Florida 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.
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.
Personalized License Plates
Personalized license plates may be ordered through the Escambia County 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 download the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ APPLICATION FOR PERSONALIZED LICENSE PLATE form (Form HSMV 83043).
Before making a trip to our office, use the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website to find out if a proposed personalized plate configuration is available .
Specialty License Plates
Stand out on the road and support a good cause! Specialty license plates feature unique designs and are available at all Escambia County Tax Collector offices. Proceeds benefit charitable and environmental organizations throughout the state of Florida. An additional annual use fee applies but no other qualifications are required.
Visit the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website to see a list of available specialty license plates, their annual use fee, and the organization or fund that receives the fees. The annual use fee includes a $5 surcharge for processing.
Owners of vehicles registered in the State of Florida may obtain military service-related license plates if they meet the qualifications as established for each specific plate. Most service-related plates do not have any additional fees; in fact, discounted registration fees apply to some service-related 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. An active Florida National Guard applicant may be issued one free license plate/registration each year. However, any initial registration, specialty and/or personalized fees would still apply, when applicable. The application form for U.S. Reserve or Florida National Guard license plate (Form HSMV 83030) may be obtained online or from the tax collector’s office.
Application for other Military Service Related License Plates (Form HSMV83034) form may be obtained online or from the tax collector’s office.
Other Service-Related License Plates*
- Ex-prisoner of War
- Medal of Honor Recipient
- Wheelchair for Disabled Veterans
- Disabled Veteran (motorcycle plate also available)
- S. Armed Forces Reserve
- Pearl Harbor Survivor
- Purple Heart Recipient
- Paralyzed Veterans of America (motorcycle plate also available)
- National Guard
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- S. Paratrooper
- Korean Conflict Veteran
- Vietnam War Veteran
- Combat Action Badge
- Gold Star
*Please contact the Escambia County Tax Collector’s office for detailed information on these plates.
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.
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; when required, the vehicle owner must present combined bodily injury liability and property damage liability insurance. 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 of Escambia County office for more information.
Proof of Florida insurance must be verifiable as of the date of registration to avoid suspension of your driver license, license plate(s), and registration(s). Insurance purchased or binders issued at a later date will not prevent a sanction on your driver license: Insurance purchased online or by phone must be bound on the registration date. Insurance courtesy coverage for replacement vehicles should not be relied upon.
Wheelchair Emblem License Plates
Wheelchair emblem license plates are issued to qualified individuals for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, travel trailers, and motor homes. Proof of a current Florida disabled person parking permit placard or a properly completed Application for Diabled Person Parking Permit (Form HSMV 83039) form are also acceptable for the issuance of this plate.
Disabled Persons Parking Placards
A placard can be purchased by an individual with disabilities that limit or impair his or her ability to walk or who is certified legally blind. The disabled person must have a current Florida driver license or Florida identification card. The parking permit entitles the driver transporting the disabled passenger to utilize handicap parking facilities. The placard is transferable to any vehicle transporting the disabled person. The placard is to be hung on the rear view mirror when using the designated parking spaces. Applicants and their physician are required to sign for the permit.
Permanent or long-term disabled parking permits are issued for a period of up to four years and will expire on the disabled person’s birthday. For temporary parking permits, the period of time is indicated by a physician but may not exceed six months from the date of issuance.
Beginning October 1, 2012, a person certified as permanently disabled must provide a certificate of disability, Form HSMV 83039, Application For Disabled Person Parking Permit, issued within the last 12 months in order to renew their disabled parking permit. This means that Form HSMV 83039 must be signed by the medical provider within the last 12 months of the disabled person applying for a renewal.
VETERANS – For Renewal or Replacement ONLY
Effective July 1, 2015, a veteran who has been previously evaluated and certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) or any branch of the United States Armed Forces as permanently and totally disabled from a service-connected disability may provide a VA Letter 27-333, or its equivalent, issued within the last 12 months in lieu of a certificate of disability (Form HSMV 83039 – signed by the certifying physician) to renew his or her disabled parking permit.