320.03 Registration; duties of tax collectors; International Registration Plan.—
(1) The tax collectors in the several counties of the state, as authorized agents of the department, shall issue registration certificates, registration license plates, validation stickers, and mobile home stickers to applicants, and shall provide to applicants for each the option to register emergency contact information and the option to be contacted with information about state and federal benefits available as a result of military service, subject to the requirements of law, in accordance with rules of the department. Any person, firm, or corporation representing itself, through advertising or naming of the business, to be an authorized agent of the department shall be deemed guilty of an unfair and deceptive trade practice as defined in part II of chapter 501. No such person, firm, or corporation shall use either the state or county name as a part of their business name when such use can reasonably be interpreted as an official state or county office.
(2) The department may require each tax collector to give a bond, payable to the department, conditioned that the tax collector faithfully and truly perform the duties imposed upon him or her according to the requirements of law and the rules and regulations of the department and that the tax collector pay over and account for all validation stickers, records, and other property and money that comes into his or her possession or control by reason of such service. The amount of the bond is to be determined by the department based on an amount not more than 10 percent above the average of the daily deposits of each tax collector.
(3) Each tax collector shall keep a full and complete record and account of all validation stickers, mobile home stickers, or other properties received by him or her from the department, or from any other source. Notwithstanding chapter 116, every county officer within this state authorized to collect funds provided for in this chapter shall pay all sums officially received by the officer into the State Treasury no later than 5 working days after the close of the business day in which the officer received the funds. Payment by county officers to the state shall be made by means of electronic funds transfer.
(4)(a) Each tax collector, third party contracted with a tax collector, or license tag agent who has online computer access to the department’s systems or data shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the department and shall, except when the department has issued a registration renewal notice, upon receipt of an application for the registration of any motor vehicle, determine from the driver file of the applicant whether the applicant’s driver license has been canceled, suspended, or revoked and, if so, whether the applicant has surrendered his or her license to the department as required by s. 322.251. If the applicant has not surrendered his or her license in accordance with that section, the tax collector shall refuse to register the vehicle until such time as the applicant surrenders his or her driver license to the department.
(b) The Florida Real Time Vehicle Information System shall be installed in every tax collector’s and license tag agent’s office in accordance with a schedule established by the department in consultation with the tax collectors and contingent upon funds being made available for the system by the state.
(5)(a) In addition to the fees required under s. 320.08, a fee of 50 cents shall be charged on every license registration sold to cover the costs of the Florida Real Time Vehicle Information System. The fees collected shall be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund to be used exclusively to fund the system. The fee may only be used to fund the system equipment, software, personnel associated with the maintenance and programming of the system, and networks used in the offices of the county tax collectors as agents of the department and the ancillary technology necessary to integrate the system with other tax collection systems. The department shall administer this program upon consultation with the Florida Tax Collectors, Inc., to ensure that each county tax collector’s office is technologically equipped and functional for the operation of the Florida Real Time Vehicle Information System and to ensure that all ancillary technology and other tax collection systems used by tax collectors protect customer privacy and data. Tax collectors and their approved license plate agents shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the department regarding use of the Florida Real Time Vehicle Information System in accordance with paragraph (4)(b). Any designated revenue collected to support functions of the county tax collectors and not used in a given year must remain exclusively in the trust fund as a carryover to the following year. (b) Upon a tax collector’s request, the department may provide ancillary technology to integrate other tax collection systems used by tax collectors in order to provide tax collectors with data access and uniform interface functionalities for registration renewal transactions performed at a tax collector’s office or online via a tax collector’s website. The department shall prescribe the best manner of delivering the data access and uniform interface functionalities to tax collectors for the purpose of processing registration renewal transactions and shall provide the ability to record and process registration renewal transactions in the state system in real time and bulk data reporting for vehicle registrations, including each applicant’s electronic mail address collected pursuant to s. 320.95. Such data and functionality may be used only for purposes of fulfilling the tax collector’s statutory duties pursuant to this chapter, chapter 319, chapter 322, or chapter 328 and may not be resold or used for any other purpose. Such data access and uniform interface functionalities shall be developed no later than July 1, 2023. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term “registration renewal transactions” means issuance of motor vehicle, mobile home, and trailer registration certificates, registration license plates, and validation stickers. (6) A nonrefundable fee of $1 shall be charged on every license registration sold, transferred, or replaced. This fee must be deposited in the Air Pollution Control Trust Fund established in the Department of Environmental Protection and used only for purposes of air pollution control pursuant to chapter 403, except that, if any county has an approved local air pollution control program as provided in s. 403.182, 50 cents of the fee from each license registration sold in the county must be returned to that county for deposit into a local air pollution control program trust fund, which must be established by the county and used only for air pollution control programs relating to the control of emissions from mobile sources and toxic and odor emissions, air quality monitoring, and facility inspections pursuant to chapter 403 or any similar local ordinance. Any county that has a Department of Environmental Protection approved local air pollution control program shall receive 75 cents of the fee from each license registration sold, transferred, or replaced in the county. However, if the approved local air pollution control program trust fund has an unencumbered balance at the end of the preceding fiscal year of more than 50 percent of the preceding year’s allocation from the fees authorized in this subsection, the department may, after consultation with the approved local air pollution control program, retain any amount above 50 cents of the fees from each license registration sold, transferred, or replaced in the county for the following fiscal year. The Department of Environmental Protection is authorized to adopt rules necessary to implement this subsection.
