320.06 Registration certificates, license plates, and validation stickers generally.—
(1)(a) Upon the receipt of an initial application for registration and payment of the appropriate license tax and other fees required by law, the department shall assign to the motor vehicle a registration license number consisting of letters and numerals or numerals and issue to the owner or lessee a certificate of registration and one registration license plate, unless two plates are required for display by s. 320.0706, for each vehicle so registered.
(b) Registration license plates bearing a graphic symbol and the alphanumeric system of identification shall be issued for a 5-year period. At the end of said 5-year period, upon renewal, the plate shall be replaced. The fee for such replacement shall be $10, $2 of which shall be paid each year before the plate is replaced, to be credited towards the next $10 replacement fee. The fees shall be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. A credit or refund shall not be given for any prior years’ payments of such prorated replacement fee when the plate is replaced or surrendered before the end of the 5-year period, except that a credit may be given when a registrant is required by the department to replace a license plate under s. 320.08056(8)(a). With each license plate, there shall be issued a validation sticker showing the owner’s birth month, license plate number, and the year of expiration or the appropriate renewal period if the owner is not a natural person. The validation sticker is to be placed on the upper right corner of the license plate. Such license plate and validation sticker shall be issued based on the applicant’s appropriate renewal period. The registration period shall be a period of 12 months, and all expirations shall occur based on the applicant’s appropriate registration period. A vehicle with an apportioned registration shall be issued an annual license plate and a cab card that denote the declared gross vehicle weight for each apportioned jurisdiction in which the vehicle is authorized to operate.
(c) Registration license plates equipped with validation stickers shall be valid for not more than 12 months and shall expire at midnight on the last day of the registration period. For each registration period after the one in which the metal registration license plate is issued, and until the license plate is required to be replaced, a validation sticker showing the month and year of expiration shall be issued upon payment of the proper license tax amount and fees and shall be valid for not more than 12 months. When license plates equipped with validation stickers are issued in any month other than the owner’s birth month or the designated registration period for any other motor vehicle, the effective date shall reflect the birth month or month and the year of renewal. However, when a license plate or validation sticker is issued for a period of less than 12 months, the applicant shall pay the appropriate amount of license tax and the applicable fee under the provisions of s. 320.14 in addition to all other fees. Validation stickers issued for vehicles taxed under the provisions of s. 320.08(6)(a), for any company which owns 250 vehicles or more, or for semitrailers taxed under the provisions of s. 320.08(5)(a), for any company which owns 50 vehicles or more, may be placed on any vehicle in the fleet so long as the vehicle receiving the validation sticker has the same owner’s name and address as the vehicle to which the validation sticker was originally assigned.
(2) The department shall provide the several tax collectors and license plate agents with the necessary number of validation stickers.
(3)(a) Registration license plates shall be of metal specially treated with a retroreflective material, as specified by the department. The registration license plate is designed to increase nighttime visibility and legibility and shall be at least 6 inches wide and not less than 12 inches in length, unless a plate with reduced dimensions is deemed necessary by the department to accommodate motorcycles, mopeds, or similar smaller vehicles. Validation stickers shall be treated with a retroreflective material, shall be of such size as specified by the department, and shall adhere to the license plate. The registration license plate shall be imprinted with a combination of bold letters and numerals or numerals, not to exceed seven digits, to identify the registration license plate number. The license plate shall also be imprinted with the word “Florida” at the top and the name of the county in which it is sold at the bottom, except that apportioned license plates shall have the word “Apportioned” at the bottom and license plates issued for vehicles taxed under s. 320.08(3)(d), (4)(m) or (n), (5)(b) or (c), or (14) shall have the word “Restricted” at the bottom. License plates issued for vehicles taxed under s. 320.08(12) must be imprinted with the word “Florida” at the top and the word “Dealer” at the bottom. Manufacturer license plates issued for vehicles taxed under s. 320.08(12) must be imprinted with the word “Florida” at the top and the word “Manufacturer” at the bottom. License plates issued for vehicles taxed under s. 320.08(5)(d) or (e) must be imprinted with the word “Wrecker” at the bottom. Any county may, upon majority vote of the county commission, elect to have the county name removed from the license plates sold in that county. The words “Sunshine State” shall be printed in lieu thereof. In those counties where the county commission has not removed the county name from the license plate, the tax collector may, in addition to issuing license plates with the county name printed on the license plate, also issue license plates with the words “Sunshine State” printed on the license plate subject to the approval of the department and a legislative appropriation for the additional license plates. A license plate issued for a vehicle taxed under s. 320.08(6) may not be assigned a registration license number, or be issued with any other distinctive character or designation, that distinguishes the motor vehicle as a for-hire motor vehicle.
