How to Register a Car in Florida? (Complete Guides)

In case you find a job in Florida, your kids start to go to one of their public schools, or you become the resident of this state, you will need to register a vehicle in ten days period after moving in. It is your obligation by the law. Therefore, I will try to be of assistance on how to register a car in Florida.

I believe that you don’t like spending a lot of time queuing, especially when ‘one more paper misses’ to finish vehicle registration. To avoid awkward situations, save time and energy, you should prepare all the required papers and choose the best time to pay a visit to the (DHSMV) Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Where to Register Your Car

There are numerous DHSMV in the state. Which one you need to visit will depend on your documentation. You can’t pick out the DHSMV randomly than to find in the register the one in charge of the region where you live. In fact, each county of Florida has its own belonging department.

The Best Time to Register Your Car

Try to choose the moment of going to the DHSMV wisely. In general, the best time to complete the paperwork there is at the beginning of the week.

Also, if it is possible, you should go there in the morning hours. That way, you will avoid long lines and hours of waiting. Moreover, you can make an appointment over the phone or online.

Before You Go

You should be ready and obtain all the necessary certifications and documentation to avoid re-arrival and unnecessary frustration. The list includes:

1. Florida’s license

Florida’s license

To get a license in Florida, you need to have an ID issued in this particular state. Unfortunately, it will be impossible for you to register your car here without that document.

2. Certificate of title

Without a certificate of title, you won’t be able to register your vehicle, as it is proof that you are a legal owner of it. All the details in the document need to be accurate.

If you don’t have this paper, you can ask for it in DHSMV at the same time when applying for registration of your vehicle. All you need is to fill out the adequate form.

3. VIN verification

VIN stands for Vehicle Identification Number, and it needs to be accurate. The VIN verification paper will prove the validity of your car.

In case you don’t have it, you can take the form in DHSVM and pay a visit to any legal authorities such as public notaries, police officers, military officers, or car dealers. They will inspect your car, fill in the details, and verify it.

4. Certificate of car insurance

Certificate of car insurance

The insurance is valid only if you insure your car in the State of Florida. Don’t forget to check if your insurance document has VIN and the policy number.

5. Odometer verification

Similar to the VIN verification, you need to have a verified document about the mileage of your car. Bring a proper form to any legal representatives for confirmation, and they will do the appropriate check and seal the deal.

Paying the Registration

You should make sure you have enough cash with you or on your credit card before beginning the process of registration. You will need to pay for it after examining the documentation. The costs will differ depending on the model and weight of the car, as well as required taxes.

On average, a new registration costs $225. However, a lot of different factors will affect how much you actually need to pay. To get that information, you should look for a price list on the site of DHSVM, which is in charge of your region.

After paying all necessary costs, the clerk will check if everything is correct and signs the document. That’s it.

After the Procedure

After you have paid and signed all the papers, there are two options. In some regions, you will get documents straight away, while the others will send them by mail.

Meanwhile, you can feel free to drive your car with the receipt of registration. It will be enough to show that paper to the police authorities when needed since it is proof that the vehicle is legally in your ownership.

Military Residents

Military Residents

The rules are a bit different if you are a member of the army. In case you are stationed in Florida and live in this state, you have to obey the registration rules as mentioned above.

In case you are a military member stationed in Florida, but you live somewhere else, you will need to follow a different protocol. You don’t need to register a car in Florida, but you need to have updated documentation and valid insurance from your residence state.

If you live in Florida, but you are stationed in some other state, you will need to prepare the following forms to register your car:

  • Military Initial Registration Fee-Exemption Affidavit form
  • Application for certification for a title with or without registration
  • Military insurance exemption information form
  • Florida insurance affidavit form
  • Form for exemption from Florida sales tax

A New Car from Car Dealers

When you buy a new car form a legal car dealer, you will get temporary plates. The company will do the registration for you in 30 days. All you need to do is to make sure you have signed the bill of sale with the car dealer.

You will need that document in case the dealership company doesn’t finish the transfer the certificate of title and registration within the stipulated time. If that happens, you will need to do it yourself at the tax collector office.

Always keep in mind that some car dealer companies charge for the transfer, while others do it for free. You should be aware of the policy of the dealer you work with before you seal the deal.


In any case, you can find more details on the official DHSVM site with fees and taxes included for your car registration type. My advice is to finish registration within the specified time limit, as you will face the legal consequences. Therefore, prepare all documentation, schedule the time in DHSVM, and take a day off for this. Good luck!