How Much Does It Cost to Register a Car in Florida?

Thinking of buying a car in Florida, but not sure how much it will cost you? Here are the steps and costs involved when registering your vehicle.

Cost To Register A Car In Florida

To drive on Florida roads, residents must register their vehicles. Before you purchase a vehicle, you want to know what this is going to cost you. How much does it cost to register a car in Florida? Thankfully, it’s not hard to figure out since all of the fees are posted to the state’s website. 

In this guide, we look closer at what the cost of registration might run you. We also give you some guidelines on how to complete the Florida car registration. This guide also covers what to do when it’s time for registration renewal and how to handle buying a car out of state.

How Much Does it Cost to Register a Car in Florida?

In Florida, you will spend $225 to register a vehicle. Additionally, a title for a new vehicle costs $77.25, while the used car title is $85.25. However, the final price depends on several factors, such as what the car weighs and how it will be used. 

Here’s an outline showing the tax rate based on the weight of the car.

  • Cars < 2,499 pounds/Trucks < 2,000 pounds = $14.50 tax
  • Cars between 2,500-3,499 pounds/Trucks between 2,000-3,000 pounds = $22.50 tax
  • Cars > 3,500 pounds/Trucks > 3,000 pounds = $32.50 tax

Additionally, the registration fee depends on the way you use your vehicle. For hire cars and other specialty types will be billed a different surcharge. There are also special or personalized plates that can be purchased for various historical reasons, military affiliations, charities and colleges. 

How to Register a Car in Florida

1. Purchased at Dealership

If you purchase your new or used car from a dealership, the organization can file for your Florida registration. In the meantime, they will assign you a temp plate, ensuring you can drive the car. However, the dealership might charge additional fees to perform this service. This fee won’t show up in the contract because they aren’t allowed to add more in this manner. Instead, the extra fees will be disclosed separately to you. 

Florida dealerships have thirty days to transfer the title and registration. If they don’t complete it in time, you must contact FLHSMV to report them. You may also need to make a trip to your local tax collector.

2. Leased Vehicle

Dealers can also do the registration for you when you lease a vehicle. In fact, the process looks very similar to when you buy a vehicle. Again, you will receive a temporary plate while you wait for the permanent tag to arrive. If the dealership chooses to add a fee for the service, it must be disclosed separately from the leasing agreement.

Give the dealership thirty days to get the title and registration to you. After that date, you want to contact FLHSMV. 

3. Purchased Through Private Seller

If you purchase outside of the dealership, you will have to file for the registration and tags yourself. For some people, this process can seem a little tricky, but it’s just a matter of following directions. Gather the following items to get started:

  • Filled out title and registration form
  • Bill of Sale with previous owner’s signature
  • Completed car title
  • Odometer/VIN verification forms
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Proof of identification

With these documents in hand, you will visit the tax collector’s office in your county. As long as everything is in order, you will be able to get the tag and registration. 

4. Military Personnel

If you are in the military and currently stationed in Florida, you must register your vehicle as if you were a civilian. Still, your initial registration fee is completely waived, saving you up to $225. To get this fee paid for, you must fill out the Military Initial Registration Fee Exemption Affidavit.

For military members with full Florida residency, you will also need these documents to complete the registration process:

  • Application for certificate of car title
  • Exemption information for insurance
  • Exemption from tax document
  • Florida insurance affidavit

You will take these additional documents, along with the regular list above and head to your local tax office. The rest of the registration process plays out as if you were a civilian. 

If you are temporarily stationed in Florida but never became a resident, you don’t need to register your vehicle through Florida. However, your registration and insurance must still be valid in the state you legally reside in. 

How to Renew Florida Registration

To renew the Florida registration, you don’t have to go anywhere. The FLHSMV makes the entire process simple, allowing you to complete the registration from your home or office with ease. From the state’s website, you can renew the registration, get a duplicate or make changes as needed.

You will be responsible for paying the appropriate fee when you renew. You can do this with your credit card and the total amount will vary based on the following factors.

  • Cars < 2,499 pounds/Trucks < 2,000 pounds = $14.50 tax
  • Cars between 2,500-3,499 pounds/Trucks between 2,000-3,000 pounds = $22.50 tax
  • Cars > 3,500 pounds/Trucks > 3,000 pounds = $32.50 tax

Registering or renewing a motorcycle and other vehicles will be subject to different fees. However, you can see the entire outline of costs listed on the FLHSMV website.

If you don’t renew your registration on time, you will also need to pay a delinquent fee. The fee becomes activated as soon as a new month begins from when you should have renewed. So, if your registration was due in November, your fee is included as of the beginning of December. This delinquent fee can cost anywhere from $5 to $250, based on the amount of license tax you owe. 

How to Buy a Vehicle in Florida and Register in Another State

If you find a vehicle you want in Florida, but you aren’t a resident, you won’t apply or register there. However, you will still be responsible for getting temporary tags put on the vehicle until it gets registered. This rule applies whether you are purchasing a new or pre-owned vehicle.

To get the temp tags, you must visit the local tax collector’s office. While you are there, you will need to show proof of the sale, personal identification and your insurance card. You will also be responsible for paying the sales tax on the vehicle, which is 6% of the sale. 

Without a temp tag, you can’t legally drive the car back home. However, the temporary tag itself will only cost you about $5. This tag is also valid for thirty days, allowing you plenty of time to drive home. 

Lost Florida Registration

If you misplace the car registration, you have to request a duplicate through the FLHSMV or your local tax collector’s office. To get a duplicate, you must provide the following information.

  • License plate number
  • VIN
  • Valid photo ID

You may also be able to request the duplicate title online. However, there’s a fee to get a duplicate registration. You may need to spend $2.50 or more if the prices change.