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Florida License Plate Search

All Florida residents must register their vehicles and obtain valid license plates. You can choose to get the state’s standard license plate or select a specialized style.

Sample Florida License Plate

Sample Florida License Plate

Types of Florida License Plates

When you register your car or motorcycle in Florida, you must also obtain validation stickers. After registering your vehicle, you’ll obtain one or more license plates to place on your vehicle.

The standard license plate in Florida comes with the choice of the following words at the bottom:

  • In God We Trust
  • Sunshine State

Standard Florida license plates have oranges and blossoms with an outline of the state of Florida in the center.

Instead of the standard license plate, you can also choose to personalize your plate (vanity plates), get specialized plates, or apply for disability plates.

Remember, you must put your validation stickers on the upper right corner of your license plate. The month and year of expiration must be clearly visible.

Personalizing Florida License Plates

Before deciding to personalize your Florida license plate, you can check availability online. When you are deciding on your custom plate number, keep the following in mind:

  • Use up to 7 characters (including spaces or hyphens)
  • Use up to 5 characters for collegiate plates with logos on the left

The cost of registering and renewing personalized plates is $15 in addition to the standard fees to order or renew. Note that the DHSMV may reject a personalized license plate; see our Florida banned license plates page for more information.

Specialized License Plates in Florida

Florida has a range of colorful choices for specialty license plates. Take a look at some of the options available:

  • Protect Our Oceans License Plate
  • University of Florida License Plate
  • Florida State University License Plate
  • Miami Dolphins License Plate
  • Support Autism License Plate
  • Fraternal Order of Police License Plate
  • Military Groups License Plate
  • Recipients of Silver Star License Plate
  • Historic & Custom License Plate
  • Horseless Carriage License Plate

Fees for these plates start at $20. You’ll also have to pay for the standard registration fees, and some plates require a donation as well.

If you want to support a particular organization or show off your passion for what you love, these are the plates to get.

Applying for License Plate in Florida

When you purchase a new vehicle in the state of Florida, the dealership should provide you with a temporary plate.

If you are purchasing a vehicle in a private sale, you must obtain a temporary plate in advance. To do so, you must visit your local tax collector to complete a vehicle transfer.

Temporary plates are valid for 30 days and permit you to drive your car while your title and license plates are being processed.

You have 30 days to register your vehicle if you become a Florida resident or purchase a new vehicle.

Documents for Florida License Plate Application

To register your vehicle, you must go to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) in Florida.

Once there, you must bring the following:

  • Proof of ID
  • Valid insurance for your vehicle
  • VIN inspection certification
  • Odometer reading (for new residents)
  • Payment of $225 for registration fee

If you’re new to Florida, you’ll have to apply for a Florida driver’s license and get new insurance for your vehicle.

Once you have all the necessary documents, you can submit your registration. When you do, you may also have to pay sales tax on your vehicle. Contact your local DHSMV for more information. 

Receiving Florida License Plates

Once your application has been received and your payment processed, you may be able to receive your license plate and sticker right away. In this case, you can put your license plate onto your vehicle and put the validation sticker on the upper right corner.

If you decided to get a specialized or personalized license plate, it will take a few days to process and arrive. In the meantime, you must maintain your temporary permit to legally use your car on the roads in Florida.

Lost or Stolen License Plates in Florida

Did you lose your license plates? Maybe they were stolen?

If either of these situations happens to you, you must apply for replacement license plates. To do so, you must personally go to your local DHSMV in Florida and provide:

  • Current registration certificate for your vehicle
  • Form HSMV 83146: Application for Replacement License Plate, Validation Decal, or Parking Permit
  • Replacement Fees:
    • Damaged or defaced license plate: $28
      • With Police Report: Free
    • Lost validation stickers: $28
      • If lost in the mail: Free
    • Stolen license plate: Free
      • Requires police report

If you have one of your plates or damaged plates, you must surrender them to the DHSMV.

Surrendering License Plates in Florida

If you are no longer using your license plate, such as when you sell your car or if your car breaks down, you must surrender your plates to the DHSMV. Other situations where you must surrender your license plates include:

  • Moving to a new country or state
  • Not transferring your license plates to a new vehicle
  • Canceling your vehicle’s insurance

When you surrender your license plates, you can provide them in person or mail them to your county tax collector.

Costs for License Plates in Florida

There are many variables used to calculate your vehicle’s registration fees. Here are a few of them:

  • Issuing Fee: $28
  • Transferring Fee: $7.35 (if applicable)
  • Initial Registration Fee: $225
  • Vehicle Tax: Varies by weight
  • Service Fees: Vary by location

The cost of registering a vehicle in Florida is significantly higher than the cost of renewing. You should contact your local DHSMV office to get an accurate quote for your vehicle.

Looking Up License Plates in Florida for Free

If you want to obtain some background information before purchasing a used vehicle, you can look up the license plate.

This search tool provides you with information, including:

  • Suspicious activity
  • Driver history
  • Owners
  • Images of the vehicle
  • Plate number availability
  • And much more

Try FindByPlate to get the most updated data on license plates in Florida.

How to look up Florida license plates

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to look up Florida License Plates and report bad drivers:

  1. Open a web browser
  2. Go to
  3. Enter the plate number, and select state
  4. View the report
  5. View images submitted by the community
  6. View videos submitted by the community
  7. Add comments
  8. Add pictures of the vehicle
  9. Add videos related to the vehicle