Registration Violations

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.

320.02  Registration required; application for registration; forms.

(1)  Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle which is operated or driven on the roads of this state shall register the vehicle in this state. The owner or person in charge shall apply to the department or to its authorized agent for registration of each such vehicle on a form prescribed by the department. No registration is required for any motor vehicle which is not operated on the roads of this state during the registration period.

(2)(a)  The application for registration shall include the street address of the owner's permanent residence or the address of his or her permanent place of business. If the owner does not have a permanent residence or permanent place of business or if the owner's permanent residence or permanent place of business cannot be identified by a street address, the application shall include:

1.  If the vehicle is registered to a business, the name and street address of the permanent residence of an owner of the business, an officer of the corporation, or an employee who is in a supervisory position.

2.  If the vehicle is registered to an individual, the name and street address of the permanent residence of a close relative or friend who is a resident of this state.

(b)  The department shall prescribe a form upon which motor vehicle owners may record odometer readings when registering their motor vehicles.

(3)  Prior to the registration in this state of any vehicle registered outside the state, the application must be accompanied by either a sworn affidavit from the seller and purchaser verifying that the vehicle identification number shown on the affidavit is identical to the vehicle identification number shown on the motor vehicle or a copy of the appropriate departmental form evidencing that a physical examination has been made of the motor vehicle by the owner and by a duly constituted police officer of any state, a licensed motor vehicle dealer, a license inspector as provided by s. 320.58, or a notary public commissioned by any state and that the vehicle identification number shown on the applicable form and the application is identical to the vehicle identification number shown on the motor vehicle. Vehicle identification number verification is not required for any new vehicle sold in this state by a licensed motor vehicle dealer, any mobile home, any trailer or semitrailer with a net weight of less than 2,000 pounds, or any travel trailer or camping trailer.

(4)  The owner of any motor vehicle registered in the state shall notify the department in writing of any change of address within 20 days of such change. The notification shall include the registration license plate number, the vehicle identification number (VIN) or title certificate number, year of vehicle make, and the owner's full name.

(5)(a)  Proof that personal injury protection benefits have been purchased when required under s. 627.733, that property damage liability coverage has been purchased as required under s. 324.022, and that combined bodily liability insurance and property damage liability insurance have been purchased when required under s. 627.7415 shall be provided in the manner prescribed by law by the applicant at the time of application for registration of any motor vehicle owned as defined in s. 627.732. The issuing agent shall refuse to issue registration if such proof of purchase is not provided. Insurers shall furnish uniform proof-of-purchase cards in a form prescribed by the department and shall include the name of the insured's insurance company, the coverage identification number, the make, year, and vehicle identification number of the vehicle insured. The card shall contain a statement notifying the applicant of the penalty specified in s. 316.646(4). The card or insurance policy, insurance policy binder, or certificate of insurance or a photocopy of any of these; an affidavit containing the name of the insured's insurance company, the insured's policy number, and the make and year of the vehicle insured; or such other proof as may be prescribed by the department shall constitute sufficient proof of purchase. If an affidavit is provided as proof, it shall be in substantially the following form:


Under penalty of perjury, I  (Name of insured)  do hereby certify that I have  (Personal Injury Protection, Property Damage Liability, and, when required, Bodily Injury Liability)  Insurance currently in effect with  (Name of insurance company)  under  (policy number)  covering  (make, year, and vehicle identification number of vehicle) .  (Signature of Insured) 


Such affidavit shall include the following warning:


WARNING: GIVING FALSE INFORMATION IN ORDER TO OBTAIN A VEHICLE REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE IS A CRIMINAL OFFENSE UNDER FLORIDA LAW. ANYONE GIVING FALSE INFORMATION ON THIS AFFIDAVIT IS SUBJECT TO PROSECUTION.


When an application is made through a licensed motor vehicle dealer as required in s. 319.23, the original or a photostatic copy of such card, insurance policy, insurance policy binder, or certificate of insurance or the original affidavit from the insured shall be forwarded by the dealer to the tax collector of the county or the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for processing. By executing the aforesaid affidavit, no licensed motor vehicle dealer will be liable in damages for any inadequacy, insufficiency, or falsification of any statement contained therein. A card shall also indicate the existence of any bodily injury liability insurance voluntarily purchased.

