years will pay double the 1-year fee.

  • Initial vehicle registration fee: $225
  • Private-use vehicles:
    • Up to 2499 lbs.: $14.50 for 1 year
    • 2500 to 3499 lbs.: $22.50 for 1 year
    • 3500 lbs.: $32.50 for 1 year
  • Commercial and private-use trucks:
    • Up to 1999 lbs.: $14.50 for 1 year
    • 2000 to 3000 lbs.: $14.50 for 1 year
    • 3001 to 5000 lbs.: $32.50 for 1 year
  • For-hire vehicles with passengers flat fee: $17
  • License plate fee:
    • Transfer: $4.50
    • New issue plate: $28

Late Vehicle Registration Fees

The Florida late vehicle registration fee varies according to the type of car and the length of time the registration has expired. According to the Florida HSMV, a late fee of $15 is charged if the vehicle registration is not renewed by the end of the month in which it expires.

Be advised that this is a general guideline. Other factors may affect the total amount of fees you are required to pay. You can learn more about the fees for Florida driver’s licenses and motor vehicle services on the HSMV website.

Florida Vehicle Registration Penalties

If you have NOT registered your vehicle in Florida and have resided in the state for over 6 months, you may have a second-degree misdemeanor charge, which could result in 60 days of jail time and a fine that could be a maximum of $500. You can also face up to 6 months of probation.

The most common penalty for failure to register your out-of-state vehicle in Florida is a ticket (citation).

Florida Smog Checks & Inspections

The HSMV/state of Florida does NOT have smog checks or emissions tests for any vehicle. Florida got rid of the auto emissions test requirement for all vehicles throughout Florida in 2002. However, all Florida vehicles are required to endure a safety inspection once a year. If you have an older model vehicle and you’re moving to Florida, you are NOT required to have a smog check or emissions test.

New Florida License Plates & Fees

You will receive your FL license plates and vehicle registration stickers once you complete your vehicle registration paperwork. The registration sticker must be placed in the upper right-hand corner of your Florida license plate.

Florida law requires all residents to replace their license plates every 10 years. Your FL HSMV renewal notice will indicate if you are required to obtain new license plates when you renew your tags. The license plate fees vary by automobile type and weight.

Late Fees and Penalties

Late fees will apply if you wait more than 11 days after the end of the month in which your vehicle registration expires. These fees vary according to the type of vehicle you own and your length of delinquency.

You have the opportunity to choose if you’d like to obtain standard-issue license plates or other special or personalized license plates.

Renewing Your Florida Vehicle Registration and Renewal Cycles

The FLHSMV provides different vehicle registration renewal cycles and expiration dates that vary based on the type of vehicle you own. Some resident may be eligible to renew their vehicle registration every 2 years.

Standard Motor Vehicle

If you own a standard vehicle, such as a car or truck, you are required to renew your registration every year by your birthday, with the renewal period starting 90 days before the registration deadline.

If your vehicle is registered to more than 1 person, such as your spouse, the date of birth of the first person who is listed on the vehicle registration will be used as the renewal deadline.

If your motor vehicle is owned by a company, you must renew the vehicle registration annually by the last day of the assigned month determined during the initial vehicle registration.

Mobile Homes and RVs

If you’re a mobile home or RV (recreational vehicle) owner, you are required to renew the registration every year by December 31, and the renewal period starts 31 days before the deadline.


Florida motorcycle registrations are required to be renewed each year on the assigned registration month, which is determined during the initial registration period.

Commercial Vehicles

Commercial vehicles, such as semi-trucks, heavy trucks, tractor-trailers, buses, and similar commercial vehicles, are required to have their registration renewed every 6 months (on May 31 and December 31) or each year on December 31, depending on the vehicle’s classification and its purpose of use.

Florida 2-Year Registration Renewal

Depending on the type of vehicle you own, you may be able to renew your vehicle registration every 2 years. Your eligibility is determined by the FL HSMV. If you’re eligible to renew your registration biennially, your renewal fees will double. However, your month and day of expiration will remain the same.

For more information regarding biennial vehicle renewals, including the types of vehicles and registrations that do NOT qualify, view the FL HSMV’s Renewal Procedures Manual. If you need to check the status of your registration renewal, contact your local FL DMV branch.

