LICENSES & REGISTRATION
New state residents who wish to drive in Florida must obtain a Florida driver's license within 30 days of moving. U.S. citizens, take your driver's license, social security card and proof of United States citizenship (U.S. Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport or U.S. Naturalization Certificate). You may be able to convert without taking a written or road test. You will be required to take a vision screening.
Non-U.S. citizens must have proof of legal presence from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and identification. Canadians without USCIS documents must provide two forms of Canadian citizenship.
Additional information is available at www.flhsmv.gov. Many transactions such as license renewal and address changes can now be made online at www.gorenew.com.
Palm Beach Gardens Office
3185 PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
In Florida, both freshwater and saltwater fishing licenses may be required. To protect our natural resources, there are some legal minimum lengths and limits on the number of fish you may possess. There is also closed season on some shellfish and snook. To obtain a resident license for fishing and hunting, you must be a resident of Florida for six months. Residents 65 years of age or older can obtain a complimentary hunting and fishing license when they show a valid Florida driver's license.
Licenses and information may be obtained at the Tax Collector's office or at any state agent (bait shops, sporting goods stores, etc.). Additional information is available at www.taxcollectorpbc.com, or call the Tax Collector's office at (561) 355-2329.
A valid license is required for anyone taking or attempting to take game or furbearing animals. Hunters must also pay a fee to the owner of commercial shooting preserves for the privilege of hunting game. There are many special seasons, legal methods, bag limits, requirements and regulations that affect hunters in Florida. Call (561) 355-2329 for additional information, or visit www.taxcollectorpbc.com.
North County Courthouse
Both individuals must present photo identification (driver's license, passport or state-issued identification card) to receive a marriage license. There is a three-day waiting period between the date the license is issued and the date the ceremony is performed, unless the couple has attended a pre-marital course or both are out-of-state residents. The license fee is $93.50. If previously married, the date of divorce must be provided. For more information, call the Clerk & Comptroller's North County Office at (561) 624-6608, visit the North County Courthouse at 3188 PGA Blvd., Room 1202, in Palm Beach Gardens or visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com.
MOTOR VEHICLE & BOAT REGISTRATION
The Tax Collector serves as the agent for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for titling and registering all motorized vehicles, boats and mobile homes (commercial and private), including motorcycles and mopeds (registrations only). The Tax Collector's office also issues disabled parking placards.
New residents should register their vehicle(s) and obtain a Florida license plate within 10 days of establishing legal residency, accepting employment or upon placement of a child in school. Contact the Florida Department of Financial Services' Bureau of Consumer Services at (800) 342-2762 regarding insurance requirements.
Take your proof of Florida insurance, along with the original title, to your county Tax Collector. Many transactions can be conducted online at www.taxcollectorpbc.com. Call the Tax Collector's office at (561) 355-2622 with any questions.
PET REGISTRATION & VACCINATION
State and local laws require every person who owns, keeps or harbors a dog or cat over 4 months of age in Palm Beach County to have such animals vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. Once vaccinated, owners are also required to secure for their dogs and cats a Palm Beach County Rabies License Tag from the Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Division at 7100 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, or from a veterinarian. The current tag fees for 2008 are $75 for a dog or cat that has not been spayed or neutered, and $15 for spayed and neutered dogs and cats. Senior citizens receive a 25 percent discount on the tag fee.
As of April 1, 2008, puppies and kittens less than 4 months of age are required to wear a Juvenile License Tag at a fee of $5, which can be purchased from Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control Division or a veterinarian.
For more information, call (561) 233-1271 or visit www.pbcgov.com/pubsafety/animal.
Under Florida law, you automatically establish residency when being employed, enrolling children in school or registering to vote. You may document your residency by obtaining and filing a Declaration of Domicile with the Clerk & Comptroller. For more information, call (561) 355-2962 or visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com.
Florida law requires all drivers and passengers in the front seat of a vehicle to wear seat belts. Effective July 1, 2005, Florida law now allows law enforcement officials to stop any vehicle if the driver or occupants under 18 are not wearing seat belts. The driver will be held responsible for passengers under 18 found not wearing their seat belts. Seat belt violations for those 18 and older are handled as secondary violations.
Supervisor of Elections
You must be a U.S. Citizen, Florida resident and 18 years old to register to vote in the state of Florida (you may pre-register if you are 16 and have a Florida driver's license). If you have been convicted of a felony or declared mentally incompetent, you must have had your civil rights or mental competency restored before you can register. Proof of residency is not required and there are no residency requirements; however you must be a legal resident of the county you are registering in the state of Florida.