(b)  When an operator who owns a motor vehicle is subject to the financial responsibility requirements of chapter 324, including s. 324.022, such operator shall provide proof of compliance with such financial responsibility requirements at the time of registration of any such motor vehicle by one of the methods constituting sufficient proof of purchase under paragraph (a). The issuing agent shall refuse to register a motor vehicle if such proof of purchase is not provided or if one of the other methods of proving financial responsibility as set forth in s. 324.031 is not met.

(c)  For purposes of providing proof of purchase of required insurance coverage under this subsection, the Department of Insurance shall require that uniform proof-of-purchase cards specified by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles be furnished by insurers writing motor vehicle liability insurance in this state. Any person altering or counterfeiting such a card or making a false affidavit in order to furnish false proof or to knowingly permit another person to furnish false proof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(d)  The verifying of proof of personal injury protection insurance, proof of combined bodily liability insurance and property damage liability insurance, or proof of financial responsibility insurance and the issuance or failure to issue the motor vehicle registration under the provisions of this chapter may not be construed in any court as a warranty of the reliability or accuracy of the evidence of such proof. Neither the department nor any tax collector is liable in damages for any inadequacy, insufficiency, falsification, or unauthorized modification of any item of the proof of personal injury protection insurance, proof of combined bodily liability insurance and property damage liability insurance, or proof of financial responsibility insurance either prior to, during, or subsequent to the verification of the proof. The issuance of a motor vehicle registration does not constitute prima facie evidence or a presumption of insurance coverage.

(e)  The department shall suspend the registration, issued under this chapter or s. 207.004(1), of a motor carrier who operates a commercial motor vehicle or permits it to be operated in this state during the registration period without having in full force and effect liability insurance, a surety bond, or a valid self-insurance certificate that complies with the provisions of this section. The liability insurance policy or surety bond may not be canceled on less than 30 days' written notice by the insurer to the department, such 30 days' notice to commence from the date notice is received by the department.

(6)  Any person who registers his or her motor vehicle by means of false or fraudulent representations made in any application for registration is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. The department may demand the return of, and may cancel, any license plate issued based on false or fraudulent representations.

(7)  Every owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of 55,000 pounds or more shall present proof of filing or proof of payment, in such form as may be prescribed by the United States Secretary of the Treasury, of the use tax imposed by s. 4481 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended, upon application for registration. Proof of payment or proof of filing will be made in accordance with the gross vehicle weight tax schedule established by s. 4481 of the Internal Revenue Code, as amended. An owner or person in charge of such a motor vehicle who has been exempted from the use tax by the Secretary of the Treasury shall present proof of such exemption in lieu of proof of payment. When an application is made through a licensed motor vehicle dealer as required in s. 319.23, the original or photostatic copy of such prescribed proof shall be forwarded by the dealer to the tax collector or the department for processing. The issuing agent shall refuse to issue a registration if such prescribed proof is not presented. Any person making a false affidavit in order to furnish false proof or to knowingly permit another person to furnish such false proof is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(8)  The application form for motor vehicle registration shall include language permitting a voluntary contribution of $1 per applicant, which contribution shall be paid into the Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund. The application form shall also include language providing for a voluntary contribution of $2, which shall be paid into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund and used to purchase child safety seats.

(9)  Before a motor vehicle which has not been manufactured in accordance with the federal Clean Air Act and the federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act can be sold to a consumer and titled and registered in this state, the motor vehicle must be certified by the United States Customs Service or the United States Department of Transportation and the United States Environmental Protection Agency to be in compliance with these federal standards. A vehicle which is registered pursuant to this subsection shall not be titled as a new motor vehicle.

(10)  An owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle subject to inspection pursuant to the Clean Outdoor Air Law shall provide proof of inspection or waiver at the time of registration of any such motor vehicle. The issuing agent shall refuse to register a motor vehicle if such proof of inspection or waiver is not provided.

(11)  The department shall audit affidavits utilized as proof of insurance under subsection (5) to verify that the affidavits are not false. The department shall take action as appropriate with respect to false affidavits.

