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Are you moving your vehicle to Florida? Here are a few things you should know.

Moving your vehicle to Florida may bring a few unexpected, and possibly expensive, surprises into your life. But, first things first. You’ll need a Florida Driver’s License before you can register your vehicle. This will require a visit to your local Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) with your old license and your identifying documentation, including something with your Social Security number on it. My most recent experience wit the DMV was a few years ago. I set up an appointment, and when I showed up I was taken care of expeditiously.

You’ll also need proof of insurance from a Florida insurance agent. The agent from the state you’ve been living in won’t suffice. Many newcomers to Florida will find out that car insurance in Florida is much more expensive than it is in other states. One reason for this is that Florida is a no-fault state. Theoretically, in a no-fault state everyone has insurance because everyone is required to get insurance. Which brings us to the second reason for the high price of insurance in Florida: Florida has more uninsured motorist than other states. (Keep that in mind if you’re thinking of declining this optional coverage.)

Once you have a Florida Driver’s License and insurance from a Florida insurance agent, you can register your vehicle. The initial registration  for a car is $225.00. This applies to new cars purchased in Florida as well as cars from elsewhere which haven’t previously been registered in Florida.

Although you may have purchased your vehicle in another state and paid sales taxes on it at that time, you may owe Florida a sales tax to get it registered. The sales and use tax on vehicles in Florida is 6%. If you purchased your vehicle in a state where the rate was just 4%, you’ll have to pay an additional 2% to get it registered in Florida. Also, depending on the county you move into, there may be a surtax.

Happy driving!

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