Voter registration applications are available at the Supervisor of Elections offices located at 345 S. Congress Ave. in Delray Beach, (561) 276-1226; 240 S. Military Trail in West Palm Beach, (561) 656-6200; 3188 PGA Blvd. in Palm Beach Gardens, (561) 624-6555; or at the County Office Building at 2976 State Road 15 in Belle Glade, (561) 992-1114. You can also obtain applications at libraries, post offices and the Department of Motor Vehicles. A copy of the application can also be downloaded at www.pbcelections.org. You will need to provide a current and valid Florida driver's license or Florida Identification Card number. If you do not have a valid driver's license or identification card, you must provide the last four digits of your social security number. The voter registration books close 29 days prior to each election.
TAX COLLECTOR'S OFFICE LOCATIONS
The Palm Beach County Tax Collector's office collects and distributes over $3 billion annually in taxes and fees. There are six permanent office locations and one mobile office at convenient sites throughout the county. Call (561) 355-2264 or visit www.taxcollectorpbc.com for a complete list of office addresses and hours.
Palm Beach Gardens Tax Collector Office
Northeast County Courthouse
3188 PGA Blvd.
Palm Beach Gardens, 33410
PALM BEACH COUNTY PROPERTY TAX
The Palm Beach County Tax Collector collects property taxes for every government agency in Palm Beach County that has the authority to levy taxes. Property taxes on most homes are usually around 2 percent of the purchase price. Ad valorem and non-ad valorem assessments are payable on November 1, or as soon as the tax role is certified.
Property taxes are payable from November 1 until March 31 and delinquent as of April 1. Discounts for early payment apply according to the following schedule: 4 percent in November, 3 percent in December, 2 percent in January and 1 percent in February.
Property taxes can be paid quarterly, with the first installment due by June 30. Registration forms for the installment payment plan are available at ww.taxcollectorpbc.com or by calling (561) 355-2266, and must be received on or before May 1.
Exemptions such as homestead, disability and widow/widower are filed with the Property Appraiser's office. Call the Property Appraiser at (561) 355-2866 for filing dates.
Homestead Exemption - Florida's Homestead Exemption law exempts the first $25,000 of the assessed value from ad valorem taxes for property owned and established as a permanent residence. On January 29, 2008, voters approved Amendment One, a change to Florida's Constitution that enhances the Homestead Exemption law in three ways:
Tangible Personal - Florida's tangible tax is applied to businesses' personal property, with the first $25,000 in value exempt from taxation (an initial return must be filed to qualify for the exemption). A penalty of 25 percent of the value is assessed by the Property Appraiser's office for failure to file a return. For more information, call the Tax Collector's office at (561) 355-2266, or the Property Appraiser at (561) 355-2896.
- Residents with a Save Our Homes assessment cap may transfer all, or a significant portion, of their tax savings to a new property in Florida.
- The Homestead Exemption doubles to $50,000 for properties valued at $75,000 or more for all tax levies except school districts.
- Effective January 1, 2009, owners of non-homestead properties may file to receive a 10 percent annual assessment cap similar to Save Our Homes.
BUSINESS TAX RECEIPTS
All businesses, professionals and professional offices are issued a Local Business Tax Receipt for the privilege of operating a business in the county. Renewed annually, business tax receipts may be obtained from the county Tax Collector's offices. Visit www.taxcollectorpbc.com or call (561) 355-2272 for more information.
Florida Department of Revenue Taxpayer Services
The Florida Department of Revenue administers 36 taxes and fees while collecting in excess of $38 billion for the state. Free tax seminars and workshops are held throughout Palm Beach County. For more information, visit www.myflorida.com/dor, or contact the Department of Revenue's Regional Service Center in West Palm Beach at (561) 640-2800.
The State of Florida has a 6 percent statewide sales tax rate. The tax is due at the time of a retail sale, admission charge, storage or rental transaction as well as when certain services are performed. Some items and types of services are exempt from the tax. Palm Beach County charges an additional discretionary sales tax of .5 percent, for a total of 6.5 percent.
New business owners may register to collect sales tax by contacting the Department of Revenue online at www.myflorida.com/dor or at the Regional Service Center located at 2468 Metrocentre Blvd., West Palm Beach.
This tax is a component of the state's sales tax and is due on purchases made out of state and brought into Florida within six months where no sales tax was initially paid. This tax is also due on tax-exempt purchases that are not offered for sale at retail but consumed in the manufacturing process where such items are not part of the end product.
|Florida Power & Light
|Florida Public Utilities
|Teco Peoples Gas
Refer to the Buyer's Guide section of this publication for a list of area real estate agent members of the North Palm Beach County Chamber of Commerce.