(b) An additional fee of 50 cents shall be collected on each motor vehicle registration or motor vehicle renewal registration issued in this state in order that all license plates and validation stickers be fully treated with retroreflective material.
(4) The corporation organized under chapter 946 may manufacture license plates, validation stickers, and decals, as well as temporary tags, disabled hang tags, vessel decals, and fuel use decals, for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as provided in this chapter and chapter 327. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is not required to obtain competitive bids in order to contract with the corporation.
History.–ss. 4, 13, ch. 7275, 1917; RGS 1009, 1018; ss. 4, 10, ch. 8410, 1921; s. 5, ch. 10182, 1925; CGL 1283, 1292; s. 1, ch. 13701, 1929; s. 1, ch. 20408, 1941; s. 1, ch. 26481, 1951; ss. 1, 2, ch. 63-490; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 69-178; ss. 2, 9, ch. 72-79; s. 92, ch. 73-333; s. 2, ch. 74-338; s. 7, ch. 75-66; s. 4, ch. 77-120; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 6, ch. 77-357; s. 1, ch. 77-395; s. 1, ch. 77-415; s. 1, ch. 78-48; s. 2, ch. 78-186; s. 4, ch. 78-207; s. 2, ch. 78-225; s. 9, ch. 79-3; s. 65, ch. 79-164; s. 13, ch. 81-151; s. 4, ch. 81-212; s. 25, ch. 83-216; s. 11, ch. 83-318; s. 10, ch. 84-260; s. 7, ch. 84-280; s. 1, ch. 85-176; s. 47, ch. 85-180; s. 23, ch. 87-198; s. 22, ch. 88-557; s. 2, ch. 89-364; s. 50, ch. 90-132; s. 1, ch. 90-194; s. 1, ch. 91-82; s. 63, ch. 93-120; s. 1, ch. 93-398; s. 1, ch. 94-163; s. 47, ch. 94-306; s. 32, ch. 96-413; s. 4, ch. 97-58; s. 20, ch. 97-300; ss. 21, 263, ch. 99-248; s. 11, ch. 99-260; s. 118, ch. 2002-20; s. 60, ch. 2005-164.
320.0601 Lease and rental car companies; identification of vehicles as for-hire.—
(1) A rental car company may not rent in this state any for-hire vehicle, other than vehicles designed to transport cargo, that has affixed to its exterior any bumper stickers, insignias, or advertising that identifies the vehicle as a rental vehicle.
(2) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Bumper stickers, insignias, or advertising” does not include:
1. Any emblem of no more than two colors which is less than 2 inches by 4 inches, which is placed on the rental car for inventory purposes only, and which does not display the name or logo of the rental car company; or
2. Any license required by the law of the state in which the vehicle is registered.
(b) “Rent in this state” means to sign a rental contract in this state or to deliver a car to a renter in this state.
(3) A rental car company that leases a motor vehicle that is found to be in violation of this section shall be punished by a fine of $500 per occurrence.
(4) Any registration or renewal as required under s. 320.02 for an original or transfer of a long-term leased motor vehicle must be in the name and address of the lessee.
History.–s. 3, ch. 93-398; s. 264, ch. 99-248; s. 61, ch. 2005-164.
320.0605 Certificate of registration; possession required; exception.–The registration certificate or an official copy thereof, a true copy of a rental or lease agreement issued for a motor vehicle or issued for a replacement vehicle in the same registration period, a temporary receipt printed upon self-initiated electronic renewal of a registration via the Internet, or a cab card issued for a vehicle registered under the International Registration Plan shall, at all times while the vehicle is being used or operated on the roads of this state, be in the possession of the operator thereof or be carried in the vehicle for which issued and shall be exhibited upon demand of any authorized law enforcement officer or any agent of the department, except for a vehicle registered under s. 320.0657. The provisions of this section do not apply during the first 30 days after purchase of a replacement vehicle. A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
History.–s. 12, ch. 83-318; s. 5, ch. 86-185; s. 14, ch. 86-243; s. 48, ch. 94-306; s. 913, ch. 95-148; s. 50, ch. 96-350; s. 265, ch. 99-248; s. 28, ch. 2000-313; s. 62, ch. 2005-164.
320.0607 Replacement license plates, validation decal, or mobile home sticker.—
(1) Any law enforcement officer or department license and registration inspector may at any time inspect a license plate or validation decal for proper display and legibility as prescribed by chapter 316. A damaged or defaced plate or decal may be required to be replaced.
