When you buy a new or used vehicle in the state of Florida, the purchase price is only part of the total cost. Once you purchase the vehicle and obtain the mandatory insurance coverage, if applicable, you are also required to register the vehicle with the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles within 30 days. Many people refer to this as the tax, tag and title fees. The amount needed varies, depending on the vehicle. But there is a way to calculate the amount.
Go to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website and navigate to the "DMV Forms" page. Your computer must have Adobe Reader to open this file.
Scroll down until you see the “Calculation of Fees and Check Off List” found on page 4. This form automatically calculates the total cost for tax, tag, title and other fees applicable. The total amount due on the bottom of the form changes as you enter figures.
Use the “License Plate Rate Chart” included on pages 1 and 2. Locate the correct “Classification," such as Automobiles, Trucks and Travel Trailer along with the “Net Weight in Pounds,” if applicable, and then use the figure under “Annual Tax and Other Fees.” Type this amount on the first line for question 1. This is the basic license plate (tag) fee.
Insert the required fee ($28 as of August 2012) on the second line of question 1, if you need a new metal plate. Insert the required fee ($225 as of August 2012) on the third line of question 1, if this is your initial application for registration (see page 3, part III for explanation). Insert the branch fee (50 cents as of August 2012) on the fourth line of question 1, if processing through a county office.
Fill in the correct “Title fee” required for line one of question 2, depending on whether it is a new vehicle with no previous title, a vehicle previously registered in Florida, or a vehicle previously registered in another state. Insert the branch fee (50 cents as of August 2012) on the second line of question 2, if processing through a county office.
Read and insert the amounts for questions 3 through 7, which detail various other fees, if applicable. This includes recording a lien, a fee if registration is over 30 days from date of purchase, a lemon law fee required by Florida Dealers and Leasing Companies, and a mail fee.
Determine the sales tax due and insert this amount on the first line of question 8. If the purchase did not involve a trade-in, multiply the purchase price by 6 percent. See page 3, part IV for more details on trade-ins, local discretionary surtax and sales tax exemptions. Enter the annual use tax fee for a dealer’s license plates, if applicable, on the second line of question 8.
Read and insert the amounts for questions 9 through 12, which detail various other fees, if applicable. This includes expedited title service, actual paper certificate of title, personalized license plate and specialty license plate fees.
View the amount due that is shown on line 13. This is your total cost. Print the form for your records.
- Contact your local Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles county office for assistance.
Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published online at the Travel Channel and Intel.