(7) The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall register apportionable vehicles under the International Registration Plan. The department may adopt rules to implement and enforce the provisions of the plan.
(8) If the applicant’s name appears on the list referred to in s. 316.1001(4), s. 316.1967(6), s. 318.15(3), or s. 713.78(13), a license plate or revalidation sticker may not be issued until that person’s name no longer appears on the list or until the person presents a receipt from the governmental entity or the clerk of court that provided the data showing that the fines outstanding have been paid. This subsection does not apply to the owner of a leased vehicle if the vehicle is registered in the name of the lessee of the vehicle. The tax collector and the clerk of the court are each entitled to receive monthly, as costs for implementing and administering this subsection, 10 percent of the civil penalties and fines recovered from such persons. As used in this subsection, the term “civil penalties and fines” does not include a wrecker operator’s lien as described in s. 713.78(13). If the tax collector has private tag agents, such tag agents are entitled to receive a pro rata share of the amount paid to the tax collector, based upon the percentage of license plates and revalidation stickers issued by the tag agent compared to the total issued within the county. The authority of any private agent to issue license plates shall be revoked, after notice and a hearing as provided in chapter 120, if he or she issues any license plate or revalidation sticker contrary to the provisions of this subsection. This section applies only to the annual renewal in the owner’s birth month of a motor vehicle registration and does not apply to the transfer of a registration of a motor vehicle sold by a motor vehicle dealer licensed under this chapter, except for the transfer of registrations which includes the annual renewals. This section does not affect the issuance of the title to a motor vehicle, notwithstanding s. 319.23(8)(b).
(9) A nonrefundable fee of $1.50 shall be charged on the initial and renewal registration of each automobile for private use, and on the initial and renewal registration of each truck having a net weight of 5,000 pounds or less. Such fees shall be deposited in the Transportation Disadvantaged Trust Fund created in part I of chapter 427 and shall be used as provided therein, except that priority shall be given to the transportation needs of those who, because of age or physical and mental disability, are unable to transport themselves and are dependent upon others to obtain access to health care, employment, education, shopping, or other life-sustaining activities.
(10)(a) Jurisdiction over the electronic filing system for use by authorized electronic filing system agents to:
1. Electronically title or register motor vehicles, vessels, mobile homes, or off-highway vehicles;
2. For derelict or salvage motor vehicles, process title transactions, derelict motor vehicle certificates, or certificates of destruction, pursuant to s. 319.30(2), (3), (7), or (8);
3. Issue or transfer registration license plates or decals;
4. Electronically transfer fees due for the title and registration process; and
5. Perform inquiries for title, registration, and lienholder verification and certification of service providers,
is expressly preempted to the state, and the department shall have regulatory authority over the system. The electronic filing system shall be available for use statewide and applied uniformly throughout the state.
(b) The following entities that meet all established requirements may be authorized electronic filing system agents and may not be precluded from participating in the electronic filing system in any county:
1. An entity that, in the normal course of its business, sells products that must be titled or registered and provides title and registration services on behalf of its consumers; or
2. An authorized insurer as defined in s. 624.09(1), a licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer as defined in s. 320.27(1)(c)5., or a licensed motor vehicle auction as defined in s. 320.27(1)(c)4. For these entities, authorization for use of the electronic filing system under this subparagraph is limited exclusively to processing, in the normal course of business pursuant to s. 319.30(2), (3), (7), or (8), title transactions, derelict motor vehicle certificates, or certificates of destruction for derelict or salvage motor vehicles physically located in the state.
(c) Upon request from a qualified entity, the tax collector shall appoint the entity as an authorized electronic filing system agent for that county.
(d) An authorized electronic filing system agent may charge a fee to the customer for use of the electronic filing system.
(e) The department may adopt rules to administer this subsection, including, but not limited to, rules establishing participation requirements, certification of service providers, electronic filing system requirements, disclosures, and enforcement authority for noncompliance.
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. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 78-37; s. 1, ch. 78-207; s. 48, ch. 80-274; s. 1, ch. 81-181; s. 1, ch. 82-129; s. 1, ch. 83-150; s. 6, ch. 83-318; s. 8, ch. 84-260; s. 46, ch. 85-180; s. 3, ch. 85-325; s. 1, ch. 89-43; s. 11, ch. 89-376; s. 2, ch. 90-48; s. 26, ch. 90-330; s. 58, ch. 90-331; s. 3, ch. 91-180; s. 23, ch. 92-132; s. 78, ch. 93-120; s. 20, ch. 93-164; s. 1, ch. 94-142; s. 44, ch. 94-306; s. 139, ch. 94-356; s. 912, ch. 95-148; s. 33, ch. 98-34; s. 97, ch. 99-13; ss. 18, 260, ch. 99-248; s. 1, ch. 2001-164; s. 13, ch. 2002-235; s. 29, ch. 2006-290; s. 11, ch. 2009-71; s. 3, ch. 2009-206; s. 17, ch. 2010-223; s. 15, ch. 2010-225; s. 18, ch. 2011-4; s. 29, ch. 2012-181; ss. 10, 29, ch. 2013-160; s. 1, ch. 2014-6; s. 9, ch. 2015-163; s. 6, ch. 2019-92; s. 2, ch. 2021-171; s. 1, ch. 2021-196.