(2) When a license plate, mobile home sticker, or validation decal has been lost, stolen, or destroyed, the owner of the motor vehicle or mobile home for which the plate, sticker, or decal was issued shall make application to the department for a replacement. The application shall contain the plate, sticker, or decal number being replaced and a statement that the item was lost, stolen, or destroyed. If the application includes a copy of the police report prepared in response to a report of a stolen plate, sticker, or decal, such plate, sticker, or decal must be replaced at no charge.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (2), in all such cases, upon filing of an application accompanied by a fee of $10 plus applicable service charges, the department shall issue a replacement plate, sticker, or decal as the case may be if it is satisfied that the information reported in the application is true. The replacement fee shall be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund.
(4) Any license plate, sticker, or decal lost in the mail may be replaced at no charge. Neither the service charge nor the replacement fee shall be applied to this replacement. However, the application for a replacement shall contain a statement of such fact, the audit number of the lost item, and the date issued.
(5) Upon the issuance of an original license plate, the applicant shall pay a fee of $10 to be deposited in the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund.
(6) All funds derived from the sale of temporary tags under the provisions of s. 320.131 shall be deposited in the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund.
History.–s. 13, ch. 83-318; s. 3, ch. 86-88; s. 51, ch. 90-132; s. 64, ch. 93-120; s. 49, ch. 94-306.
320.0609 Transfer and exchange of registration license plates; transfer fee.—
(1)(a) The registration license plate and certificate of registration shall be issued to, and remain in the name of, the owner of the vehicle registered and may be transferred by the owner from the vehicle for which the registration license plate was issued to any vehicle which the owner may acquire within the same classification; or, subject to the procedures set forth in subsection (2), such plate may be surrendered to the department in exchange for a license plate of the appropriate classification, if the replacement vehicle is of a different classification.
(b) The transfer of a license plate from a vehicle disposed of to a newly acquired vehicle does not constitute a new registration. The application for transfer shall be accepted without requiring proof of personal injury protection or liability insurance.
(2)(a) Upon a sale, trade, transfer, or other disposition of a motor vehicle, the owner shall remove the registration license plate therefrom and either return it or transfer it to a replacement motor vehicle. No registration license plate shall be temporarily or permanently attached to any new or used replacement or substitute vehicle without filing an application for transfer of such registration license plate and paying the transfer fee of $4.50 to the department.
(b) The requirement to pay a transfer fee does not apply when the replacement vehicle is classified under s. 320.08(2)(b), (c), or (d) or (3)(a), (b), or (c) and the original vehicle to be replaced is also classified under s. 320.08(2)(b), (c), or (d) or (3)(a), (b), or (c).
(3) A registration license plate assigned to a vehicle is transferable to any other vehicle within the same classification. If the license plate is not transferable, the owner may surrender such license plate to the department in exchange for a license plate of the appropriate classification for use on the newly acquired vehicle.
(4) If the replacement vehicle and the original vehicle to be replaced meet the criteria in paragraph (2)(b), there shall be no additional tax required in order to transfer the registration license plate to the replacement vehicle for the duration of a current registration period and to issue a new registration certificate.
(5) For a transfer or exchange other than one specified in paragraph (2)(b), the following provisions apply:
(a) If the replacement motor vehicle requires the same amount of license tax under s. 320.08 as the original vehicle to be replaced, no additional tax other than the transfer fee of $4.50, accompanied by an application for transfer on a form supplied by the department, is required to transfer or exchange a registration license plate for use on a replacement vehicle for the duration of a current registration period and to issue a new certificate of registration.
(b) If the replacement motor vehicle is within a classification requiring a higher license tax than that of the original vehicle to be replaced, the original license plate shall be surrendered in exchange for a plate within the appropriate classification, and an amount representing the pro rata difference in the tax required shall be paid for the remaining months of the registration period. Such payment is in addition to the transfer fee authorized in this section. The minimum charge for issuance of a license plate provided in s. 320.14 does not apply to an exchange of license plates under this section.
(6) Upon a sale, trade, transfer, or other disposition of a mobile home, the owner shall remove the sticker therefrom and may exchange it for another sticker to be applied to a replacement mobile home. Such exchange shall be without cost to the owner. No credit will be given toward the purchase of a license plate for any other type of vehicle. The department shall ensure that there is adequate internal control of mobile home stickers that have been removed for exchange or refund.
(7) A surviving spouse of a registered owner of any motor vehicle may, upon presenting the death certificate, request a registration certificate and transfer of the registration license plate.
History.–s. 14, ch. 83-318; s. 4, ch. 85-81; s. 24, ch. 87-198; s. 116, ch. 90-136.
