Tag Registration and Renewal

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 license 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.

Biennial registrations are now available on qualifying vehicles. Current law provides for 12- or 24-month registration plus three months advance registration, a total of 15 or 27 months.

Private passenger registrations are renewed annually during the owner or lessee’s birth month and expire at midnight on the owner or lessee’s birthday. The exceptions to this schedule are: company-owned and short-term leased vehicles are renewed in June; truck-tractors, semi-trailers, trucks weighing over 5,000 pounds, mobile homes, and nine-passenger seating and over vehicles for hire are renewed in December. Rates are determined by vehicle weight or by length for trailers and mobile homes.

Proof of Insurance

Proof of insurance (binder, policy, or card) from a certified Florida agent or broker is required to purchase and renew a license plate in Florida. The vehicle owner must present to the tax collector documentation of personal injury protection (PIP) in the amount of at least $10,000 and property damage liability insurance in the amount of $10,000 for registration purposes, and combined bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance when required. Motorcycles, mobile homes, and trailers are exempt from the insurance requirement.

There are special insurance requirements on large trucks, motorcycles, taxi cabs, and limousines. Please contact the tax collector’s office for more information.

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.


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 $28.10 to $46.10 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.

Registration and Renewal by Mail

After the initial registration of the vehicle, you will be mailed a “registration renewal notice” to renew the license plate.

You may renew your license plate registration online, by mail, or in person at the tax collector’s office. If mailing the registration notice to the tax collector, include your check, money order, or pay by electronic check. When renewing by telephone or on the Internet, you must have a valid credit card. Additional fees will be incurred for mail, telephone, or Internet renewals.

Personalized plates also may be purchased for an additional $28 plate fee and $15 personalization fee.

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