Florida Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice

To remind you when your vehicle registration needs to be renewed, your county may send a notice before your vehicle’s expiration date. This FL renewal notice will contain the following information:

  • Renewal fees
  • Renewal date
  • Information regarding your vehicle
  • Available renewal methods

What If I Didn’t Receive My Florida Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice?

Your FL county is NOT required to send a renewal notice. If you need to look up your Florida tag information, there’s a good chance you didn’t receive your notice. Whether you received a renewal notice or not, you are still required to renew your vehicle registration on time or risk the chance of having to pay fines.

As a new resident of Florida, make sure you update your address with the FL HSMV. You can also contact your local County Tax Collector’s Office and ask to have your specific registration fees calculated.

Renewing Your Florida Vehicle Registration

You can renew your FL vehicle registration by mail, online, or in person. Before we discuss how to renew your vehicle registration using different methods, you need to know about the Florida liability insurance requirements.

Florida Liability Auto Insurance Requirements

To operate a vehicle in Florida, you are required to have the state’s minimum level of auto liability insurance at all times. If you no longer meet Florida’s minimum insurance requirements or do not have coverage, you will not be able to renew your Florida vehicle registration.

Renewing Your Registration Online

You can renew your FL vehicle registration online up to 3 months before your vehicle registration expires. However, the online renewal option is not applicable if proof of your valid auto insurance policy is not on file with the FL HSMV.

To renew your Florida vehicle registration online, do the following:

  • Visit the FL HSMV GoRenew page
  • You will need to enter one of the following:
    • Driver’s license number
    • Vehicle’s license plate number
    • Vehicle identification number (VIN)
    • Transaction number listed on your current Florida registration certificate
  • Provide your date of birth
  • Enter the last 4 digits of your valid Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Verify your information (name, address, and vehicle information) is correct
  • Pay all applicable renewal fees with a MasterCard, VISA, Discover, or American Express card

Renewing Your Registration in Person

To renew your Florida vehicle registration in person, visit your local County Tax Collector’s Office with the following:

  • Your vehicle renewal notice or current registration certificate
  • Your driver’s license or FL ID card
  • Present your proof of auto insurance
  • Payment for your registration renewal fee (most County Offices accept check, cash, Discover, MasterCard, or American Express). Check with the office before visiting.

Once you complete these steps, you will be given your new FL decals and registration certificate at the office. Another person can renew your vehicle registration for you if that person can present your vehicle’s registration certificate and proof of a valid FL auto insurance policy.

Renewing Your Registration by Mail

To renew your vehicle registration by mail, you must have a renewal notice that indicates that you are eligible to renew your registration by mail. To complete your vehicle renewal, send your payment for all applicable fees to the address provided on your renewal notice or to your County Tax Collector’s office.

Florida Registration Renewal Fees

Florida registration renewal fees vary depending on specific information, such as the following:

  • The vehicle type
  • Vehicle weight
  • The length of your vehicle registration
  • County-specific fees
  • Additional fees for leased vehicles

Standard base fees for Florida vehicle registrations include the following:

  • Automobiles:
    • Up to 2,499 lbs.: $14.50
    • Between 2,500 lbs. And 3,499 lbs.: $22.50
    • 3,500 lbs. or heavier: $32.50
  • Motorcycles – $10
  • Trucks: Up to 1,999 lbs. $14.50
    • Between 2,000 lbs. and 3,000 lbs. – $22.50
    • Between 3,001 lbs. And 5,000 lbs. – $32.50

Your Florida vehicle registration renewal notice will list a breakdown of the fees you are required to pay.

Florida HSMV/DMV Locations

There are different Florida HSMV/DMV locations where you can register your out-of-state vehicle. We’ve listed a handful of these locations to help point you in the right direction.

HSMV – Tampa Bay Branch
2814 E. Hillsborough Ave.
Tampa, FL 33610
(813) 276-5795
Monday – Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

HSMV – Margate Branch
1135 Banks Rd.
Margate, FL 33063
(954) 497-1570
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Wednesday (8:30 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

HSMV – Miami Branch
7900 NW 27th Ave.
Ste E14
Miami, FL 33147
(305) 229-6333
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (8 AM – 5 PM)
Wednesday (8:30 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)

HSMV – Lehigh Acres Branch
3114 Lee Blvd.
Ste B6
Lehigh Acres, FL 33971
(239) 533-6000
Monday – Friday (8:30 AM – 5 PM)
Saturday and Sunday (Closed)