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Guide to the Florida DMV

FLHSMV guide

If you are a Florida resident or moving to Florida, you will need to visit the DMV at some point if you intend to drive. You’ll need a license and you’ll need to register a vehicle if you own one. Below you will find some of the most important items you’ll need to check off your list.

Vehicle Title and Registration

Whether you bought a vehicle from a dealership or private party or if you are bringing a vehicle you already own from another state, you will need to transfer the title and register your vehicle in Florida. This typically requires you show proof of ownership (the title), an ID like a driver’s license, completed title and registration application form(s), proof of insurance, and required payment of fees. If you purchase your vehicle through a dealership, they will usually handle the process for you and either issue you a new plate and registration or transfer an existing one you may have. Florida is not an inspection state so no safety or emission test are required.

Vehicle Registration Renewal

In Florida, registrations can be renewed for 6, 12, or 24 months. Expirations dates vary based on the weight of the vehicle and its use. Privately owner vehicles under 5,000 pounds expire on the first registered owner’s birthday. Commercial vehicles expire on June 30th, December 31st, or both depending on whether a 6 or 12 month registration is issued. Registration fees are not prorated or refundable but can be transferred for credit on a different vehicle if the plate is transferred.

Florida may issue registration stops or holds for things like unpaid tolls and tickets, suspended licenses, and more. Issue like these must be resolved before the registration can be renewed. Additionally, registrations renewed 10 or more days after the expiration date will be assessed late penalties regardless of whether a registration stop caused the delay. Learn more about Florida registration renewals.

Auto Insurance Requirements in Florida

If you own and operate a vehicle in Florida, minimum coverage is required. This would be:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in the amount of $10,000
  • Property Damage Liability (PDL) in the amount of $10,000

An insurer licensed in the state of Florida can go over these requirements and any additional coverage you may qualify for or want to add. Comparing auto insurance is important to assure you are getting the coverage you need at a cost that is manageable for you. Failure to maintain the required coverage, may result in license suspension and a registration stop being issued on your vehicle.

Driver License and Florida IDs

If you are looking to obtain a Florida driver’s license, you will be required to visit a local DMV or Tax Collector’ office. If you have never been issued a license before, you will be required to pass written and practice test. Teens are required to go through additional education and training prior to taking the written and practice tests at the DMV. If you have a license issued by a different state, you will be able to bypass some of the requirements to be issued a Florida drivers license.

If you are looking to be issued just a Florida identification card, you will need proof of identity in the form of a birth certificate or other similar documents. You will also be required to show proof of residency such as in the form of a utility bill. These same identity and residency proofs are required for the issuance of a driver’s license as well. If you are 21 or older, you will be issued a card in which the information is printed horizontally. If you are 20 years old or younger, you will be issued a card in which the information is printed vertically.