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Vessels

Do I need a Florida registration for my vessel? 

  • All vessels operated on Florida waters must have a registration officially assigned to them and be displayed on the vessel.
  • The purchaser of a vessel has 30 days in which to apply for registration and title. During this 30-day grace period, the owner is required to have aboard the vessel a bill of sale with proof of the date of purchase.

 

How do I register my vessel? How much does it cost? 

  • Present acceptable proof of ownership (Certificate of Title, Bill of Sale) to the tax collector’s office.
  • The total cost of registration is determined by hull length of the vessel, use, whether a Certificate of Title must be created, and other factors. Visit our Vessels Fee page for more info.

 

How many days does a new owner have to register a vessel? 

  • The purchaser of a vessel has 30 days in which to apply for registration and title. During this 30-day grace period, the owner is required to have aboard the vessel a bill of sale with proof of the date of purchase. 

 

I will be on vacation in Florida this summer. Do I need to register my vessel there? 

  • Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use a vessel in Florida longer than 90 days, must register it. However, the out-of-state registration number may be retained if the owner plans to return to his home state within a reasonable time. 

 

Is a non-motor-powered vessel required to be registered and titled? 

  • If your vessel is non-motor-powered AND less than 16 feet in length it does not need to be titled or registered.
  • Non-motor-powered canoes, kayaks, or racing shells/sculls regardless of length do not need to be titled or registered.

 

Who should I contact about safety equipment requirements for vessels? 

  • Information about safety equipment requirements can be obtained on the Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC)

 

Why do I need a certificate of title for my vessel? 

  • A certificate of title is the officially recognized proof of ownership. Ownership must be documented on a Florida Certificate of Title before a vessel may be registered in Florida.

 

Are Military Personnel exempt from registering their vessels in Florida? 

  • Out-of-state registration certificates and numbers for vessels owned by military personnel on active duty in Florida are valid in Florida until their expiration date. Then they must be registered and titled in Florida to be operated on state waters. 

Registration & License Plates

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. Find more info about surrendering a plate.

Do I pay the extra fee every year on my specialty plate? 

  • 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.

 

How do I get a personalized plate? 

  • Personalized license plates may be ordered at any tax collector office. Simply schedule an appointment with us to begin the process.

 

How early can an individual renew their Florida registration? 

  • Florida registrations can be renewed up to 3 months in advance of the expiration date. 

 

I did not receive a renewal notice in the mail. How can I renew my plate? 

  • Even if you do not receive a renewal notice, you are still responsible for renewing your registration on time. Renewal notices are sent as a courtesy and failing to receive one will not entitle you to any late fees being waived. 
  • Skip the trip to an office! Easily renew online or use one of our self-service kiosks.

 

I moved to Pinellas from another county. Does it matter that my license plate has a different county listed 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.

 

Someone has stolen my plate or decal, what do I do? 

 

What are the insurance requirements for Florida? 

  • Proof of insurance is legally required in order to have a registered vehicle in Florida. The 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. 

 

When will I be charged a late fee on my renewal? 

  • The delinquent registration fee is 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, and you could be issued a citation. 

 

When will I be issued a new plate? 

  • Florida plates will be replaced automatically at no additional charge after 10 years to ensure visibility for law enforcement purposes. However, you can replace your plate at any time for an additional fee.

 

Why do all my other vehicles expire on my birthday, but my truck registration expires in December? 

  • Florida law requires all trucks with an empty weight over 5,000 pounds AND a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 8,000 or more to expire in December. The GVW is the empty weight of the vehicle, plus anything that is carried inside of the vehicle (including any passengers).
  • The registered owner is required to declare the GVW and registration fees are determined by what the GVW is set at. If the GVW is set below 8,000 pounds, the registration will expire on the registered owner’s birthday. If the GVW is set above 8,000 pounds, the registration will expire on December 31st. 

Titles

Am I supposed to wait and complete everything on the title transfer at your office? 

No, the title should be completed before you arrive, or you will be required to obtain a bill of sale. Make sure the following are complete: 

  • Odometer reading and date read
    • Required for vehicles model year 2011 or newer
  • Selling price (write gift if applicable) 
  • 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 (purchasers or giftees) must be present with government issued photo ID and proof of Florida insurance

 

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. 

