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Florida Drivers License and Vehicle Registration

DID YOU KNOW that Florida law requires you to obtain a Florida drivers license within 30 days of becoming a resident?

DID YOU KNOW when you move to Florida, the state’s law requires that you register a vehicle within 10 days after engaging in an occupation in Florida or enter a child in a Florida school.?

Converting Your License to Florida

About 1000 people move to Florida every day. That means a lot of new drivers showing up at the local DMV offices. But depending on where you are moving from your out-of-state drivers license may not count as primary identification and Florida will impose stricter ID requirements.

Already have a Drivers License – Recognized by Florida

If you have a drivers license from another US state that Florida recognizes as a primary form of ID then getting your Florida drivers license can be fairly simple. The biggest challenge is providing the correct ID. A drivers license from most US states is recognized by Florida as a primary source of identification.

Your drivers licese must be accompanied by a secondary ID like a social security card, marriage certificate, a life insurance policy, or a birth certificate. See the full list of secondary documents accepted by the Florida DMV .

More ID Required

If your drivers license is from one of the following 20 US states it is only acceptable as a secondary form of ID.

AlaskaMinnesotaTexasConnecticutNebraskaUtahHawaiiNew JerseyVermontIllinoisNorth CarolinaVirginiaIndianaOregonWashingtonIowaRhode IslandWisconsinMichiganTennessee

Stricter ID Requirements

Your ID requirements are stricter – as a primary form of ID you must provide one of the following documents:

  1. Original or certified United States birth certificate

  2. Valid United States passport

  3. Certificate of Naturalization

Proof of Residency includes (2) of the following:

  1. Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement, mortgage payment booklet or residential rental/lease agreement

  2. Florida Voter Registration Card

  3. Florida Vehicle Registration or Title

  4. Florida Boat Registration or Title

  5. Statements (Certification of Address Form)

  6. Customers with one proof of residential address may self-certify using the Certification of Address form as the second proof of residential address document

  7. Customers who reside with someone can self-certify using the Certification of Address form and one proof of residential address in the person’s name with whom they reside

  8. A utility hook up or work order

  9. Automobile Payment Booklet

  10. Selective Service Card

  11. Medical or health card

  12. Medical bill

  13. Homeowner’s insurance policy or bill

  14. Automobile insurance policy or bill

  15. Educational institution transcript forms

  16. Professional license issued by a government agency in the U.S.

  17. W-2 form or 1099 form

  18. Form DS2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) status

  19. A letter from a homeless shelter, transitional service provider, or a half-way house verifying that the customer resides at the shelter address

  20. Utility bills

  21. Mail from financial institutions; including checking, savings, credit card statements or investment account statements

  22. Mail from Federal, State, County or City government agencies (including city and county agencies)

  23. Personal mail that does not list the recipient as “occupant”. Example: Magazines, journals, etc.

  24. Transients – Sexual Offender/Predator/Career Offender: �����- FDLE Registration form completed by local sheriff’s department

Note: This is a fluid list and regular updates to the items that comprise it may occur.

Bring the Required ID

Failing to bring acceptable identification is the most common reason people fail to get their Florida drivers license. And it can be painful. First you will wait, and wait, and wait – then you will present your ID. If you don’t have the required documents you go home.

Know your Social Security Number

US Citizens are required to provide a valid Social Security number.

Suspended Drivers Licenses a No Go

If your out-of-state drivers license is suspended you must clear up the suspension before you will be given a Florida drivers license.

Make an Appointment

To speed up your visit to the Florida DMV make an appointment. The entire process can be done online. To make an appointment you will indicate the type of appointment you want to make – in this case “Convert Out-of-State License to Florida”, then you will select the Florida County where you want to visit the DMV.

Transferring Commercial Driver License (CDL) to Florida

To be issued a CDL in Florida, you must appear in person at a driver license office or county tax collector’s office that offers licensing services.  You will need to surrender your current license. If you have lost that license or it is expired, you can still go to the office and we will access a database that allows us to make sure your driving privilege is valid in all 50 states.  You will have to self certify in the office as to whether a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical exam certification is required. If so, the medical certification must be carried while operating a commercial motor vehicle, and can be valid for two years.

The issuance of a CDL license is prohibited to anyone who is not a Florida resident, does not provide a Florida residential address or proof of their social security number.

Current law requires customers to present proof of legal name, lawful presence, social security number and two forms of residential address.  If your name has been changed by marriage, divorce or court order, then you must present these documents.  You will have to provide proof of any and all name changes. Presenting the primary identification will establish material compliance with REAL ID.  To find out more regarding these documents, please visit GatherGoGet.

Car Registration in Florida

When registering your vehicle in the state of Florida, you must show proof of ownership, verify the VIN number, and show proof of Florida insurance requirements.

Out of State Vehicle Registration

If you are moving to Florida, the state’s law requires that you register a vehicle within 10 days after engaging in an occupation in Florida or enter a child in a Florida school. You need to first obtain a Florida drivers license. Next you need to obtain auto insurance from a company licensed in Florida. Many auto insurance companies licensed in Florida provide online services. At the DMV you’ll also need your original out-of-state title and VIN verification.

When you are issued a motor vehicle registration you will receive a license plate, vehicle registration certificate, and validation decal.


New or Used Cars

Purchasing a new vehicle in Florida? To register your newly purchased vehicle, you must supply the manufacturer’s Florida Certificate of Title with your name on it or an application for a Certificate of Title along with proof of ownership. You must also obtain the required Florida auto insurance policies. Many auto insurance companies licensed in Florida provide online services.

When registering used vehicles, the VIN verification. The VIN verification must be completed on the Florida DMV form HSMV 82040 or HSMV 82042.

When you are issued a motor vehicle registration you will receive a license plate, vehicle registration certificate, and validation decal.

Florida Auto Insurance Companies

Many auto insurance companies provide insurance to Florida drivers. You must ensure the auto insurance company is licensed for Florida. If you are ever pulled over and cannot show proof of valid Florida auto insurance, your vehicle tag and registration can be suspended for up to three years or until proof of Florida insurance is provided.

The Florida DMV auto insurance coverage requirements:

  1. $10,000 minimum Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

  2. $10,000 minimum Property Damage Liability (PDL)

If you have been involved in a crash or been convicted of certain offenses, the DMV may require you to purchase Bodily Injury Liability coverage (BIL).

Selling a Car, Truck or other Vehicle

Once you sell a vehicle, it is important that you fill out a Notice of Sale (HSMV form 82050.) This protects you in the future from liability of the sold motor vehicle, vessel or mobile home. In addition to filing this form, you should obtain a notarized copy of your bill of sale, certificate of title or other type of transaction document showing it was sold.

Next, submit the Notice of Sale form to your local tax collector’s office. In addition, the purchaser must apply for and be issued a Certificate of Title to validate that you have sold the vehicle to them.

Additional DMV Resources:



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