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Motor Vehicle Services

Registration - Frequently Asked Questions

I did not receive a renewal notice in the mail. What do I need to do?
There are three options to complete your renewal:

Online: Click here

By Mail: To renew by mail please submit the following items: photocopy of current registration proof of Florida insurance (photocopy of card, photocopy of binder, or insurance affidavit completed by vehicle owner) cash, check or money order, made payable to:
Doug Belden, Tax Collector
P.O. Box 30009
Tampa, FL 33630-3009

For fees, e-mail us at tags@hillstax.org. Please include the registered owner’s name, license plate number and vehicle identification number or call our office at (813) 635-5200. Please have your license plate number and vehicle identification number available.

In Person: To renew in person at one of our branch offices, please bring the following items: current registration proof of Florida insurance (card, binder, or insurance affidavit completed by vehicle owner) cash, check or money order, debit or credit card.

Note: Visa is only accepted as a debit card in our branch locations

Every effort is made to ensure a renewal notice is sent to the owner or registrant of all motor vehicles registered in Hillsborough County.
Why did I get a new plate with my renewal this year?
Section 320.06(1) (b), Florida Statutes, requires 10-year replacement of all license plates. Replacement is necessary to ensure visibility for law enforcement purposes.
When will I be charged the late fee on my renewal?
The delinquent registration fee shall be imposed on the 11th day of the month following the renewal month. Example: If a registration expires in February, a delinquent fee will be assessed beginning March 11th. Please remember that although the late fee will not be assessed until this date, for law enforcement purposes, the registration is expired.
Do I pay the extra fee every year on my specialty plate?
Yes. Each of the specialty license plates requires an annual use fee for the special designed plate. The purpose of specialty license plates is to raise funds for a particular cause. The use of a specialty license plate is a voluntary purchase. For more information and specific specialty plate fees, please visit the Specialty License Plates Index.
How do I obtain a personalized license plate?
Personalized license plates may be ordered at any Tax Collector office. Initial personalized license plate reservations can be made any time. A $28.00 plate fee and $15.00 personalization fee is charged, upon initial application, in addition to other registration fees. The $15.00 personalization fee is charged each year upon renewal. If your current tag is 5 years old, you must order your new personalized tag two months ahead of expiration. Click here to download a Personalized License Plate Application.
I moved to Hillsborough from another county. Does it matter that my license plate has a different county at the bottom?
No, the county that appears at the bottom of your license plate indicates the county in which the license plate was issued, not the county of residence. You are not required to replace the license plate. If you prefer to replace the license plate, a license plate replacement form must be completed by the owner of the vehicle, and the replacement fee is $43.15.
What are the insurance requirements in Florida?
Florida law requires insurance must be issued by a Florida agent with an insurance company licensed to do business in Florida. The law also requires $ 10,000 Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 Personal Damage Liability be carried as long as you have a valid Florida license plate.
Why do all my other vehicles expire on my birthday, but my truck registration expires in December?
Florida law requires that all trucks with an empty weigh over 5,000 pounds expire in December. The registered owner is also required to declare a gross vehicle weight (GVW). Registration fees are determined by the gross vehicle weight.
How early can an individual renew his or her Florida registration?
Your Florida registration can be renewed 3 months prior to the expiration date.
Someone has stolen my license plate or decal, what do I do?
You will need to file a report to law enforcement and get a case number. Once law enforcement has been notified and a case number issued, the vehicle owner must complete an application for replacement license plate, decal,  or permit  and present it to a Tax Collector's office. There is no fee to replace a stolen plate or decal.
Do I have to turn my license plate in if I cancel my insurance?
Yes, if you cancel your insurance on your vehicle and it has a current registration. Turn in your license plate to prevent your driver license from being suspended. If a license plate is surrendered to a Tax Collector office, the information will be transmitted to the Division of Motorist Services to prevent a suspension on the owner’s driver license. If you would like to keep your license plate, you must maintain the insurance on the vehicle until the purchaser comes into a Tax Collector office and transfers the title into their name. Once the title has been transferred out of the seller’s name the insurance may be cancelled.

 

 Titles

I am titling and registering my vehicle in joint ownership, do both owners need to be present to register and title the vehicle?
If you are applying for title in two names, each applicant, or their appointed power of attorney with the original power of attorney form must be present to sign the application for Florida title.
What is the cost for titling and registering my vehicle the first time?
For most private vehicles the cost is approximately $406.40. For more details, you may contact our office at (813)635-5200.
If I just moved to Florida, when must I obtain my Florida registration and license plate?
In the State of Florida, a motor vehicle is required by law to be registered within ten days of the owner either becoming employed, placing children in public school, or establishing residency.
What are the insurance requirements in Florida?
Florida law requires insurance must be issued by a Florida agent with an insurance company licensed to do business in Florida. The law also requires $ 10,000 Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 Personal Damage Liability be carried as long as you have a valid Florida license plate.
What should I bring when I come in to transfer an out-of-state title?
All applicants must be present with a government issued photo ID and the vehicle must be present so we may complete a VIN Verification (82042), or you must provide a properly completed VIN Verification (82042) form. If you hold the title, you must provide your valid out of state title. If you are making payments and the bank holds the title, you must provide a valid out of state registration (cannot be more than 60 days expired) and the lien holder's information, including the lien holder's name, address, fax number, and your account number. Proof of Florida insurance is also required. If the vehicle is owned less than six months, you will need to provide proof of purchase price in the form of an invoice or bill of sale showing the amount of sales tax paid. If the vehicle is leased, you will need a copy of your lease agreement. For more information check out our Motor Vehicle Out of State Title Transfer page.
Am I supposed to wait and sign everything on the title transfer at your office?
No, the title should be completed before you arrive at the Tax Collector's office or you will be required to obtain a bill of sale. Make sure the following are complete:
  • Odometer reading and date read. (For vehicles 10 model years or newer)
  • Selling price and date sold.
  • Signature and printed name of purchaser(s) or receiver of gift.
  • Signature and printed name of seller(s) or person giving vehicle.