 

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 an original power of attorney form must be present to sign the application for Florida title. 

 

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 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. 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. 

 

What is the cost for titling and registering my vehicle the first time? 

  • This is dependent on several factors. Visit our title fees page for more info.

 

What should I bring when I come in to transfer an out-of-state title? 

  • If you are new to Florida, please visit our New FL Resident page for full details
  • All applicants must be present with a valid photo ID
  • Vehicle must be present so we may complete a VIN verification OR
  • Proof of Florida insurance
  • Valid out-of-state title 
    • If a bank/lien holder has the title:
      • Valid out-of-state registration (cannot be more than 180 days expired) and the lien holder’s information, including the lien holder’s name, address, fax number, and your account number.
    • For a leased vehicle, you need to bring the lease agreement and registration
  • If the vehicle is owned less than six months:
    • Proof of purchase price in the form of an invoice or bill of sale showing the amount of sales tax paid.

 

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

  • Florida law 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

Military Service Members

Are non-resident service members who are stationed in Florida exempt from the initial registration fee? 

 

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)

 

How do I purchase a military license plate? 

  • All military license plates, except Medal of Honor, are available in our offices by appointment.

 

 

I’m going to be deployed when my registration expires, how soon can I renew it? 

  • You can renew up to three months prior to your birth month. You can also choose the biennial (2-year) option when you renew. 

 

I’m stationed in Florida, but I’m a resident of another state. Do I have to register my vehicle here? 

  • Non-resident service members are not required to register their vehicles in Florida. Check with your state of residence for other requirements. 

 

Is there a package of forms for active-duty military members to assist them with titling and registering their vehicles? 

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 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 to be carried if you have a valid Florida license plate. 

 

What is the cost for titling and registering my vehicle in Florida for the first time? 

  • The estimated cost to register and title a vehicle for the first time is $420.00, plus any sales tax due.

 

What should I bring when I come in to transfer an out-of-state title?

  • To complete an out-of-state title transfer, you will need the following: 
    • Proof of Florida insurance(must state it is a Florida Policy)  
      • The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) does not require proof of insurance for:  
        • Motorcycles  
        • Trailers  
        • Boats  
        • Mobile Homes  
        • Off-Highway Vehicles  
    • Valid ID for all vehicle owners. Examples include: 
      • State issued driver license / ID card (includes US Territories)  
      • Passport from any country  
      • Canadian driver license / ID card  
    • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) Verification 
      • Either bring your vehicle for verification or
      • Bring in Form HSMV 82042, VIN Verification Form, filled out by a notary or other approved person as outlined on the form
    • Title
      • If you do not have the title, you will need to provide one of the following: 
      • Out of state registration or renewal notice (can be up to six months after expiration) 
      • Verification from the Department of Motor Vehicles
      • A copy of the out of state title 
      • A letter/fax from the lienholder  

 

 

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

  • Florida law 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 that is already exempt or was on a vehicle that the initial registration fee was paid for previously, you will be exempt from paying the $225 Initial Registration Fee. Certain exemptions will apply.
  • To see if you meet other initial registration fee exemption requirements, please see the Initial Registration Fee Exemption Affidavit

Parking Permits

How do I get a disabled parking permit? 

You will need an Application for Disabled Person Parking Permit completed by a licensed physician, physician assistant, advanced registered nurse practitioner, osteopath, podiatrist, chiropractor, or optometrist dated within the last 12 months.

Skip the trip to an office! Mail your completed application to: 

Charles Thomas Pinellas County Tax Collector 

P.O. Box 6288 

Clearwater, Fl. 33758 

 

How do I renew my permanent disabled parking permit? 

You must provide an Application for Disabled Person Parking Permit completed by a licensed physician, physician assistant, advanced registered nurse practitioner, osteopath, podiatrist, chiropractor, or optometrist dated within the last 12 months.

Skip the trip to an office! Mail your completed application to: 

Charles Thomas Pinellas County Tax Collector 

P.O. Box 6288 

Clearwater, Fl. 33758 

 

What do I do if my parking permit was lost or stolen? 

