If you own a motor vehicle in Florida, you will need to register it with the Department of Motor Vehicles. How to accomplish this will depend on whether the vehicle has been registered in the state before, if you have registered the vehicle before, and where you purchased it. To help you maneuver through the registration process, here are some options.
Renewing a Registration
As long as the vehicle is currently titled, insured, and registered in your name, you have a few options for renewing the registration. This will need to be done every one or two years before your birthday. If it is a personal vehicle car less than 3,500 pounds or a truck less than 5,000 pounds you can register it for two years at a time. You may do the renewal online, through the mail, or at a DMV office. However, if you have outstanding traffic fines or have let the insurance lapse during the previous year you will need to go to the DMV in person and take care of the fines before you can complete the renewal.
Registering a Newly Bought Vehicle
If you purchase a vehicle from a dealer the registration and titling should be handled by the dealership. You will need to provide them with a copy of your license and proof of insurance. If you purchase the auto from a private person, you will need to take the signed title, a signed bill of sale, proof of insurance, and your license to the county's tax collector's office. However, if the sale took place out of the state you will need to proceed differently.
Vehicle New to the State
If you are moving to Florida or bought a vehicle out of state and are bringing it home, there are additional requirements to registering it. If you have owned the vehicle for more than six months, and have proof of this ownership, you will not have to pay any Florida sales tax before registering it. However, if you have not owned it that long, you will need to pay the tax. In addition, the vehicle will need to have an inspection and a VIN number check. Once these have been taken care of you will proceed with the directions for registering a newly bought vehicle.
Be sure to keep your registration current or you will have to pay extra fines and fees to renew it. Since the registration will be due on your birthday it should not be too hard to remember. You can renew it three months before it comes due. Take advantage of this and you won't have to worry about being late.