Motorists

Motor Vehicle License Plates

Florida uses a metal license plate with the alpha numeric system, meaning there are combinations of letters and numbers used for identification. The renewal sticker denoting the renewal month or owner’s birth month and expiration date is placed in the upper right hand corner of the license plate. The license plate is displayed on the rear of the vehicle with the exception of certain commercial vehicles. Only one plate may be displayed and must be affixed to the vehicle. The plate is issued to the owner for ten years. The owner will receive a new plate (with new numbers and letters) during the tenth year.

Private passenger vehicle registrations are renewed annually during the owner’s birth month and expire at midnight on the owner’s birthday.

Personalized License Plates

Personalized license plates may be ordered through the tax collector. Application for the initial personalized tag can be made at any time. A $58.15 fee is charged upon initial application, in addition to the registration fee. Every renewal year after this, a $15 personalized plate fee will be added to the registration fee. Specialty license plates also can be personalized for the additional annual costs of the specialty plate.

If your current tag is ten years old, you must order your new personalized tag two months ahead of the expiration date.

A personalized license plate application can be picked up at the tax collector’s office, or you may click here to download the form.

Before making a trip to our office, find out if a proposed personalized plate configuration is available by clicking on this link and then selecting “personalized license plate inquiry.”

Specialty License Plates

Owners of motor vehicles registered in the State of Florida have the option to obtain a specialty license plate to support various organizations or trust funds. Specialty license plates are plates where an additional annual use fee is paid but no other specific qualifications must be met for the applicant to obtain one. The plates sometimes are referred to as trust fund license plates.

An index of available specialty license plates, their annual use fee, and the organization or fund that receives the fees is available on the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website. The annual use fee includes a $5 surcharge for processing.

Special Plates

Owners of vehicles registered in the State of Florida may obtain “special” license plates if they meet the qualifications as established for each specific plate. Most special plates do not have any additional fees; in fact, discounted registration fees apply to some special plates.

Disabled Veteran License Plates – Applicant must be a resident of Florida, honorably discharged from the Armed Forces with a service-connected 100% disability rating for the purpose of compensation from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs or the Department of Defense. The request may be submitted to the local tax collector’s office with a copy of the registration covering the vehicle that requires a disabled veteran license plate, along with verification of disability from the DVA or DOD and a $9.00 fee. Proof of Florida insurance also must be submitted. Applicant must be a resident of Florida (continuously for the past five years) or make a declaration of domicile. Disabled veteran license plates are to be renewed annually, and a statement of continued eligibility must be signed by the applicant. While a disabled veteran may display a disabled veteran plate on each vehicle owned, only one plate will receive the reduced rate.

Florida National Guard License Plates – Applicant must be either an active or retired member of the Florida National Guard. Form HSMV83034 form may be obtained from the tax collector’s office. They are issued on passenger cars and light-duty trucks only, and the registration fee is the same as a regular license plate.

Wheelchair License Plates – These license plates are issued to qualified individuals for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, travel trailers, and motor homes. The owner submits to the tax collector’s office an application Form HSMV 83007 form as competent and appropriate proof that the individual is permanently confined to a wheelchair. Proof of a current Florida disabled person parking permit placard or a properly completed Form HSMV 83039 form (Application for Disabled Person Parking Placard) are also acceptable for the issuance of this plate.

Other Special License Plates*

  • Ex-prisoner of War
  • Medal of Honor Recipient
  • Wheelchair for Disabled Veterans
  • Disabled Veteran (and motorcycle)
  • U.S. Armed Forces Reserve
  • Pearl Harbor Survivor
  • Purple Heart Recipient
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America (and motorcycle)
  • National Guard
  • Operation Enduring Freedom
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • U.S. Paratrooper
  • Korean Conflict Veteran
  • Vietnam War Veteran
  • Combat Action Badge
  • Gold Star
  • Government Vehicles (permanent license plates)
  • Non-profit Organizations (X-Tags)
  • Horseless Carriage
  • Antique
  • Transporter License Plate
  • Street Rod
  • Amateur Radio

*Contact the tax collector’s office for detailed information on these plates.

Initial Registration Fee

If you purchase a new or used vehicle and do not have a license plate to transfer to this vehicle, you will be assessed a $225 initial registration fee. This fee applies to private automobiles, motor homes, and trucks less than 5,000 pounds.

Rates

Annual registration fees are defined by Florida Statute and are subject to change by a legislative act. Rates are based on vehicle weight and range from a base fee of $46.65 to $71.15 for standard cars and light-duty pick-ups. Commercial and for-hire vehicle rates vary according to several factors. Please contact the tax collector’s office for rate amounts and questions concerning military personnel.

Sales and Use Tax

The State of Florida has a state sales and use tax of 6% that, as an agent for the Florida Department of Revenue, the tax collector collects on transactions where applicable. Escambia County has an additional 1½% local option tax on the first $5,000, for a maximum of $75. Sales tax is collected when a customer transfers title to a motor vehicle, vessel, or mobile home, or whenever registration in Florida occurs under conditions that subject the vehicle to sales and use tax. NOTE: If a vehicle is traded in, sales tax is collected on the difference between the price of the vehicle and the gross trade in allowance.

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