(12)  The department is authorized to withhold registration or reregistration of any motor vehicle if the owner, or one of the coowners of the vehicle, has a driver's license which is under suspension for the failure to remit payment of any fines levied in this state pursuant to chapter 318 or chapter 322. The department shall design and implement a program to accomplish this action by June 1, 1992. However, nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit the department from withholding registration or renewal for a similar situation during the interim.

(13)  The application form for motor vehicle registration shall include language permitting a voluntary contribution of $5 per applicant, which contribution shall be transferred into the Election Campaign Financing Trust Fund. A statement providing an explanation of the purpose of the trust fund shall also be included.

(14)(a)  The license inspectors appointed by the department pursuant to s. 320.58 are empowered to issue a notice of violation on a form prescribed by the department to unattended motor vehicles that reasonably appear to such examiners to be required to be registered under this chapter and that are not so registered. The notice of violation shall include a summary of the provisions of this section and shall contain such other information as the department in its discretion shall determine.

(b)  The owner or person in charge of any vehicle that is issued a notice of violation pursuant to this section shall, within 30 days of the date of issuance shown on the notice, register the vehicle as required by this chapter or provide proof satisfactory to the department that the vehicle is exempt from such registration. If the vehicle is not registered or the proof is not provided on or after the 31st day following the date of issuance shown on the notice, the department is authorized to immobilize the vehicle by use of an immobilization device. Upon proof of registration of the vehicle or proof satisfactory to the department that the vehicle is exempt from such registration, the department shall remove the immobilization device. The department shall immediately remove, at no charge, any immobilization device that has been placed on any vehicle in error.

(c)  The license inspectors appointed by the department pursuant to s. 320.58 are empowered to enter upon both publicly owned and privately owned property in order to carry out the provisions of this section.

(d)  Any person who, without the authorization of the department, disables, removes, tampers with, damages, or unlocks an immobilization device placed on a vehicle pursuant to this section, or who attempts to do so, is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(15)  The application form for motor vehicle registration must include language permitting a voluntary contribution of $1 per applicant, which contribution must be transferred into the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund created in s. 427.0159 and must be expended as provided in that section.

(16)(a) The application form for motor vehicle registration shall include language permitting the voluntary contribution of $1 per applicant, to be quarterly distributed by the department to Prevent Blindness Florida, a not-for-profit organization, to prevent blindness and preserve the sight of the residents of this state. A statement providing an explanation of the purpose of the funds shall be included with the application form. Prior to the department distributing the funds collected pursuant to this paragraph, Prevent Blindness Florida must submit a report to the department that identifies how such funds were used during the preceding year.

(b) The application form for motor vehicle registration and renewal of registration must include language permitting a voluntary contribution to the Florida Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Inc., which contribution must be transferred by the department to the Florida Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Inc., on a monthly basis.

(c) The application form for motor vehicle registration shall include language permitting the voluntary contribution of $1 per applicant, to be distributed quarterly by the department to Southeastern Guide Dogs, Inc., a corporation not for profit under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, to be used by that organization for the purpose of breeding, raising, and training guide dogs for the blind. Such funds may also be used toward the costs of the required in-residence training for the individual receiving a guide dog.

(d) The application form for motor vehicle registration shall include language permitting the voluntary contribution of $1 per applicant, to be distributed quarterly by the department to the Miami Heart Research Institute, Inc., doing business as the Florida Heart Research Institute, a corporation not for profit under s. 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, to be used by that organization for the purpose of heart disease research, education, and prevention programs.

For the purpose of applying the service charge provided in s. 215.20, contributions received under this subsection are not income of a revenue nature.

(17) The department is authorized to withhold registration or re-registration of a motor vehicle if the name of the owner or of a coowner appears on a list submitted to the department by a licensed motor vehicle dealer for a previous registration of that vehicle. The motor vehicle dealer must maintain signed evidence that the owner or coowner acknowledged the dealer's authority to submit the list to the department if he or she failed to pay and must note the amount for which the owner or coowner would be responsible for the vehicle registration. The dealer must maintain the necessary documentation required in this subsection or face penalties as provided in s. 320.27. This subsection does not affect the issuance of a title to a motor vehicle.

