How to Apply for a Car Registration in Florida
Applying for a new Florida vehicle registration is one of the first steps you must take after purchasing or acquiring a vehicle. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) requires you to obtain new registration credentials as soon as possible after acquiring a vehicle.
If you do not obtain DMV registration documents, you may be subject to steep fines, as operating an unregistered vehicle is against the law.
When you apply for DMV car registration credentials, the FLHSMV provides you with a certificate, validation decal and metal license plate as proof of your compliance with these registration requirements. If you lose or damage these documents at any time, you must start the process to get a replacement as soon as you can. To learn more about the steps you must take to register a newly acquired automobile, review the sections below.
How to Get Vehicle Registration Records in Florida
“Where can I apply for car registration near me in Florida?” is a question you may ask after acquiring a vehicle from a dealer or private seller. To get new car registration and titling papers for a vehicle you obtained from a private party, you must visit a FLHSMV service center to complete the application process in person. If you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, however, the dealer may forward your application materials directly to the FLHSMV and issue you a 30-day temporary license plate. If you are transferring a current plate to your new automobile, you may not need the temporary plate.
To apply for a new FL auto registration in person at an FLHSMV service center, you must submit some of the following documents:
- A completed application
- Proof of identity
- Evidence of a current automobile insurance policy that meets minimum coverage requirements in Florida
- Proof of vehicle ownership, such as a certificate of title.
Depending on your specific situation, you may need to present additional documents to complete the car registration application process.
Moreover, you must pay vehicle registration fees and taxes when registering your automobile with the FLHSMV. Unless you wish to transfer a current Florida license plate to your newly acquired vehicle, you must also pay an initial registration fee at this time.
You will generally pay for a temporary plate, which allows you to drive the automobile while you wait to receive your permanent registration credentials.
Florida Auto Registration Application Requirements
When applying for FLHSMV registration credentials, you must be able to provide several important pieces of information. For instance, you must provide the following:
- Your full legal name
- Your date of birth
- Your driver’s license number
- Your contact information
- Your mailing address
Additionally, you must provide information about the vehicle you wish to register, including its title number, vehicle identification number (VIN), weight and year.
Download our helpful guide for an extensive list of everything you will need to get your car registered.
How to Get Temporary Florida DMV Vehicle Registration Plates
Once you pay car registration fees and taxes at your automotive dealership or FLHSMV service center, you can purchase temporary license plates for your automobile. This is only if you did not transfer existing plates to the new vehicle. In Florida, you can purchase temporary license plates that remain valid for 10, 30 or 90 days, depending on the specific situation.
If you purchase a vehicle from a dealership, for instance, you can obtain temporary plates from the dealer that remain valid for 30 days. To purchase a temporary DMV registration plate after acquiring a car, truck, minivan or SUV from a private seller, you must visit an FLHSMV motor vehicle service center.
Download our comprehensive auto registration guide for tips on how to get a new car registration.