All motor vehicles and trailers in the State of Florida must be registered and/or titled. It is the responsibility of the Tax Collector, in his capacity as agent for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, to provide the necessary services and operations to accomplish this job. The Tax Collector works very closely with this state agency to ensure all transactions are concluded according to state statutes.
Florida uses a metal license plate with an alpha numeric system, meaning there are combinations of letters and numbers used for identification. 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 tenth 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 exceptions to this are company owned and short term lease vehicles, which expire in June. Long term lease vehicles are staggered throughout the calendar year, and truck-tractors, semi-trailers, and trucks weighing over 5,000 pounds are renewed in December. Nine passenger and over vehicles used for hire and mobile homes are also renewed in December. All vehicles are licensed according to weight. Travel trailers and mobile homes are licensed according to length.
If a trailer has a net weight of 1,999 pounds or less, it is not required to be titled. Over that weight will require titling. The following would be required to prove ownership in lieu of a title:
1. When the vehicle is a new trailer, a copy of the MCO and/or a bill of sale, showing a complete chain of ownership, is required.
2. When the vehicle is a used trailer (homemade or manufactured) having a net weight of 1,999 pounds or less, a bill of sale, which includes a complete description of the trailer and the previous owner’s Florida license plate number, is required.
There must be a complete chain of ownership. If the used trailer (homemade or manufactured) has never been registered in Florida, a certified weight slip is also required, unless the documentation submitted shows a net weight.
If a trailer is required to be titled, it must be currently titled in the applicant’s name as owner or the applicant must submit application for title along with the certificate of title accurately completed for transfer to them as purchaser. When titling the trailer you are purchasing please bring in the title you received from the seller so that it can be transferred into purchaser’s name.
Renew Registration by Mail or Online
License plates can be renewed by mail, and returned to the owner. Renew online at Renew Express
To renew by mail we must have:
- The license plate or vehicle identification number.
- The registered owner(s) first and last name(s).
- A copy of the proof of Florida Insurance for the vehicle(s).
- Check or Money Order made payable to: “John Power, Tax Collector”.
- If requesting an address change/correction, we must have a legible copy of the registered owners Florida drivers license or Florida identification card.
To renew online you must have:
- Your Florida Drivers License OR Social Security Number OR Florida License Plate
- Date of Birth
- Last four digits of your Social Security Number
- Credit Card (only accepted online)
- Pen & Paper
Registration Only for Out-of-State Titles
What is Registration only?
When a bank, financial institution, or lease company holds the out-of-state title, the State of Florida provides for an exception that allows the owner(s) to only register their vehicle without transferring their out-of-state title to Florida first.
The following is required to qualify for registration only:
A. Proof of Ownership in the form of one of the following for the specific vehicle :
- Out-of-State registration, which serves as proof that the vehicle has been titled.
- Original must be retained. (If submitted by mail, a copy is acceptable)
- If the registration has expired it may be accepted, provided it has been expired 3 months or less. If expired longer than 3 months, it will require Manager Approval to be accepted.
- If the registration is in the customer’s previous name, you can sign an affidavit that attest the names on the registration and license are one and the same person.
- If the out-of-state registration has been lost, the following may be used as proof of ownership instead:
- An Official letter (on letterhead stationary) [legible fax copy accepted] from the state where the vehicle is currently titled. The letter must state the current titled owner name(s) and the vehicle details.
B. Proof of lien/lease must be one of the following: which specifically lists the year/make of the vehicle. It does not need to list the Vin, since it will be listed on the proof of ownership and insurance.
- Payment book. Coupon or statement
- Lease agreement (does not need to show a “last payment date”)
- Lienholder’s retail contract (does not need to show a “last payment date)
- Official state website record of lien (i.e. Massachusetts, Hawaii Title check, ).