(a) The motor vehicle owner or coowner may dispute the claim that money is owed to a dealer for registration fees by submitting a form to the department if the motor vehicle owner or coowner has documentary proof that the registration fees have been paid to the dealer for the disputed amount. Without clear evidence of the amounts owed for the vehicle registration and repayment, the department will assume initial payments are applied to government-assessed fees first.

(b) If the registered owner's dispute complies with paragraph (a), the department shall immediately remove the motor vehicle owner or coowner's name from the list, thereby allowing the issuance of a license plate or revalidation sticker.

History.--s. 2, ch. 7275, 1917; RGS 1007; s. 3, ch. 8410, 1921; s. 2, ch. 10182, 1925; CGL 1281; s. 1, ch. 15625, 1931; s. 1, ch. 16085, 1933; s. 1, ch. 26909, 1951; s. 1, ch. 28186, 1953; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 71-42; s. 2, ch. 73-284; s. 1, ch. 75-57; s. 4, ch. 75-66; s. 4, ch. 77-357; s. 4, ch. 77-468; s. 1, ch. 78-186; s. 3, ch. 78-225; s. 2, ch. 78-353; s. 4, ch. 78-363; s. 4, ch. 78-412; s. 3, ch. 79-32; s. 2, ch. 80-388; s. 1, ch. 83-200; s. 6, ch. 83-298; s. 4, ch. 83-318; s. 1, ch. 83-320; ss. 2, 3, ch. 84-155; s. 3, ch. 84-194; s. 45, ch. 85-180; s. 3, ch. 86-182; s. 12, ch. 86-243; s. 21, ch. 87-198; s. 19, ch. 88-129; s. 4, ch. 88-253; ss. 4, 5, ch. 88-370; s. 1, ch. 89-212; s. 26, ch. 90-119; s. 1, ch. 90-329; s. 27, ch. 91-107; s. 43, ch. 94-306; s. 911, ch. 95-148; s. 14, ch. 95-333; s. 19, ch. 97-300; s. 1, ch. 99-233; ss. 16, 259, ch. 99-248; ss. 48, 49, ch. 2000-171; s. 358, ch. 2003-261; s. 26, ch. 2004-5; s. 8, ch. 2004-235; s. 14, ch. 2005-164; s. 1, ch. 2005-254; s. 1, ch. 2006-44; s. 28, ch. 2006-290.

1Note.--Section 28, ch. 2006-290, amended subsection (1), effective July 1, 2008, to read:

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, every owner or person in charge of a motor vehicle that is operated or driven on the roads of this state shall register the vehicle in this state. The owner or person in charge shall apply to the department or to its authorized agent for registration of each such vehicle on a form prescribed by the department. Prior to the original registration of a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or moped, the owner, if a natural person, must present proof that he or she has a valid motorcycle endorsement as required in chapter 322. A registration is not required for any motor vehicle that is not operated on the roads of this state during the registration period.

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.

History.--s. 5, ch. 7275, 1917; RGS 1010; CGL 1284; s. 2, ch. 15625, 1931; s. 1, ch. 16084, 1933; ss. 2, 5, ch. 16085, 1933; s. 1, ch. 26544, 1951; s. 2, ch. 28186, 1953; s. 1, ch. 61-12; s. 4, ch. 63-528; s. 2, ch. 63-496; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 5, ch. 69-178; s. 3, ch. 73-284; s. 8, ch. 75-66; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 9, ch. 77-357; s. 2, ch. 77-454; s. 4, ch. 79-27; s. 1, ch. 79-79; s. 1, ch. 82-97; s. 1, ch. 82-128; s. 18, ch. 83-318; s. 60, ch. 85-180; s. 5, ch. 85-250; s. 6, ch. 86-185; s. 16, ch. 86-243; ss. 25, 48, ch. 87-198; s. 2, ch. 88-246; s. 37, ch. 91-224; s. 350, ch. 95-148; s. 51, ch. 96-350; s. 7, ch. 97-300; s. 7, ch. 98-223; s. 266, ch. 99-248; s. 15, ch. 2003-72; s. 30, ch. 2006-290.

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