Wishes And Pixie Dust

Follow the journey of a Wisconsin family of 4 who relocated to the Walt Disney World area in July 2011


Car Registration

After you obtain your driver’s license, the next step in the process is to register your vehicle with the state of Florida and receive your license plate.  Florida state law requires that your car be registered within ten days of enrolling a child in school or obtaining employment.  However, before this can be accomplished you will need to provide proof of vehicle insurance, from a company licensed in Florida.  You will also need your original title. In Wisconsin we had a policy with State Farm and decided to continue coverage with State Farm in Florida, more for ease of convenience than anything else. Our previous agent helped us find a Florida agent close to home, and they worked together in transferring our account from Wisconsin to Florida.  We were able to make an appointment over a month in advance, and we recommend using the same insurer if at all possible, because it really does ease the process.

In Wisconsin we carried auto insurance, renter’s insurance and an umbrella policy.  In Florida, we have the same policies; however, State Farm in Florida does not provide renter’s insurance, so we needed to underwrite the policy to a different company, which of course required an additional $157 payment that we were not expecting to pay upfront (we are billed monthly on the State Farm payment plan and it comes directly out of our checking account).  We will be billed quarterly for the renter’s policy from this point forward.  This means our State Farm policy will remain approximately the same as what we paid in Wisconsin, but without renter’s insurance, and with less coverage (we opted to drop full coverage on our vehicle).  Vehicle insurance in Florida is considered one of the highest rates in the United States (and after the way we see people drive we so understand why), so please be prepared financially with that realization before you move.

Our appointment with State Farm was in the morning, and after we obtained our driver’s licenses, we drove to the building where we would then register our vehicle.  Keep in mind that the building where you receive your driver’s license is not the same building you register your car at.  (Another peculiarity different than Wisconsin).  You also may not make an appointment here:  you wait for your number to be called.  We had estimated our fees to be approximately $180: imagine our surprise when we discovered the actual total was $409!  We did not realize that an initial registration fee of $225 is charged if there is no Florida registration to transfer.  The tag renewal is based on the birth date, and you will pay the full fee regardless on when you register your vehicle.  We will need to renew in December, and it is estimated that our renewal fee will be $60.

It is highly recommended that you do not purchase a vehicle less than six months before you move, as you will need to pay the difference between Florida’s state sale tax and your own state’s sale tax. If at all possible, wait until you arrive in Florida to purchase that new vehicle, or do it more than six months out.  You will need to prove that you have owned the vehicle for longer than six months, so be sure to have that paperwork on hand.

We hope the posts on obtaining your driver’s license and vehicle registration have proved helpful.  We know we would have loved to have this information prior to our move, and if it helps someone out, then it’s totally worth the time it has taken to pull it together. 🙂

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Obtaining Your Florida Driver’s License

One of the huge perks of relocating to Florida is the ability to visit Walt Disney World at a moment’s notice. Residents of Florida now have the flexibility of paying for annual passes on a monthly basis, and it makes it easier for individuals to immediately experience the magic of the parks.

If this is your intent, one of the first things you will want to do after establishing a residence is to obtain your driver’s license. Walt Disney World does require your driver’s license to prove residency in order to issue annual passes. Prior to your move, set up your DMV appointment: this can be done online. Approximately 1,000 people move to Florida in one day, and the wait could prove to be extremely lengthy without an appointment. Please visit Florida DMV to identify which documents you will need to present to convert your out-of-state license to a Florida driver’s license. Florida recognizes most out-of-states licenses as a primary form of identification: this means you will not need to provide a birth certificate or passport as proof of identity. If you live in one of twenty states that Florida considers a driver’s license only as a secondary form of identification, you will need to provide a birth certificate or passport to prove your identity.

Florida law requires each individual to present identification to prove primary identification, secondary identification (your social security card), and two documents proving your address, such as a current utility bill or mortgage/lease agreement. The fee per person is $48 for an eight year license. Florida law states that you must obtain your driver’s license within thirty days of becoming a resident of Florida.

Please keep an eye out for our next post which entails what is necessary to obtain your new Florida license plate!