- Out-of-State registration with lienholder/lease information
- A copy of the out-of-state title reflecting a current lien/lease
- A letter from the lienholder on their letterhead stationery reflecting a current lien
- A dealer invoice for you customer(s) that list the name of the lienholder
C. Proof of current Florida Insurance
D. At least one registered owner or person appointed power of attorney must be present with their acceptable proof of identification. If the vehicle is in two names and only one registered owner is present, we will need a photocopy of the second owner’s identification.
E. A Vin Verification must be completed. Any State Law Enforcement, Notary or Dealer can complete a Vin Verification.
F. Sales Tax must be collected if the motor vehicle, was purchased and used less than six months in another state, territory of the United States or the District of Columbia, the full amount of the 6.5 percent Florida sales or use tax and local discretionary sales surtax is required to be paid before title and registration can be issued. However, a credit is allowed for a like tax paid in another state, territory of the United States or the District of Columbia, against the amount of Florida sales or use tax and local discretionary sales surtax.
Proof of insurance (binder, policy, or card) from a certified Florida agent or broker is required to purchase and renew a license plate in Florida. The vehicle owner must present to the Tax Collector documentation of Personal Injury Protection (PIP) in the amount of at least $ 10,000 and Property Damage Liability in the amount of at least $10,000. Motorcycles, mobile homes, and utility trailers are exempt from the insurance requirement.
Cancellation of Insurance
When an individual cancels insurance on his/her vehicle, they should make every effort to obtain the current physical license plate and surrender it to the Tax Collector’s office to avoid suspension of his/her driver license.
If the license plate is stolen and/or physically unavailable for surrender, an affidavit is acceptable in lieu of the actual license plate. This affidavit can be obtained at the Alachua County Tax Collector’s office. The license plate owner must be present with his/her identification or he/she may complete the Surrender License Plate by Mail Affidavit.
Transfer and Surrender of License Plates
The license plate is the property of the original owner. The license plate owner is allowed to transfer his/her license plate to a replacement vehicle, in his/her name, or in the event of a death a license plate can be transferred to the surviving spouse. An individual cannot use another individual’s license plate unless he/she is the surviving spouse or the license plate owner is added to the title of the vehicle. If a vehicle is sold or disposed of and the license plate is not transferred to another vehicle, it must be surrendered to the Tax Collector’s office for cancellation. Once the license plate is surrendered/cancelled the owner will receive a cancelled receipt as proof he/she had a license plate for future registration purposes.
If the license plate owner does not surrender and cancel the license plate, he/she will be responsible for any unauthorized use of the license plate and suspension of his/her driver license. The requirement of surrendering and cancelling the license plate does not apply to motorcycles, utility trailers, or travel trailers.
Vehicle Registration Prices
Annual license taxes, for the operation of motor vehicles is defined by Florida Statutes, and must be paid at the time of registration and renewal. All fees are subject to change by Legislative Act.
|Classification||Net Weight||1 Year Registration||2 Year Registration|
|Automobile||2500 – 3499||$36.10||$72.20|
|Automobile||3500 – up||$46.10||$92.20|
|Truck||2000 – 3000||$36.10||$72.20|
|Truck||3001 – 5000||$46.10||$92.20|
|Truck||5001 – up||Call our office||(352) 374-5236|
|Utility Trailer||thru 500||$18.85||$37.70|
|Motor Home||thru 4499||$39.10||$78.20|
|Motor Home||4500 – up||$59.35||$118.70|
Initial Registration Fee
The initial application for registration for a motor vehicle, a $ 225.00 initial registration fee may be imposed. This fee applies to private automobiles, motor homes and trucks weighing less than 5,000 pounds. There are exemptions to this fee, including, but not limited to the following:
- Transfer of a license plate from a motor vehicle that has been disposed or is currently not in operable condition to a newly acquired motor vehicle
- Registration renewal
- Transfer of title between co-owners
Members of the Armed Forces stationed in Florida, but who maintain their legal residence out side the State of Florida, are classified as non-resident military and are eligible for special registration rates. To qualify for the special rates, Florida law requires that the vehicle owner must submit a copy of their military orders or a current leave & earning statement for review. Proof of insurance is mandatory.
