Can a Snowbird Register a Car in Florida? The Ultimate Guide

Can a Snowbird Register a Car in Florida?

A “snowbird” is typically defined as a person who migrates seasonally between northern states and warmer southern states, such as Florida. Many snowbirds choose to spend their winters in Florida to escape the cold weather up north. But if you’re a snowbird planning to stay in Florida for an extended period of time, can you legally register a car in the state? Let’s find out.

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Residency Requirements

Before we delve into the specifics of car registration, let’s understand the residency requirements in Florida. To be considered a resident of Florida, you must establish a physical presence in the state and intend to make it your permanent or primary home.

Typically, snowbirds don’t meet the residency requirements as they maintain their primary residency in their home state. However, Florida has a specific provision for non-residents who spend extended periods of time in the state.

Non-Resident Vehicle Registration

Florida allows non-residents to register their vehicles in the state under certain circumstances. If you’re a snowbird planning to stay in Florida for at least 90 days, you may be eligible for non-resident vehicle registration.

Here are the steps you need to follow to register your car as a non-resident:

  1. Complete the Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (Form HSMV 82040).
  2. Gather the required documentation, which includes proof of identity, proof of ownership, and proof of Florida insurance coverage.
  3. Visit your local county tax collector’s office to submit the application and documents.
  4. Pay the necessary fees, which include the registration fee, title fee, and any applicable taxes.
  5. Obtain your new Florida license plate, registration, and vehicle title.

Insurance Requirements

In addition to the registration process, Florida also has specific insurance requirements for vehicle owners. As a non-resident, you must carry valid Florida insurance coverage throughout the registration period.

Make sure you have the following insurance coverage:

  • Personal Injury Protection (PIP): This coverage will pay for your medical expenses in case of an accident.
  • Property Damage Liability (PDL): This coverage will cover damages you cause to someone else’s property.

Before registering your vehicle, you’ll need to provide proof of insurance by submitting a Florida insurance card or policy.

Potential Issues and Considerations

While it is possible for snowbirds to register their vehicles in Florida, there are a few potential issues and considerations to keep in mind:

  • Out-of-state registration: Some states may require you to maintain your out-of-state registration if you still maintain residency there. Make sure to check the regulations in your home state.
  • Vehicle inspections: Florida doesn’t require vehicle inspections for most vehicles. However, if you plan to register a commercial vehicle or a vehicle with a salvage title, additional inspections may be required.
  • Insurance costs: Florida is known for its high insurance rates. Make sure to budget accordingly for insurance expenses.
  • Driver’s license: While registering your vehicle as a non-resident, you will not be required to obtain a Florida driver’s license. However, if you decide to establish Florida residency and become a full-time resident, obtaining a Florida driver’s license will be necessary.


If you’re a snowbird planning to spend an extended period in Florida, registering your car as a non-resident is possible. Follow the necessary steps, provide the required documentation, and ensure you meet the insurance requirements. Although there may be some potential issues and considerations, registering your car in Florida will allow you to legally drive on Florida’s roads and enjoy your time in the sunshine state.

Frequently Asked Questions On Can A Snowbird Register A Car In Florida? The Ultimate Guide

Can Snowbirds Register A Car In Florida If They Are Not Residents?

Yes, snowbirds can register a car in Florida even if they are not residents. Florida allows non-residents to register vehicles for up to 6 months.

What Documents Do Snowbirds Need To Register A Car In Florida?

Snowbirds need to bring their out-of-state driver’s license, vehicle title, registration, proof of insurance, and proof of Florida address to register a car in Florida.

How Much Does It Cost For Snowbirds To Register A Car In Florida?

The cost to register a car in Florida as a snowbird varies based on factors like the vehicle’s weight and type. On average, the registration fee ranges from $47. 50 to $77. 75.

Do Snowbirds Have To Pay Sales Tax When Registering A Car In Florida?

No, snowbirds do not have to pay sales tax when registering a car in Florida if they can prove that the vehicle was already subject to sales tax in another state.

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