320.06 Registration certificates, license plates, and validation stickers generally.—
(1)(a) Upon the receipt of an initial application for registration and payment of the appropriate license tax and other fees required by law, the department shall assign to the motor vehicle a registration license number consisting of letters and numerals or numerals and issue to the owner or lessee a certificate of registration and one registration license plate, unless two plates are required for display by s. 320.0706, for each vehicle so registered.
(b) Registration license plates bearing a graphic symbol and the alphanumeric system of identification shall be issued for a 10-year period. At the end of that 10-year period, upon renewal, the plate shall be replaced. The department shall extend the scheduled license plate replacement date from a 6-year period to a 10-year period. The fee for such replacement is $28, $2.80 of which shall be paid each year before the plate is replaced, to be credited towards the next $28 replacement fee. The fees shall be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. A credit or refund may not be given for any prior years’ payments of such prorated replacement fee if the plate is replaced or surrendered before the end of the 10-year period, except that a credit may be given if a registrant is required by the department to replace a license plate under s. 320.08056(8)(a). With each license plate, a validation sticker shall be issued showing the owner’s birth month, license plate number, and the year of expiration or the appropriate renewal period if the owner is not a natural person. The validation sticker shall be placed on the upper right corner of the license plate. Such license plate and validation sticker shall be issued based on the applicant’s appropriate renewal period. The registration period is 12 months, the extended registration period is 24 months, and all expirations occur based on the applicant’s appropriate registration period. A vehicle with an apportioned registration shall be issued an annual license plate and a cab card that denote the declared gross vehicle weight for each apportioned jurisdiction in which the vehicle is authorized to operate.
(c) Registration license plates equipped with validation stickers subject to the registration period are valid for not more than 12 months and expire at midnight on the last day of the registration period. A registration license plate equipped with a validation sticker subject to the extended registration period is valid for not more than 24 months and expires at midnight on the last day of the extended registration period. For each registration period after the one in which the metal registration license plate is issued, and until the license plate is required to be replaced, a validation sticker showing the month and year of expiration shall be issued upon payment of the proper license tax amount and fees and is valid for not more than 12 months. For each extended registration period occurring after the one in which the metal registration license plate is issued and until the license plate is required to be replaced, a validation sticker showing the year of expiration shall be issued upon payment of the proper license tax amount and fees and is valid for not more than 24 months. When license plates equipped with validation stickers are issued in any month other than the owner’s birth month or the designated registration period for any other motor vehicle, the effective date shall reflect the birth month or month and the year of renewal. However, when a license plate or validation sticker is issued for a period of less than 12 months, the applicant shall pay the appropriate amount of license tax and the applicable fee under s. 320.14 in addition to all other fees. Validation stickers issued for vehicles taxed under s. 320.08(6)(a), for any company that owns 250 vehicles or more, or for semitrailers taxed under the provisions of s. 320.08(5)(a), for any company that owns 50 vehicles or more, may be placed on any vehicle in the fleet so long as the vehicle receiving the validation sticker has the same owner’s name and address as the vehicle to which the validation sticker was originally assigned.
(2) The department shall provide the several tax collectors and license plate agents with the necessary number of validation stickers.
(3)(a) Registration license plates must be made of metal specially treated with a retroreflection material, as specified by the department. The registration license plate is designed to increase nighttime visibility and legibility and must be at least 6 inches wide and not less than 12 inches in length, unless a plate with reduced dimensions is deemed necessary by the department to accommodate motorcycles, mopeds, or similar smaller vehicles. Validation stickers must also be treated with a retroreflection material, must be of such size as specified by the department, and must adhere to the license plate. The registration license plate must be imprinted with a combination of bold letters and numerals or numerals, not to exceed seven digits, to identify the registration license plate number. The license plate must be imprinted with the word “Florida” at the top and the name of the county in which it is sold, the state motto, or the words “Sunshine State” at the bottom. Apportioned license plates must have the word “Apportioned” at the bottom and license plates issued for vehicles taxed under s. 320.08(3)(d), (4)(m) or (n), (5)(b) or (c), or (14) must have the word “Restricted” at the bottom. License plates issued for vehicles taxed under s. 320.08(12) must be imprinted with the word “Florida” at the top and the word “Dealer” at the bottom. Manufacturer license plates issued for vehicles taxed under s. 320.08(12) must be imprinted with the word “Florida” at the top and the word “Manufacturer” at the bottom. License plates issued for vehicles taxed under s. 320.08(5)(d) or (e) must be imprinted with the word “Wrecker” at the bottom. Any county may, upon majority vote of the county commission, elect to have the county name removed from the license plates sold in that county. The state motto or the words “Sunshine State” shall be printed in lieu thereof. A license plate issued for a vehicle taxed under s. 320.08(6) may not be assigned a registration license number, or be issued with any other distinctive character or designation, that distinguishes the motor vehicle as a for-hire motor vehicle.
(b) An additional fee of $1.50 shall be collected on each motor vehicle registration or motor vehicle renewal registration issued in this state in order for all license plates and validation stickers to be fully treated with retroreflection material. Of that amount, $1 shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund and 50 cents shall be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund.
(4) The corporation organized under chapter 946 may manufacture license plates, validation stickers, and decals, as well as temporary tags, disabled hang tags, vessel decals, and fuel use decals, for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles as provided in this chapter and chapter 327. The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is not required to obtain competitive bids in order to contract with the corporation.
History.—ss. 4, 13, ch. 7275, 1917; RGS 1009, 1018; ss. 4, 10, ch. 8410, 1921; s. 5, ch. 10182, 1925; CGL 1283, 1292; s. 1, ch. 13701, 1929; s. 1, ch. 20408, 1941; s. 1, ch. 26481, 1951; ss. 1, 2, ch. 63-490; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 69-178; ss. 2, 9, ch. 72-79; s. 92, ch. 73-333; s. 2, ch. 74-338; s. 7, ch. 75-66; s. 4, ch. 77-120; s. 1, ch. 77-174; s. 6, ch. 77-357; s. 1, ch. 77-395; s. 1, ch. 77-415; s. 1, ch. 78-48; s. 2, ch. 78-186; s. 4, ch. 78-207; s. 2, ch. 78-225; s. 9, ch. 79-3; s. 65, ch. 79-164; s. 13, ch. 81-151; s. 4, ch. 81-212; s. 25, ch. 83-216; s. 11, ch. 83-318; s. 10, ch. 84-260; s. 7, ch. 84-280; s. 1, ch. 85-176; s. 47, ch. 85-180; s. 23, ch. 87-198; s. 22, ch. 88-557; s. 2, ch. 89-364; s. 50, ch. 90-132; s. 1, ch. 90-194; s. 1, ch. 91-82; s. 63, ch. 93-120; s. 1, ch. 93-398; s. 1, ch. 94-163; s. 47, ch. 94-306; s. 32, ch. 96-413; s. 4, ch. 97-58; s. 20, ch. 97-300; ss. 21, 263, ch. 99-248; s. 11, ch. 99-260; s. 118, ch. 2002-20; s. 60, ch. 2005-164; s. 3, ch. 2007-242; s. 1, ch. 2008-68; s. 2, ch. 2009-14; s. 13, ch. 2009-71.