320.061 Unlawful to alter motor vehicle registration certificates, license plates, mobile home stickers, or validation stickers; penalty.–No person shall alter the original appearance of any registration license plate, mobile home sticker, validation sticker, or vehicle registration certificate issued for and assigned to any motor vehicle or mobile home, whether by mutilation, alteration, defacement, or change of color or in any other manner. Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.–s. 9, ch. 28186, 1953; s. 3, ch. 69-178; s. 192, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 72-79; s. 7, ch. 77-357; s. 15, ch. 83-318; s. 33, ch. 96-413.
320.0655 Permanent license plates for governmental entities and volunteer fire departments.—
(1) A permanent license plate shall be issued for any motor vehicle owned or exclusively operated by the state or by any county, municipality, or other governmental entity. All such license plates shall be of a distinctive color, different from that of plates issued under s. 320.06. Such plate shall be displayed as required by s. 316.605 and shall be removed upon the sale of the vehicle or when the vehicle otherwise becomes ineligible for the permanent plate. If it has become lost, mutilated, or destroyed, the plate may be replaced as provided by s. 320.0607. The use of such plate on any vehicle other than one authorized in this subsection is prohibited, except as approved by the department. However, such plate may be used on a vehicle loaned, rented, or leased to a district school board for the purpose of providing driver education training.
(2) A permanent license plate shall be issued for any motor vehicle owned and exclusively operated by a volunteer fire department, which plate shall be of a distinctive color. The plate shall be displayed as required by s. 316.605 and shall be removed upon sale of the vehicle or when the vehicle otherwise becomes ineligible for the permanent plate. If it has become lost, mutilated, or destroyed, the plate may be replaced as provided by s. 320.0607. The use of such plate on any vehicle other than one authorized in this subsection is prohibited, except as approved by the department.
(3) Any motor vehicle issued a license plate pursuant to this section is exempt from the requirement to pay annual license taxes pursuant to s. 320.08 but must pay the fee provided by s. 320.10(2).
History.–s. 17, ch. 83-318.
320.0657 Permanent registration; fleet license plates.—
(1) As used in this section, the term “fleet” means nonapportioned motor vehicles owned or leased by a company and used for business purposes. Vehicle numbers comprising a “fleet” shall be established by the department. Vehicles registered as short-term rental vehicles are excluded from the provisions of this section.
(2)(a) The owner or lessee of a fleet of motor vehicles shall, upon application in the manner and at the time prescribed and upon approval by the department and payment of the license tax prescribed under s. 320.08(2), (3), (4), (5)(a) and (b), (6)(a), (7), and (8), be issued permanent fleet license plates. All vehicles with a fleet license plate shall have the company’s name or logo and unit number displayed so that they are readily identifiable.
(b) The plates, which shall be of a distinctive color, shall have the word “Fleet” appearing at the bottom and the word “Florida” appearing at the top. The plates shall conform in all respects to the provisions of this chapter, except as specified herein.
(c) In addition to the license tax prescribed by s. 320.08(2), (3), (4), (5)(a) and (b), (6)(a), (7), and (8), an annual fleet management fee of $2 shall be charged. A one-time license plate manufacturing fee of $1.50 shall be charged for plates issued for the established number of vehicles in the fleet. If the size of the fleet is increased, an issuance fee of $10 per vehicle will be charged to include the license plate manufacturing fee. If the license plate manufacturing cost increases, the department shall increase the license plate manufacturing fee to recoup its cost. Fees collected shall be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. Payment of registration license tax and fees shall be made annually and be evidenced only by the issuance of a single receipt by the department. The provisions of s. 320.0605 do not apply to vehicles registered in accordance with this section, and no annual validation sticker is required.
(3) If a recipient of fleet license plates fails to properly and timely renew or initially register vehicles in its fleet, the department may impose a delinquency penalty of $50 or 10 percent of the delinquent taxes due, whichever is greater, if the failure is for not more than 30 days, with an additional 10 percent penalty for each additional 30 days, or fraction thereof, that the failure continues, not to exceed a total penalty of 100 percent in the aggregate; however, the penalty may not be less than $50.
(4) All recipients of fleet license plates authorized by this section must provide the department with an annual vehicle reconciliation and must annually surrender all unassigned license plates. Failure to comply with this subsection may result in fines of up to $1,000 for each occurrence, or in suspension or termination from the fleet program.
(5) The department may adopt rules to comply with this section.
History.–s. 50, ch. 94-306; s. 1, ch. 94-312; s. 35, ch. 96-413; s. 23, ch. 99-248.
