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  • Plate Surrender in Florida

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    Florida license plates are owned by the state. This means you must surrender your plates to Florida’s Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSM) following a move out of state, or after selling your vehicle without a subsequent plate transfer. Keep on reading for the full scoop.

    Moving to Florida

    After establishing residency register your vehicle and obtain Florida license plates. Whether you must surrender your old plates will depend on the regulations of your former state.

    When the time comes to complete the registration application, keep in mind that you can opt for standard plates at no extra charge, or order one of Florida’s many specialized license plates.

    For how-to help with getting settled in the Sunshine State, visit our relocation guide.

    Moving from FL

    Unfortunately, you cannot keep your Florida plates as souvenirs. You must return them to the FLHSM after registering in your new state.

    You can either surrender the plates in person, at any Florida county tax collector’s office, or by mailing the plates, registration certificate, and a cancellation letter to:

    • Division of Motorist Services
    • 2900 Apalachee Parkway
    • Mail Stop 98
    • Tallahassee, FL 32399

    Educate yourself on what’s expected during your move by visiting our Moving Out of Florida page.

    Selling a Used Car in Florida

    The plates stay with you after selling your car. If you don’t transfer them to another vehicle under your name, you must surrender the plates to the FLHSM. Failure to do so in a timely manner could result in the suspension of your driver’s license.

    For more selling-your-car information, visit our Title Transfers page.

    Buying a Used Car in FL

    Florida license plates stay with the seller. This means the seller will remove the car’s plates before handing over the keys. You, of course, will then need to register the vehicle to obtain permanent Florida license plates.

    Need more buying help? Read our Vehicle Title Transfers page.

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