If the vehicle is not titled in Florida, a copy of the out-of-state title is required for application DHSMV form 82042. The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) must be verified by a Tax Collector employee, Florida notary, motor vehicle dealer, or a state or military law enforcement officer.
Regular rates will apply if the non-resident’s status changes. Also, if military orders transfer the owner out of the state of Florida, they are no longer entitled to Florida registration. If the vehicle owner is a Florida resident, the vehicle can be registered in Florida, by signing a military insurance exemption affidavit , furnishing an out-of-state address, and a copy of the military orders, or an affidavit from their commanding officer, confirming their date of assignment.
Military forms can be found in our Form Library at the bottom of the Form Library tab.
(WARNING: Military personnel who file for non-resident status on a vehicle will not be eligible to file homestead exemption in the State of Florida. Contact the Alachua County Property Appraisers’ Office for more information). Their number is (352) 374-5230.
Specialty and Personalized License Plates
Specialty tags may be purchased at the Tax Collector’s office. These plates carry unique designs, that were created to honor specific organizations. In addition to the annual license tax, there is an annual users fee ranging from $ 15.00 to $ 25.00 which goes to the particular organization for that license plate. Additionally there is an annual $ 5.00 processing fee and a $ 28.00 fee each time a new plate is issued. The user fee and processing fee are charged each year in addition to the registration fee, upon renewal.
Personalized License Plates
Personalized tags may be ordered from the Tax Collector. Application for the initial personalized tag can be made at any time. A $ 28.00 plate fee and $ 15.00 personalization fee is charged, upon initial application, in addition to the registration fee. The $ 15.00 personalization fee is charged each year upon renewal. Specialty license plates can also be personalized for the additional annual costs of the specialty tag.
If your current tag is 10 years old, you must order your new personalized tag two(2) months ahead of expiration.
A Personalized License Plate Application are available up at the Tax Collector’s office or you may click here to download form HSMV 83043.
The State of Florida has a state sales tax of 6%. In addition to the six (6) percent sales tax, some counties impose a local discretionary sales surtax. The discretionary sales surtax rate is determined by the county in which the purchaser of the motor vehicle, vessel or mobile home resides (varies by county). Discretionary sales surtax only applies to the first $ 5,000 of the sales price. As of January 1, 2017, the discretionary sales surtax for Alachua County is .5%
As an agent for the Florida Department of Revenue, the Tax Collector is responsible for collection and disbursement of these taxes. Sales tax is collected when a customer transfers title to a motor vehicle, vessel or mobile home. If you purchased your vehicle, vessel or mobile home through a licensed Florida Dealer, the dealer is responsible for collection and disbursement of the sales tax. NOTE: If a vehicle is traded in, sales tax is collected on the difference between the price of the vehicle and the trade in.
Florida Vehicle Titles
Florida Vehicle Titles can now be issued by this office at the time of the transaction for an additional fee of $ 10.00 or you may have the title returned to your address within 3 – 4 weeks by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles in Tallahassee. You may also choose to have your title remain in an electronic status. If you choose this option your title will remain electronic until you request to have a paper title printed.
To transfer a Florida Title, the seller must complete the transfer information on the current title, including the purchaser’s name, selling price and odometer reading at the time of sale. The purchaser then completes form HSMV 82040, to make application for title, and signs the face of the title in the “transfer of title” section of the title. In the case of a lost title, a duplicate title can be applied for using form HSMV 82101. A duplicate or lost title may be applied for when the vehicle owner is not present, provided the vehicle owner signs a Power of Attorney, form HSMV 82053. 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 $ 20.00 fee is levied at the time of transfer.
Electronic Titles (ELT)
At the time of transfer, an individual can request to have their title remain in an electronic status. A paper title will not be mailed until the owner of the vehicle specifically requests to have a paper title printed.
