How to Get Florida License Plates

March 18, 2013

Obtaining Florida license plates are part of the vehicle registration process. Once car owners pay the necessary taxes for a motor vehicle, the Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles issues a vehicle registration certificate, license plate and a validation decal. According to the law for the state of Florida, motor vehicle owners should register a vehicle in Florida within 10 days of becoming employed or becoming a resident. Alternatively, the vehicle has to be registered before placing children in a public school. Since obtaining a license plate is part of the vehicle registration and titling process, obtaining a Florida license plate number isn't difficult.

Obtaining a License Plate:

  • Vehicle registration can be completed either in person, in Florida or by mailing an application form to the local county tax collector or license plate agency in Florida.
  • The application form that should be completely filled out and mailed is known as a Certificate for Title. Before sending in the application by mail, it's important to read the License Plate Chart which lists the amount of fees and taxes applicable to different types of automobiles.
  • All applicants are required to produce proof of ownership of the vehicle, proof of insurance, filled out application forms and checks or money orders with the appropriate amount due towards fees and taxes.
  • As a general guideline, the initial registration fee amounts to $225, if the applicant doesn't possess a Florida vehicle registration to transfer.

Replacement of License Plate

According to the law in Florida, all license plates have to be replaced after 10 years from the date of issue. In addition, vehicle registration that isn't renewed within the given timeline is subject to a delinquent fee. In order to determine the expiration date of vehicle registration, owners should refer to their current registration certificate. The current law allows for payment of vehicle registration that's valid for 12 months with advanced extension of 3 months or 24-month validity with advance extension of 3 months. It's thus important to bear in mind the expiration date of vehicle registration and renew registration in time.

Temporary License Plates

Apart from the regular license plates issued to residents of Florida, there are several types of temporary license plates that may be legally used. First time car buyers or individuals not in possession of a license plate to transfer are given temporary license plates that are valid for 30 days. A temporary license plate can also be used to drive a vehicle that was purchased in the state of Florida but driven out of the state. However since certain documentation is necessary, applicants are advised to pre-determine the documents required for temporary license plates and fees if applicable.

Florida License Plate Renewal

License plates can be renewed in person or on behalf of another person. The documents required include proof of insurance, photocopy of vehicle registration or a renewal notice. License plate renewals are also subject to certain fees. This fee is calculated according to vehicle weight and type of license plate desired.

In order to obtain more information on returning license plates, registration fee exemptions and insurance requirements it's best to research the Florida DHSMV website.