How to Obtain a New Car Registration in Florida

Florida car registration is very important for all drivers in Florida. The rules for getting car registration in Florida initially look overwhelming, but they only appear so involved because they cover specific situations. There are several ways to get car registration in Florida, including online options. In fact, it is very easy to register a car online, which is also considered the fastest option. The other ways for getting car registration involve visiting a Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) office, or by applying for car registration through the mail. In Florida, car registration and car titling happen at the same time. While this is more convenient, it also means the cost for DMV car registration is a little higher compared to other states. More information regarding getting car registration in Florida is covered in the following areas:

  • How to Register Cars for New Florida Residents
  • Registering Cars at Dealerships in Florida
  • Purchasing a Car from a Private Party in Florida
  • Car Registration for Military Members in Florida

How to Register Cars for New Florida Residents

The rules regarding how to register cars for new Florida residents are very specific. Someone is considered a Florida resident once he or she starts a job in the state, registers any children at a Florida school or rents, leases and- or outright purchases and- property in Florida. New residents have up to 10 days to register cars in Florida. Most new residents moving into Florida have out-of-state vehicles. Download our guide to review the comprehensive rules of getting car registration for out of state vehicles, which are slightly different than registering cars in-state.

Before getting car registration for their out of state vehicles, new residents must have valid Florida driver’s licenses. In addition, they must have valid car insurance policies and pass VIN inspections for their vehicles. The next step for registering cars is showing the out-of-state title to the Florida county tax collector office. The county office verifies the VIN number and submits all the necessary paperwork. The last step to get car registration for an out-of-state vehicle is to pay the fees. Residents can pay the fees when they go to register a car online, or they can pay in person.

Registering Cars at Dealerships in Florida

How to register cars in Florida for in-state vehicles is entirely dependent on how the car was acquired. There are two different ways to get a car in Florida, either through a dealership or from a private car seller. In most situations, car dealerships provide a temporary title and car registration papers, which Florida drivers can use for 30 days. If the driver is leasing a car instead of buying the vehicle outright, the car registration will cost more. The temporary Florida car registration exists so drivers have a chance to use vehicles when they are purchased, instead of having to wait for all the car registration paperwork to file.

If the dealership uses an electronic filing system (EFS), it is possible to register a car online; otherwise it must be done in person. Most dealerships use the EFS, because it greatly speeds up the vehicle registration process, but drivers should still ask the dealership beforehand, since it is not a guaranteed service.

Purchasing a Car from a Private Party in Florida

Compared to registering cars at a dealership, getting the car registration from a private party is a little more complicated. With a dealership, most of the work to get car registration papers is done through the dealership, itself, so drivers have more responsibility when purchasing from a private party. Usually, dealerships charge a little more for this convenience, so drivers typically have a greater chance of finding better sales from private parties.

The buyer complete a bill of sale along with must along with the seller, which just records the transfer of ownership between the two parties. If the vehicle is less than 10 years old, drivers must get mileage disclosure before getting car registration in Florida. Drivers must then show the bills of sale, as well as proof of their insurance to the county tax collector offices. If the vehicle comes from out of state, drivers must complete forms GSNV 82040 and 82042. The last step is to pay all the Florida car registration fees.

Car Registration for Military Members in Florida

Florida car registration for military members is very similar to normal registration. One of the differences for military members regarding registering cars is that those stationed in Florida are not responsible to pay any fees. Military members stationed in Florida who live in a different state do not have to get car registration for their vehicles while they are serving in Florida, since they are not technically Florida residents.