Owners with electronic titles can request a paper title be printed, which can be mailed to them. There is a service fee of $2.50 to convert an electronic title to paper for mailing. Owners can get a printed title by visiting www.GoRenew.com
An owner with an electronic title can obtain a paper title immediately while they wait (fast title) at a Tax Collector office that offers same day title printing for $10.00.
Transfer of Ownership of an Electronic Title
If a title is held electronically and the buyer agrees to maintain the title electronically, the buyer and seller shall complete a secure reassignment document that discloses the odometer reading and is signed by both the buyer and seller at the Tax Collector office. Otherwise, a paper title will have to be printed before ownership can be transferred to another individual or if you are registering with another state.
If you plan to trade your vehicle in using a Florida motor vehicle dealer, leave the title as electronic and the dealer can handle the paperwork for you.
Benefits of an Electronic Title
- Reduces title fraud.
- Reduces the chances of a stolen title.
- Reduction of title paper usage.
- Faster notification of lien satisfactions.
- Reduction in storage of title documents.
- Access to expedited title printing.
- Better customer service.
- Reduced costs.
Mandatory Participation by Lienholders
Florida’s Electronic Lien and Title (ELT) program requires mandatory participation from lenders. By January 1, 2013 and thereafter, businesses and individuals who regularly engage in the business or practice of financing vehicles or vessels are required to be ELT participants.
Individuals and businesses not in the business of financing vehicles are not required to be ELT participants. An ELT exception reason is required whenever a lien is added using a non-ELT participant.
Once the Lien is satisfied the title will remain electronic until the owner or lienholder specifically requests to have the title printed.
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 for Florida title must be completed and accompanied by verification of the Vehicle Identification number (VIN) and odometer reading DHSMV form 82042. The vehicle must be brought into our office so that we can verify the VIN, if not verified on the DHSMV form 82042. The VIN verification cannot be performed at the Alachua County Downtown location. The owner(s) or purchaser(s) must sign this form or give power of attorney. Sales tax will be collected if applicable.
Please note: It is important that you do not wait until the out-of-state license plate is expired or about to expire to begin your title transfer process.
New Vehicle Titles
All new vehicles are required to have a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) which must be signed and notarized by a licensed dealer for transfer to the buyer. Please include the original odometer disclosure to assist us in processing your transaction. To obtain a Florida title, the MCO must be properly completed and attached to the title application form DHSMV 82040 . The information must include the owner’s complete name and Florida address, date of birth, sex, driver license number, a complete description of the vehicle, and any lien to be recorded. Sales tax will be collected if applicable.
This office has a fast title service for an additional $ 10.00. We can print a title for you to have when you leave the office.
July Legislative Changes:
Effective July 1, 2012: Any person that loses or has their disabled parking permit stolen must provide form HSMV 83039, Application For Disabled Person Parking Permit, completed and signed by their certifying authority within the last 12 months. Once completed, take this form to the local county tax collector office or license plate agency for replacement.
October Legislative Changes:
Effective October 1, 2012: Any person renewing their disabled parking permit must have current certification. Before a disabled parking permit can be renewed, the permit-holder must provide form HSMV 83039, Application For Disabled Person Parking Permit, completed and signed by their certifying authority within the last 12 months. Once completed, take form to the local county tax collector office or tag agency for replacement.
More information on the legislative changes regarding parking permits can be found HERE
A placard can be purchased by an individual with disabilities that limit or impair their ability to walk or is certified legally blind. The parking permit entitles the driver transporting the disabled passenger to utilize handicap parking facilities. The placard is transferable to any vehicle transporting the disabled person. The placard is to be hung on the rear view mirror when using the designated parking spaces. Applicants and their physician are required to sign for the placard. Placards are valid for four years expiring on the applicants date of birth. There is no fee. HSMV 83039.
A temporary disabled parking permit is also available in six month increments, which are to be determined by a physician and marked as such on the form. The fee is $ 15.00.
