How to Get a Temporary License Plate in Florida

Your car dealer will give you a temporary license plate after you purchase a vehicle. It’s usually valid for 30 days while you complete vehicle registration.
Written by Jessica Gibson
Edited by R.E. Fulton
You can get a legitimate temporary license plate in
through a car dealer after purchasing a vehicle. The temporary plate will allow you to drive off the lot before your new car’s certificate of title and
vehicle registration
are ready.
  • Dealerships can issue temporary plates when selling a car in the state of Florida.
  • Non-dealers can sometimes issue temporary plates, but only in certain situations.
  • Temporary license plates issued in the Sunshine State can last 10, 30, or 90 days, depending on the circumstances.

Does Florida issue temporary plates?

Yes—licensed Florida dealers and, in some circumstances, private sellers are allowed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV/DHSMV) to issue temporary license plates, temporary tags (temp tags), or paper plates to buyers. 
The Florida Electronic Temporary Registration (ETR) system permits dealers to print temporary tags—but you can’t use it without a valid dealer license. 
The provisional tags allow new car owners to drive their vehicles for up to 90 days before their title and registration have been completed.
For the most part, licensed dealers are the ones who issue temporary plates, but private sellers are also allowed to issue temporary plates when
selling a vehicle

How to get a temporary license plate in Florida

The most common reason to get a temporary license plate is when you
buy a new vehicle
, but the dealer must still complete its title and registration processes. 
  • Dealer use: The dealer will issue you a temporary plate, usually for 30 days, until the registration process is complete.
  • Non-dealer use: Non-dealers can issue temporary license plates in Florida under certain circumstances.
According to
Florida law
, 10-day temporary tags can be issued in the following situations:
  • The vehicle has yet to be weighed for registration purposes
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN) has yet to be verified
  • If the vehicle needs to be inspected as part of applying for title or registration
In Florida, a non-dealer can issue a 30-day temporary license plate under the following circumstances:
  • For a casual or
    private sale
  • When the seller is a bank, credit union, or other financial institution that does not need to be licensed to repossess vehicles for sale
  • If a vehicle is sold in Florida by a state resident to a person out-of-state, that person can then register the vehicle in their home state
  • When an out-of-state resident moving to Florida needs to secure ownership documents from their current home state
  • Needs a vessel trailer dealer to use for the sale of a vessel trailer
In Florida, a non-dealer can issue a 90-day temporary license plate under the following circumstances:
  • To a customer who is applying for specialized Florida license plates while that plate is being manufactured
  • For a person temporarily employed in Florida
All temporary plates in Florida cost $2.00 plus a $2.75 processing fee. To apply, fill out an
Application for Temporary License Plate (HSMV Form 83091)
and submit the completed form to your county tax collector’s office. You’ll need to provide: 
  • Your name, address, and driver’s license number
  • Your vehicle’s make, model, year, and VIN
  • The name and license number of the dealer that sold the vehicle

You cannot drive without a license plate—even if you just bought the car

Florida statutes don’t allow you to drive without a license plate (permanent or temporary).To be safe, ask the seller to issue you a temporary plate

Penalties for misuse of a temporary license plate in Florida

If you are found to have abused or altered your temporary Florida plate, you can place criminal penalties. 
If you knowingly or willingly use a temporary license plate to avoid registering a vehicle, you can face a first-degree misdemeanor, including up to a year in jail and a $1000 fine.
If you are found to have issued a temporary license plate to a fictitious person or entity to avoid disclosing the true owner of a vehicle, this is considered a third-degree felony. Penalties include up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
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Technically, you can’t drive with an expired temp tag. If you drive with one that’s expired for a week or less, you’ll get a nonmoving violation for which you pay a fine.
Florida issues additional 30-day temporary tags to private car sales or to vehicles sold in Florida that are driven out of the state.
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