A Beginner’s Guide to Car Registration in Florida: Costs & Options

A Beginner’s Guide to Car Registration in Florida: Costs & Options

If you’ve recently relocated to Florida or you’re a resident looking to register your car, navigating the process can seem daunting. Fret not! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of registering and renewing your vehicle in the Sunshine State, along with the associated costs. Whether you’re a car enthusiast or a beginner, this guide has you covered.

Registering Your Out-of-State Vehicle

As a new resident, you have 30 days to register your out-of-state vehicle with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV). To be considered a Florida resident, you must have a Florida address through rental, lease, or purchase, and either be employed in the state or have children enrolled in a Florida public school.

To register your out-of-state vehicle, follow these steps:

  • Obtain a Florida driver’s license.
  • Secure auto insurance valid in Florida.
  • Complete a VIN check and provide an official odometer reading.
  • Prepare a certificate of title.

Visit the Florida county tax collector’s office with the necessary documents:

  • Florida driver’s license
  • Proof of valid auto insurance
  • Out-of-state title
  • VIN and odometer reading

At the tax collector’s office, submit a form for the Certificate of Title, register your car for one or two years, and provide the VIN and odometer reading. The registration fees usually amount to around $225.

Sales Tax for New Residents

New Florida residents must pay a sales tax when registering their vehicles. The tax amount depends on the duration of vehicle ownership and the chosen license plate. If you’ve owned the vehicle for less than six months, a 6% state sales or use tax is applicable, along with any required local taxes. The tax is pro-rated based on taxes paid in other states. For vehicles owned over six months, sales, use, or discretionary taxes are waived if confirmed through the title and initial registration from another state.

Different Registration Options

Depending on how you acquire your car, the registration process may differ:

Option 1: Dealership Purchases

Authorized dealerships can handle the registration process and provide a temporary license plate. Ensure the dealer completes the registration within 30 days, or you may need to visit the county tax collector’s office to finalize it. Note that additional registration fees must be disclosed separately from your contract.

Option 2: Leasing Registration

For leased vehicles, dealers can also manage the registration process. Take into consideration potential mileage limitations and assess whether leasing is the most suitable option for you.

Option 3: Car Bought from a Private Seller

Purchasing from a private seller requires filling in the titling form and registration on your own. Always verify the vehicle history before completing the necessary forms and visiting the tax collector’s office.

Option 4: Personalized License Plates

Add a personal touch to your car with personalized license plates, available at any DHSMV office. Remember to budget an extra $15 annual fee for each personalized plate.

Registration Costs

So, how much does it cost to register a car in Florida? Vehicle registration fees in Florida depend on the vehicle’s weight and the chosen registration period:

  • Cars up to 2,499 pounds: $27.60 for one year, $55.50 for two years.
  • Cars between 2,500 to 3,499 pounds: $35.60 for one year, $71.50 for two years.
  • Cars weighing 3,500 pounds or more: $46.50 for one year, $91.20 for two years.
  • Additional $225 registration fee for cars not previously registered in Florida.

Vehicle Registration Renewal

To renew your Florida registration, opt for the convenient online method through gorenew.com. The renewal fee varies based on your vehicle type and weight. Antique cars and motorcycles enjoy reduced renewal costs. Ensure you have valid insurance before renewing online or consult a DHSMV office for further assistance.


Registering and renewing your car in Florida is a straightforward process, especially with this beginner-friendly guide. From understanding the different registration options to calculating associated costs, you can confidently navigate through the procedures and enjoy smooth driving in the beautiful state of Florida.

1 Comment

  1. Frances Mary Brignoni

    I recently purchased a home in Florida. Before I moved from NY I purchased a new car from a car dealer. The car was 2023 Subaru Forester. Purchased for Approximately $38,000.00 plus tax. The car is currently registered in NY Approximately how much will it cost me to get it registered in Florida?


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