Florida is one of the most beautiful states in the country for driving, boating, flying, camping – you get the picture. But if you’re bringing a vehicle into the state (and planning to operate it) you’ll need to get it registered and/or obtain proper identification to boot. The following is a quick rundown of what you’ll need to do.
Automobiles: Like most states, Florida residency requirements state that residents who plan to drive in the state apply for a Florida driver license and maintain valid automobile insurance. While there are a few exceptions, chances are good you’ll need to go through the process.
Obtaining a Driver License: If you have an out-of-state license that hasn’t expired beyond 30 days, you’re in luck: you can easily convert it without taking a written or road test. However, you will still need to take a simple vision test. To schedule one, just contact your local DMV.
If you don’t plan to drive in Florida but still need a valid Florida ID, you can obtain an identification card instead. To qualify, you must present your valid social security card and provide another form of identification. Some counties also require that you are 12 years or older, so check with your local county’s guidelines to find out for sure. Cards are valid for four years and include all the basics: a photograph, name, gender, address, birth date, etc. (Those over 60 years old are issued “non-expiring” cards so they don’t need to worry about renewing them.)
Obtaining Car Insurance: Florida Residency Requirements require that you insure your vehicle and you won’t be able to register your vehicle until you do it. What else is mandatory? Using an insurance company authorized to do business in the state. In some instances, your current company can simply help you transfer your current policy to your new state, so give them a call for details. Regardless, you must have insurance before you can register your vehicle.
Registration: If you’re moving to Florida, you’ll need to register your vehicle within 10 days of becoming a resident, becoming employed or putting your child into public school. Vehicles are registered for 12 months at a time, with the “year” starting in the owner’s birth month. You’ll need to pay for the entire year, whether you are registering it in the middle of the year or not.
If you’re registering your vehicle in Florida for the first time, you’ll need to have its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) officially verified. The Tax Collector’s Office can do this for you at the time you register your vehicle, or you can have it done by a law enforcement officer, notary or car dealer. If you choose the latter option, you’ll need to have that person fill out Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Form DHSMV 82042 to verify the VIN and odometer reading.
Once you register your vehicle, you can obtain a Florida title. To do so, take your proof of Florida insurance and title to your local county tax collector to obtain a Florida title. (If the title is currently held by a lien holder, they’ll help you get the original sent to Florida.)