320.0659 Permanent registration of trailer for hire and semitrailers.—
(1) A permanent license plate may be issued for any semitrailer classified under s. 320.08(5)(a)2. All such license plates shall be of a distinctive color, and shall be imprinted with the words “Permanent Trl” at the bottom. Such plates shall be displayed as required by s. 316.605 and shall be removed upon the sale of the vehicle or upon the vehicle’s being removed from service. If the plate is lost, mutilated, or destroyed, the plate may be replaced as provided by s. 320.0607. The use of such plate on any vehicle other than the one to which it is issued is prohibited. No refunds shall be issued for this plate.
(2) If apportionment is required for a permanent semitrailer, the apportionment must be indicated by means of a serially numbered decal, or decals, with the name of the state for which apportionment is granted and the year for which the apportionment is valid. The apportionment must be for 1 calendar year and must be renewed as necessary. For jurisdictions that do not require additional trailer fees, the fee provided in s. 320.08(5)(a)2. applies.
History.–s. 36, ch. 96-413.
320.07 Expiration of registration; annual renewal required; penalties.—
(1) The registration of a motor vehicle or mobile home shall expire at midnight on the last day of the registration period. A vehicle shall not be operated on the roads of this state after expiration of the renewal period unless the registration has been renewed according to law.
(2) Registration shall be renewed annually during the applicable renewal period, upon payment of the applicable license tax amount required by s. 320.08, service charges required by s. 320.04, and any additional fees required by law. However, any person owning a motor vehicle registered under s. 320.08(4), (6)(b), or (13) may register semiannually as provided in s. 320.0705.
(3) The operation of any motor vehicle without having attached thereto a registration license plate and validation stickers, or the use of any mobile home without having attached thereto a mobile home sticker, for the current registration period shall subject the owner thereof, if he or she is present, or, if the owner is not present, the operator thereof to the following penalty provisions:
(a) Any person whose motor vehicle or mobile home registration has been expired for a period of 6 months or less commits a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
(b) Any person whose motor vehicle or mobile home registration has been expired for more than 6 months shall upon a first offense be subject to the penalty provided in s. 318.14.
(c) Any person whose motor vehicle or mobile home registration has been expired for more than 6 months shall upon a second or subsequent offense be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(d) However, no operator shall be charged with a violation of this subsection if the operator can show, pursuant to a valid lease agreement, that the vehicle had been leased for a period of 30 days or less at the time of the offense.
(e) Any servicemember, as defined in s. 250.01, whose mobile home registration has expired while serving on active duty or state active duty shall not be charged with a violation of this subsection if, at the time of the offense, the servicemember was serving on active duty or state active duty 35 miles or more from the mobile home. The servicemember must present to the department either a copy of the official military orders or a written verification signed by the servicemember’s commanding officer to waive charges.
(f) The owner of a leased motor vehicle is not responsible for any penalty specified in this subsection if the motor vehicle is registered in the name of the lessee of the motor vehicle.
(4)(a) In addition to a penalty provided in subsection (3), a delinquent fee based on the following schedule of license taxes shall be imposed on any applicant who fails to renew a registration prior to the end of the month in which renewal registration is due. The delinquent fee shall be applied beginning on the 11th calendar day of the month succeeding the renewal period. The delinquent fee shall not apply to those vehicles which have not been required to be registered during the preceding registration period or as provided in s. 320.18(2). The delinquent fee shall be imposed as follows:
1. License tax of $5 but not more than $25: $5 flat.
2. License tax over $25 but not more than $50: $10 flat.
3. License tax over $50 but not more than $100: $15 flat.
4. License tax over $100 but not more than $400: $50 flat.
5. License tax over $400 but not more than $600: $100 flat.
6. License tax over $600 and up: $250 flat.
(b) A person who has been assessed a penalty pursuant to s. 316.545(2)(b) for failure to have a valid vehicle registration certificate is not subject to the delinquent fee authorized by this subsection if such person obtains a valid registration certificate within 10 working days after such penalty was assessed. The official receipt authorized by s. 316.545(6) constitutes proof of payment of the penalty authorized in s. 316.545(2)(b).
(c) The owner of a leased motor vehicle is not responsible for any delinquent fee specified in this subsection if the motor vehicle is registered in the name of the lessee of the motor vehicle.
(5) Any servicemember, as defined in s. 250.01, whose motor vehicle or mobile home registration has expired while serving on active duty or state active duty, shall be able to renew his or her registration upon return from active duty or state active duty without penalty, if the servicemember served on active duty or state active duty 35 miles or more from the servicemember’s home of record prior to entering active duty or state active duty. The servicemember must provide to the department either a copy of the official military orders or a written verification signed by the servicemember’s commanding officer to waive delinquent fees.
(6) Delinquent fees imposed under this section shall not be apportionable under the International Registration Plan.