How to Register a Car in Florida

Fee payment, proof of insurance, and proof of identity are most of what you need to register a car in Florida. Find out more details below!
Written by Alita Dark
Reviewed by Amy Bobinger
For a first-time registrant in Florida, you will need proof of identity and Florida insurance as well as an application. Your vehicle must be registered 30 days after you establish residency. 
Moving to the Sunshine State means a shower of warm weather, abundant citrus—and paperwork. In the middle of settling into a new job and finding the kids a new school, the last thing you want to do is hunt through the Department of Motor Vehicles’ website for what you’ll need to set up your Florida registration. 
That’s why we're here to help you out. In this article, we’ll tell you what you’ll need to register, how much you’ll owe in fees, and even offer a tip for how to save on your new
Florida car insurance
! Let’s get started. 
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How to register a car in Florida

You won’t need much to register your car in Florida. Just bring proof of your identity, proof that you have state insurance, your application, and payment for the $225 fee

If you just moved to Florida

You have 30 days to get your new license, title, and registration after establishing residency in Florida. What does establishing residency look like? It might mean enrolling your child in public school, renting an apartment, or starting a new job. Whatever it is, you’ll want to move fairly quickly to get everything in order. 
You’ll have to visit your
local service center
in person for the initial registration. Bring with you three things: 
Additionally, you will need the following documents to receive your new certificate of title: 
  • Original title
  • Verification of inspection of the vehicle identification number (VIN) completed on Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration or
    Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification
    (must be inspected by law enforcement, military police, licensed in-state dealer, or county tax collector/Division of Motorist Services Compliance employee)
If your vehicle has an outstanding lien, you will need to contact the lienholder for the transfer of title. 
There are a few fees you will have to pay during the registration process. First and foremost is the registration fee itself, which is $225. A new title will cost $77.25. There is an extra $2.50 service and handling fee for paper titles, so you can save a little bit of cash by opting for digital documents. For a more detailed breakdown on fees—including those for campers, trailers, and large trucks—you can check the
Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) fee
Once you’ve submitted the paperwork and paid your dues, you’ll be all set! Be aware that a complete registration is considered a metal plate, registration certificate (to be kept in your vehicle), and license plate decal. If you are missing any of these things, your registration is incomplete, and you should seek to rectify it. 

How much insurance coverage do you need in Florida? 

Since you are required to have Florida insurance before registering your vehicle, it’s best to get your new policy set up as soon as possible—ideally, within 10 days of establishing residency or immediately after
buying a car in Florida
Florida car insurance laws
requires you have at least: 
If your vehicle is registered as a taxi, you will need: 
  • $125,000
    bodily injury liability
    per person
  • $250,000 bodily injury liability per ocurrence 
  • $50,000 property damage liability
Some carriers will allow you to transfer your current policy to your new state. As long as you meet the state’s requirements, this is perfectly acceptable. However, if you need to update or change your policy, you must do so as soon as possible. Florida also requires you to keep continuous insurance on your vehicle, even if you no longer drive it or it becomes inoperable. 

How to renew your Florida vehicle registration 

Florida allows drivers the option of renewing their vehicle registration for a one- or two-year period. It will expire at midnight on the owner’s birthday, and you are allowed to renew up to three months before that expiration. You may or may not receive a renewal notice—it is up to each individual county to send them—so it’ll be your responsibility to make sure you renew it on time. 
Thankfully, it is pretty simple to do. You can renew online through the
MyDMV Portal
, which accepts payment via credit card. (Note that there will be an extra $2.00 processing fee on card payments.) You’ll need to provide identifying information about you and your vehicle, and you can expect your new registration in the mail in 7–10 business days.
You can also renew via the MyFlorida mobile app. All you’ll need is your VIN or license plate number, and you can pay via card or checking account. There will be a $4.00 processing charge via card or a $3.75 charge if paid through a checking account. Good news, though—the app itself is free! 
Finally, you may renew your registration in person at your local service center. You will receive your registration that same day. 

How to replace a lost registration 

If you’ve lost the original copy of your registration, you can request a duplicate through either the app or the online portal. 

How to save on auto insurance in Florida

Moving to a new state is often a trigger event for re-evaluating your insurance. You need new coverage and, sometimes, a new provider. But with the chaos and expenses that come along with a new move, it can be hard to find the time to dial carrier after carrier tracking down the best possible deal. 
Why take all that on if you don’t have to?
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Besides a payment method for the fees, you will need proof of identity, proof of Florida insurance, and a completed Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration. To renew it, you will only need to pay the applicable fee.
The first time you register, it will cost you $225. However, after that, your fee will be determined by the type of vehicle you own. Cars below 2,500 pounds have a base fee of $14.50. Middle-class cars (below 4,000 pounds) cost $22.50. Heavier cars (above 3,500 pounds) cost $32.50.
Like cars, the base fee for a truck is dependent on weight. Trucks below 2,000 pounds have a fee of $14.50. Middle-weight trucks (2,000-3,000 pounds) will charge $22.50, and heavier trucks (3,001-5,000 pounds) will charge $32.50. Trucks weighing more than 5,000 pounds will have greater fees.
The FLHSMV is in charge of sea-faring vessels as well as cars and trucks. You will need to establish proof of ownership with a bill of sale, manufacturer’s certificate of origin, federal marine document, or builder’s contract. If your vessel is required to be titled, you will also need the title. Fees will be dependent on the size of the boat and whether the county it is registered in charges an optional fee.
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