All applicants must be present with government issued photo ID and proof of Florida insurance. (Provide link for fee schedule).

Do I pay sales tax on a gift?
No, sales tax is not applicable on a gift; however, a bill of sale or an affidavit with the full description of the vehicle (including vehicle identification number, title number, make, model, year, etc) should be completed by both parties to verify this information for the Department of Revenue.
What is an electronic title?
An electronic title or e-title is proof of ownership for motor vehicle, motorcycle, mobile home, or vessel titles held in an electronic form by the Department. This electronic status gives you the same proof of ownership as a paper title. By maintaining the title electronically, the owner eliminates the possibility of losing the title and protects it from theft.

Why do I have to pay a $225 initial registration fee?

Section 320.072, Florida Statutes, requires a $225 Initial Registration Fee be collected when the owner does not have a license plate to transfer to a newly acquired vehicle unless exempt. If you have a plate to transfer or meet other initial registration fee exemption requirements, you must complete an Initial Registration Fee Exemption Affidavit.

 

New Florida Residents

If I just moved to Florida, when must I obtain my Florida registration and license plate?
In the State of Florida, a motor vehicle is required by law to be registered within ten days of the owner either becoming employed, placing children in public school, or establishing residency.
What is the cost for titling and registering my vehicle the first time?
For most private vehicles the cost is approximately $406.40. For more details, you may contact our office at (813)635-5200.
What are the insurance requirements in Florida?
Florida law requires insurance must be issued by a Florida agent with an insurance company licensed to do business in Florida. The law also requires $10,000 Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 Personal Damage Liability be carried as long as you have a valid Florida license plate.
What should I bring when I come in to transfer an out-of-state title?
All applicants must be present with a government issued photo ID and the vehicle must be present so we may complete a VIN Verification (82042), or you must provide a properly completed VIN Verification (82042) form. If you hold the title, you must provide your valid out of state title. If you are making payments and the bank holds the title, you must provide a valid out of state registration (cannot be more than 60 days expired) and the lien holder's information, including the lien holder's name, address, fax number, and your account number. Proof of Florida insurance is also required. If the vehicle is owned less than six months, you will need to provide proof of purchase price in the form of an invoice or bill of sale showing the amount of sales tax paid. If the vehicle is leased, you will need a copy of your lease agreement. For more information check out our Motor Vehicle Out of State Title Transfer page.
I am titling and registering my vehicle in joint ownership, do both owners need to be present to register and title the vehicle?
If you are applying for title in two names, each applicant, or their appointed power of attorney with the original power of attorney form must be present to sign the application for Florida title.
Why do I have to pay a $225 initial registration fee?
Section 320.072, Florida Statutes, requires a $225 Initial Registration Fee be collected when the owner does not have a license plate to transfer to a newly acquired vehicle unless exempt. If you have a plate to transfer or meet other initial registration fee exemption requirements, you must complete an Initial Registration Fee Exemption Affidavit.
What is an electronic title?
An electronic title or e-title is proof of ownership for motor vehicle, motorcycle, mobile home, or vessel titles held in an electronic form by the Department. This electronic status gives you the same proof of ownership as a paper title. By maintaining the title electronically, the owner eliminates the possibility of losing the title and protects it from theft.

 

Military Service Members

I'm stationed in Florida, but I am a resident of another state, do I have to register my vehicle here?
No. Non-resident service members are not required to register their vehicles in Florida. More information can be found on our Non-resident military page.
Are non-resident service members who are stationed in Florida exempt from the Initial Registration Fee?
Non-resident service members stationed in Florida who purchase a Florida license plate are eligible to claim an initial registration fee exemption. The person claiming the exemption must complete and sign an Initial Registration Fee Exemption Affidavit (form HSMV 82002). A list of qualifying exemptions are on the back of the form.
I'm going to be deployed when my registration expires, how soon can I renew it?
You may renew motor vehicle, trailer and vessel registrations up to three months prior to your birth month. You may can also avoid the worry and hassle of making sure your vehicle registration is renewed during your deployment by selecting the biennial (2-year) option when you renew.
How do I purchase a military license plate?
All military license plates, except Medal of Honor, are available at our office. Medal of Honor applications and renewals must be sent to:

Florida HSMV Division of Motorist Services
Neil Kirkman Building
Direct Mail MS72
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0500
Military license plates can be issued for use only on the following type vehicles:
  • Automobile (Private or Lease).
  • Lightweight trucks for private use.
  • Motor home or truck camper which are not "for hire" or "commercial" use.
  • Heavy trucks with a net weight 7,999 lbs. or less.

For a list of military license plates, click here.

Is there a package of forms for active duty military members to assist them with titling and registering their vehicles?
Yes. The package can be found on the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles website.
How can I sell my vehicle or make any changes to my motor vehicle records if I'm out of the state/country?
You can give a general or a limited Power of Attorney to a family member or a trusted friend to handle your motor vehicle needs and registration. You must complete & sign a limited Power of Attorney form (HSMV 82053).