Florida License Plates

Car registration plates are spotted on every vehicle in the U.S., because it is illegal to drive a car without them. The main purpose of Florida DMV license plates is to provide a certified form of identification for each specific car - like the vehicular equivalent to a human finger print. Each vehicle will have custom license plates and IDs in FL that are registered in the DMV system's database. When drivers purchase cars off lots, they will also have to register the vehicles in order to have the new registration plates put under their names - it does not matter if the car comes from a dealership or from a secondhand dealer. For more information on how to get license plates and other important information about car registration plates in Florida, review the following topics:

  • Different Types of DMV License Plates Available in Florida
  • How to Get License Plates in Florida
  • How to Register, Renew and Replace License Plates in Florida

Different Types of DMV License Plates Available in Florida

There are different car registration plates available to vehicle owners in Florida. Temporary DMV license plates are typically the first-issued tags. Whenever a driver buys a car from a dealership, he or she will have a temporary license plate on the car (unless transferring a current license plate). This temporary license plate tag will allow drivers to use the new car for transportation on the roads while their licenses and registrations are processed. If drivers decide to buy cars secondhand, they cannot get temporary tags, and are expected to have completed a title transfer of the vehicle before officially taking it home. In addition, if a driver happens to buy a car out of state, he or she can also apply for temporary new registration plates in order to legally drive the car back to Florida.   

There are also many specialty DMV license plates available from the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles. Handicap tags in FL are an important type of custom license plate. Disability car registration plates are either temporary or permanent. If a driver is issued a permanent disability registration plate, it will only be valid for certain period of time. If a driver also has a permanent wheelchair license plate, he or she must update the Florida car registration plates each year, just like regular license plates. With these disabled DMV license plates, drivers may park legally in marked spaces and in metered spaces for free, depending on county or city ordinances. Download our free guide to learn more about the FL handicap tag and placard application process prior to filing a request. 

As for non-functional customized license plates in FL, there are also many different options available. Drivers may opt to have DMV license plates that support their schools, their troops, important causes, or even their favorite sport teams. Irrelevant to the type of plate chosen, drivers must still follow the guidelines provided by the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles when it comes to choosing the license plate characters. Read about prohibited custom license plates prior to filing an order with the DMV.   

How to Get License Plates in Florida

It is required by Florida law that all drivers have registered DMV license plates in order to legally drive vehicles on any roads. Furthermore, all registered cars in Florida must have state license plates, unless a driver is visiting from another state. A driver that buys a car off the lot will have a temporary license plate that must be replaced with new registration plates within a certain time limit - usually within 30 days. A driver must go to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in order to legally register a car. Once the vehicle registration process is complete, a driver will be issued car registration plates in FL after all fees have been assessed. DMV license plates are quite inexpensive, but can vary from county to county. Learn more about the prices of different license plates by downloading our free guide

How to Register, Renew and Replace License Plates in Florida

The process to new registration plates in FL is quite straightforward. Done at the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles, a driver will either have to visit in person or register the car online. The registration process for DMV license plates requires drivers to present their licenses, proofs of title transfer and residence papers (this is just a general list - depending on where a driver lives, this list may vary). If a driver bought the car from another party, when going to register a car for Florida license plates, he or she must provide the paperwork, including a bill of sale, to the county collector's office. A driver should also provide proof of car insurance, or he or she will not be issued a driver's license plate in Florida.  

When a DMV license plate is issued in Florida, the driver will also be provided a sticker with a month and a year on it. The sticker indicates when to renew license plates for all Florida drivers. These stickers may be obtained from the DMV office and can be placed over the previously expired sticker on the license plate. License plate renewal in Florida is required annually.

Replacing license plates in Florida becomes necessary if current DMV plates are misplaced. Oftentimes, DMV license plates are lost, because they are not secured on vehicles properly. Drivers may also have to replace license plates if the tags are stolen for any reason. Learn how to replace license plates to continue legally driving a motor vehicle in Florida.