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.
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:
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.
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:
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.
Florida has a range of colorful choices for specialty license plates. Take a look at some of the options available:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
If you have one of your plates or damaged plates, you must surrender them to the DHSMV.
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:
When you surrender your license plates, you can provide them in person or mail them to your county tax collector.
There are many variables used to calculate your vehicle’s registration fees. Here are a few of them:
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.
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:
Try FindByPlate to get the most updated data on license plates in Florida.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to look up Florida License Plates and report bad drivers: