New Registration

If you are a resident of the state of Florida and you purchase a new vehicle, the state requires that you register it with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). Doing so is a simple and straightforward process, but there are some requirements you must meet, as well as some documentation you must provide, in order for this process to take place. This article will explain step by step how to apply for new registration for vehicles in Florida.

What you’ll need

Every new vehicle registration in Florida, regardless of the origin of the vehicle being registered, will require the following items be presented in person at your local DHSMV office:

  • Vehicle title
  • Proof of ID
  • Vehicle Identification Number inspection and odometer reading (if first-time Florida registration)

A $225 fee will also be required up front, along with applicable taxes, license plate fees, and title fees.

Initial vehicle registration must happen within 30 days of establishing residency in the state, registering children for any school in the state, or working in the state. If your vehicle is not titled at the time of registration, you will be required to title it at the same time you register it.

Requirements for purchasing a new vehicle

Certain registration and titling requirements must be met when purchasing a vehicle in Florida, but these requirements differ based on whether the vehicle was purchased from a dealer, or whether it was purchased from an individual.

Authorized dealers can often file the title and registration of your purchased vehicle for you, along with issue temporary license plates. If you are interested in having this done, however, you will want to make sure your dealership is permitted to use the Electronic Filing System (EFS) and Electronic Title Registration (ETR).

While an authorized dealer is required to file the title transfer within 30 days of your purchase, you must contact your county’s tax collection office to register and title the vehicle if the dealership fails to do so. Should this happen, a Bill of Sale will need to be filled out by the seller to provide proof of transaction. This must then be filed with the tax collection office, but a copy should be made so that you can have one for your own records. This process also applies to vehicles being purchased from individuals.

At this point, you and the seller must fill out the title of the vehicle, cross-referencing the Vehicle Identification Number with the one listed in the title. If the vehicle is less than ten years old, an odometer reading will be required. Then, you’ll need to take the completed title to the tax collection office, along with proof of insurance and the necessary fees (listed above). The exact total of these fees will vary based on the type, weight, and value of the vehicle being registered. It’s often a good idea to contact your local DHSMV for an estimation of the total cost.

At this point, you’re almost finished. You’ll be given your license plate and registration sticker (which you’ll need to place on the blank space in the upper right-hand corner of the plate). You’ll also be able to choose whether you simply want standard-issue plates or personalized plates. Your local DHSMV will have specific information on the additional options and fees for customized license plates.