The state of Florida offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.
Vehicle registration and fee waivers
Veterans who are verified 100% disabled as a result of their military service are exempted from driver license fees as well as veteran designation fees. They may also receive a disabled veteran license plate at no charge. Documentation from the Department of Veterans Affairs verifying the 100% service-connected disability is required. The DV license plate also entitles veterans to free parking throughout the state.
Military residents and non-residents, whether stationed inside Florida or in another state, are exempted from paying the initial, one-time $225 vehicle registration fee. You must provide form 82002 along with all other documents required for standard vehicle registration in order to claim this exemption.
In addition, active members of the Florida National Guard are eligible for a free license plate, by submitting form 83030.
Driver’s license veteran designation
Florida veterans are eligible for a military designation on their driver license, in the form of a simple blue “V” at the bottom right of the license or state ID. In order to obtain this designation you must provide a DD 214 and pay a one-time one dollar fee, in addition to regular renewal fees. The Florida Division of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recommends visiting this website to determine what else you’ll need at the time of your visit.
Military honor plates
Florida offers a host of veteran and military plates. The following are available to those who qualify and provide documentation of related service:
- Woman Veteran
- National Guard
- U.S. Reserve
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- U.S. Paratrooper
- Pearl Harbor Survivor
- Ex-Prisoner of War
- Korean Conflict Veteran
- Vietnam War Veteran
- Combat Action Badge
- Combat Action Ribbon
- Combat Medical Badge
- Air Force Combat Action Medal
- Navy Submariner
- Purple Heart
- Medal of Honor
- Air Force Cross
- Navy Cross
- Distinguished Service Cross
- Silver Star
- Distinguished Flying Cross
- World War II Veteran
- Combat Infantry Badge
- Operation Desert Shield Veterans
- Operation Desert Storm Veterans
- Gold Star
- Disabled Veteran (vehicle or motorcycle)
- Disabled Veteran (wheelchair symbol)
- Paralyzed Vets of America (vehicle or motorcycle)
The following plates are available to any FL motorist:
- Florida Salutes Veterans
- Support Our Troops
- American Legion
- U.S. Air Force
- U.S. Army
- U.S. Coast Guard
- U.S. Marine Corps
- U.S. Navy
Military skills test waiver
The more military skills you can apply in your civilian life, the better, and thanks to the Commercial Learner’s Permit rule you can use your heavy military vehicle driving experience to avoid taking the skills test to obtain a CDL when you come home. This rule was put in place in 2011 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and gives states – including Florida – the power to waive the requirement for the road test, as long as you qualify. You have to have two years or more of experience driving military commercial type vehicles, and that driving must have been in the year prior to your application (if you’re still active) or your discharge from the military.
Certain motor vehicle violations can trigger a denial, so be sure to check out the waiver here. You will still have to complete the written CDL test.
Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012
Being stationed outside of your home state doesn’t mean that you have to forego your CDL anymore. If you’re temporarily or permanently stationed in Florida, this act makes it possible for you to apply for a CDL even if it’s not your state of origin. Active military members in all branches are eligible for this benefit.
Driver license and registration renewal while deployed
If you are going to be deployed overseas or stationed outside of Florida at the time you’re driver license expires, you can either renew up to 18 months ahead of time, renew by mail, or request an extension. This extension is available to military members as well as their spouse and children, and is valid for 90 days after you return to Florida or are discharged. You can find the extension application here.
Florida residents who are in the military must renew their vehicle registration like any other resident. This can be done online at GoRenew.com.
Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration
Non-resident military personnel stationed in Florida can keep their home state driver license and vehicle registration.
Active or veteran military personnel can read more at the state’s motor vehicle division website here.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Florida.
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