Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability
Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Motorist Services

For assistance, call 850-617-2000 or visit https://www.flhsmv.gov/

What is the purpose of the programs?

The Division of Motorist Services provides a range of services related to the licensure and regulation of both drivers and vehicles, including investigating and resolving consumer complaints; registering and auditing Florida-based commercial carriers; data exchange and reporting; and helping ensure manufactured or mobile homes are constructed and installed in compliance with federal and state standards.

What activities do the programs perform?

The motorist services program is divided into Program Planning and Administration, Operations and Policy Driver Services, and Customer Service Delivery. Motorist Services programs include the eight bureaus listed below.
  • Bureau of Motorist Compliance ensures vehicle owners maintain personal injury protection and property damage liability insurance as required by Florida law; enforces sanctions on people who violate highway safety laws; and ensures the assessment of people with medical conditions who are unable to operate a vehicle. The bureau also monitors and regulates driver improvement schools, DUI programs, commercial driving schools, commercial motor vehicle instructors and vehicles, and Florida Motorcycle Rider Training Programs.
  • Bureau of Commercial Vehicle and Driver Services carries out oversight and regulatory functions for Florida's trucking industry; ensuring individuals with a Florida commercial driver license (CDL) are properly trained and in good standing, as well as registering and auditing commercial motor carriers to meet standards for North American registration and fuel tax agreements.
  • Bureau of Issuance Oversight provides administrative overview of the licensing systems that issue driver licenses and identification cards and the systems that register and title motor vehicles, vessels, and mobile homes. The bureau issues and cancels motor vehicle and vessel titles, records liens, and maintains records of motor vehicle and vessel title transactions. It also manages the inventory of license plates, registration decals, and parking permits statewide for all tax collector offices and their license plate agents.
  • Bureau of Dealer Services has 12 field offices that provide licenses motor for vehicle, mobile home, and recreational vehicle dealers, manufacturers, and manufactured home installers. The bureau investigates consumer complaints filed against any licensed or unlicensed dealer or installer and enforces regulations involving dealer sales, as well as mobile home construction and installation.
  • Bureau of Records is the official custodian of Florida driver license records and manages all records for the state's licensed drivers. The bureau ensures traffic citations are recorded on the corresponding driver record, records are maintained and purged appropriately, and citations issued in Florida are reported to a driver's home state. It also prints, distributes, and accounts for all uniform traffic citations issued in Florida.
  • Bureau of Motorist Services Support serves as a liaison to tax collectors providing policy, technical, and day to day operational support as they issue driver licenses and motor vehicle title and registration services. The bureau's Fraud Mitigation Program receives reports of driver license and motor vehicle fraud, performing fraud investigations and taking action on department issued driver license and motor vehicle records as a result.
  • Bureau of Customer Service handles calls, emails, faxes and correspondence from the public, county tax collectors, and state driver license offices relating to driver license and motor vehicle issues.
  • Bureau of Credentialing Services provides driver license, identification card, and motor vehicle issuance services to the public. The bureau oversees 14 state driver license field offices and 273 tax collection offices that provide driver license and/or title and registration issuance services. The bureau operates 14 mobile units that provide driver license services at scheduled locations including Clerk of Court Operation Green Light and veteran events. These units are also deployed after natural disasters, such as hurricanes.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2023-24
Fund Dollars Positions
PROGRAM: MOTORIST SERVICES
MOTORIST SERVICES
135,280,297
1,431.00
TOTAL
135,280,297
1,431.00

Updates

Motor Vehicle Dealers. The 2023 Legislature enacted Ch. 2023-233, Laws of Florida, which amends the Florida Automobile Dealers Act, which regulates contractual business relationships between motor vehicle dealers and licensees. The law, among other provisions, augments licensee restrictions such as refusing to provide dealers an equitable supply of vehicles, incentivizing the sale or lease of motor vehicles, and allocating vehicles based on consumer reserves and preorders. The law also authorized electronic sales of vehicle features and improvements.

Immigration and Driving. The 2023 Legislature enacted Ch. 2023-40, Laws of Florida, which among other provisions, prohibits an individual from operating a motor vehicle if another state issued their driver's license, if such a license is exclusively provided to undocumented immigrants. Currently, the District of Columbia and 18 states issue a driver's license to undocumented immigrants upon the receipt of certain documentation, such as a foreign birth certificate or passport, or evidence of state residence and a consular card.

Motorcycle Safety Education. The 2023 Legislature enacted Ch. 2023-118, Laws of Florida, which among other provisions, reallocates the $2.50 annual fee received by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) from citizens with a registered motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or moped, for motorcycle safety education, to not-for-profit corporations within specified criteria. Programs are authorized to include pamphlets, public service announcements, and additional advocacy expenditures. The qualified program administrators, selected by the DHSMV, must illustrate clear collaboration throughout the educational programs.

Move Over Law. The 2023 Legislature enacted Ch. 2023-197, Laws of Florida, which among other provisions, revises Florida’s Move Over Law, which requires motorists to, when possible and safe, vacate the lane closest to an emergency vehicle parked on the roadside displaying visual signs, a utility or sanitation vehicle performing tasks related to utility or sanitation on the roadside, a wrecker displaying service lights performing a roadside recovery, or when maintenance and construction vehicles are displaying warning lights on the roadside. The law also requires motorists to slow to a speed 20 miles per hour less than the posted speed limit, or to five miles per hour when the posted speed limit is equal to or less than 20 miles per hour. Motorists in violation of the Move Over Law are subject to a moving violation penalty of fines that range from $60 to $158. The new law also adds the requirement for motorists to move over in the event of a stopped motor vehicle displaying warning or hazard lights, using emergency flares or displaying emergency signage, or when one or more individuals are visibly present. The penalty for violation remains a noncriminal traffic infraction punishable as a moving violation.

School Zone Speed Detection Systems. The 2023 Legislature enacted Ch. 2023-174, Laws of Florida, which among other provisions, imposes a fine for violation of the lawful speed in a school zone, as identified by a speed detection system with warning signage. The speed detection system is an automated portable or fixed system, similar to traffic infraction detectors, commonly known as red light cameras, used to detect the speed of a motor vehicle and capture a photograph or video of the rear of a vehicle that exceeds the speed limit active during the violation. The law also bans such violation from imposing points to the violator’s driver’s license and from influencing motor vehicle insurance rates. 

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 316, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 324, 328, 488, and 627 Part XI and s. 20.24, Florida Statutes

Whom do I contact for help?

Division of Motorist Services, 850-617-2000
Website