 

Why is a temporary disabled parking placard good for only 6 months when my Doctor has certified me for a year? 

  • Florida law requires a temporary disabled parking permit be issued to any person who has a temporary mobility impairment not to exceed 6 months.
  • One additional parking permit may be issued at no additional fee after the first 6-month permit expires.
    • An Application for Disabled Person Parking Permit must be completed and the disability must be certified by a licensed physician, physician assistant, advanced registered nurse practitioner, osteopath, podiatrist, chiropractor, or optometrist. 

Mobile Homes

Do mobile homes have a title like a car? 

  • Florida is a titling state; therefore, all mobile homes have a title.
  • Each unit of a mobile home must have its own title – for example, a triple-wide is considered three units and would have three titles.

 

I own the land on which my mobile/manufactured home is parked. Do I have to purchase a registration for my mobile/manufactured home each year? 

  • Mobile/manufactured homes located on your property may qualify to be taxed as real property.
    • Contact the Property Appraiser’s office at (727) 464-3207 for an application for a real property decal.
    • Then, submit the completed application and mobile home title or registration to the tax collector’s office for the issuance of a real property decal.
    • Real property decals do not have to be renewed annually as the mobile home & property will be assessed on your annual property tax notice.

 

If I pay delinquent taxes, does that entitle me to take ownership of the mobile home? 

  • If the mobile home has been abandoned, only the park can apply for the title. There are only limited circumstances that would allow an individual to take title to the mobile home. 

 

There is a current registration decal on the mobile home I am purchasing. Do I need to buy a new one? 

  • Decals are not transferable from owner to owner. Each new owner must purchase their own decal(s).  
    • Exception: If the decal is a black “real property” decal, it will be transferred with the purchase of the mobile home. 

 

Why do I get multiple bills on my mobile home every year? 

  • Florida law requires a current registration and decal for each section of a double-wide or triple-wide mobile home.

Kiosks

How does the kiosk work?  

  • They’re easy! Just use the touchscreen to enter in your license plate number and the first registered owner’s date of birth, or PIN from your registration renewal notice.
  • Follow the directions to review your vehicle information and pay for your new decal.
  • The kiosk will print your receipt and registration immediately. Then take your document(s) and go!  

 

What forms of payment are accepted?  

  • Credit and debit cards are accepted at the kiosk – AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa accepted.
  • Only one form of  payment is allowed per transaction. 

 

Is there a fee to use the kiosk?  

  • There is a 2.3% fee to pay by credit or debit card in addition to your renewal cost.  

When can I use a kiosk to renew?  

  • You can renew at a kiosk up to three months early.  A late fee may be added if your registration has expired.  

 

What types of license plates can be renewed at a kiosk?  

  • A kiosk can be used to renew personal automobiles, pickup trucks, motorcycles, utility trailers, and camper trailers. 
  • It will NOT renew a mobile home or vessel/boat.
  • Vehicle registrations that don’t have insurance, driver license, or toll suspensions are not eligible for kiosk renewals.
  • You cannot renew using the kiosk if your license plate is being replaced.  

 

What do I do if proof of auto insurance is needed?  

  • You will not be able to renew at the kiosk if proof of auto insurance is needed.
  • Please wait 2-4 days after updating your auto insurance before attempting to renew at the kiosk. This allows time for the statewide vehicle registration to received updated information from your insurance provider. The kiosk is unable to accept paper proof. 
  • Check your renewal notice to see if proof of insurance is needed.  You may have to bring your proof of insurance to one of our offices if so. Please keep in mind, an appointment is required.  

 

Can the kiosk process other transactions?  

  • No, the kiosk will only process a registration renewal. It cannot provide replacements or change the name or address on your motor vehicle registration. Please make an appointment for these services.  

 

Who do I contact with questions about my renewal transaction through the kiosk?  

  • Please call the kiosk vendor, ITI Solutions, at 866-955-5258.  

 

Who do I contact with questions relating to my motor vehicle registration that is not able to be renewed at a kiosk?  

 

Do I have to be a Pinellas County resident to use these kiosks?  

  • No, the kiosks are open to all Florida residents! 
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