Vehicle Registration in Florida

Posted date : Jul 22, 2008.Back to list

Bird talk - Le Jaseur
Dear Bird Talk,

I reference the advice given to John & Debbie Chalmers in the spring 08 issue in the bird talk section. You stated that Florida requires an individual to have a Florida driver’s licence number in order to register a motor vehicle in their system. This has not been my experience.

In late December of 2006, I drove from my Toronto home in my 1997 ford Mystique which was plated, licensed and insured in Ontario. I am a Canadian citizen who held then, and still do hold a valid Ontario driver’s licence. At no time have I ever held a Florida driver’s licence of any type – nor do I intend to muddy the waters of “closer connection” to Canada with any such state-issued identification. Who needs the kind of border-crossing stress that John & Debbie encountered?

In the spring of 2007, prior to my return to Canada, I decided to leave my Ford “Mistake” at my winter home in Dunedin, Florida, and purchase a new vehicle upon my return to Ontario. I first went to the Department of Homeland Security on Hoover Ave. behind the Tampa Airport and filled out and obtained the proper documents to “import” the vehicle. That very day, I proceeded to the Allstate Insurance Broker on Main Street of Dunedin & purchased vehicle insurance. Then I called & arranged an appointment with the state licensing inspector to put his stamp of approval on allowing the vehicle to be registered in the state of Florida.

Then I proceeded directly to register the vehicle in the state of Florida, using only my Ontario driver’s licence, Allstate Insurance Certificate & Homeland Security’s estimate of market value (on which I paid tax). The vehicle is still registered in the state of Florida & I register, insure and drive it in connection solely with my Ontario driver’s licence. Go figure!! Maybe, I’m just the odd one out here!!!

Maybe things are different for a vehicle “purchased” versus “imported” to the state.

Having worked a lifetime in a regulatory capacity, I am well aware that different rules apply to different situations and that rules can change overnight.

Thank you,
Heather Gaito

Response :
Ed: Thanks for your letter, Heather. We are doing some more background work regarding the regulations. With any luck, perhaps even the tax rules can change overnight.

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