In Florida, mobile homes must be registered. A numbered decal, instead of a metal license plate, is issued for identification. State statutes require mobile home registrations be renewed annually by December 31. A delinquent fee is charged if the registration is not renewed by the 10th of the following month.
Registration fees are set by the Department of Motor Vehicles and are based on the length of the mobile home. Double wide and triple wide mobile homes are considered two and three separate units respectively, and the owner must purchase that many decals. Mobile home owners are required to display the decal in a window clearly visible from the road in front of the home.
To register a mobile home, the owner must present to the Tax Collector’s Office the following documents:
- The current or last issued Florida Vehicle Registration Certificate for the mobile home (if lost, furnish the most current decal number)
- The title to the mobile home (if financed, the owner must obtain a copy from the lien holder) if the Registration Certificate is not available
- The title (from Florida or any other state) signed off by the previous owner if it has not been transferred into the current owner’s name and the bill of sale (the Tax Office will process the transfer).
Real Property (RP) Decals
All mobile homes or recreational vehicles permanently affixed to the owner’s land and declared as Real Property are issued a permanent “RP” decal. Owners must obtain a DR-402 form from the Property Appraiser’s office, indicating the land and mobile home titles are in the same owner name, before applying for the “RP” decal from the Tax Collector’s Office.
“RP” decals are permanent and transferable to the new owner when the land and mobile home are sold as a unit. Cost for “RP” decals are $ 8.35 per unit.
Registration and Decal Change in Appearance
Florida’s vehicle registration and decals have changed.
Identifying numbers, as follows, will be printed on the decal when it is issued, which will help prevent theft.
- License plate number assigned to the vehicle, truck/tractor or trailer.
- Identification number when issued to a mobile home.
- Florida Number (FL#) when assigned to a vessel.
- Driver License number when a disabled parking placard is issued.
The lemon yellow background and black lettering, on the new decal make it more visible, and the same colors will be used each year, with changing expiration dates.
As an agent for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Tax Collector is responsible for providing the necessary service and record keeping procedures used in processing vessel(boat) titles and registrations. All motorized vessels, commercial and private, must be registered, titled and issued a decal before they can be used in Florida waters. The decal must be affixed to the port side of the boat.
Vessel registrations expire at midnight of the owners birthday. Registration for vessels titled in a business name expire June 30th.
Vessel registration fees are based on the length of the boat.
Renewal of vessel registrations can be processed in person at any location or by e-commerce.
To use e-commerce, have your PIN number, located on your renewal card above the amount due, ready and go to Renew Express. E-commerce transactions require a valid credit card. An additional fee will be charged for this service.
For new boats, the selling dealer must complete the manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO), when applicable. Proof of sales tax paid or proof of exemption must be provided, or sales tax must be collected.
To transfer a Florida title of a used boat to the new owner complete the transfer information of the current seller’s title. If the vessel is purchased through a dealer, the dealer reassignment also must be completed. Sales tax will be collected if applicable. In the event the title is lost, a duplicate title may be applied for using form HSMV 82101. When the vessel owner is not present, the owner can sign a Power of Attorney, form HSMV 82053, to allow the purchaser or agent to act in his behalf.
Application with an Out of State Title
Many states do not require boats to be titled. Proof of ownership on a used boat from a non-title state is the vessel registration. A notarized bill of sale is required with the registration to transfer ownership. If a title is available, it and Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (HSMV) form 82040 (title application form) must be completed for processing. Also required is a pencil tracing, from the vessel, of the hull number to verify with the title and/or registration. Sales tax will be collected if applicable.
A non-resident boater with a valid out-of-state registration certificate may use his/her vessel in Florida waters for 90 days without applying for a Florida registration. This applies to pleasure boats only. If the non-resident intends to use the craft in Florida longer than 90 days, the boat must be registered with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which is processed at the Tax Collector’s office.