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

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

What is the purpose of the department?

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides services by partnering with county tax collectors and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to promote a safe driving environment. The department coordinates with its partners to issue drivers licenses and identification cards, facilitate motor vehicle transactions, and provide services related to consumer protection and public safety.

Who does the department serve?

The department serves the driving public, including problem drivers; motor vehicle and boat owners; commercial drivers and trucking companies; automobile, mobile home, and recreational vehicle dealers and buyers; and mobile home manufacturers. The department serves much of Florida's population, with approximately 17.7 million licensed drivers and over 22.6 million registered motor vehicles, motorcycles, mobile homes, travel trailers, and vessels.

How is the department organized?

The department is organized into two major operating divisions: the Florida Highway Patrol and the Division of Motorist Services. The Division of Motorist Services includes eight bureaus.
  • Bureau of Commercial Vehicle and Driver Services
  • Bureau of Credentialing Services provides driver license, identification card, and motor vehicle issuance services to the public.  
  • 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 Dealer Services licenses motor vehicle, mobile home and recreational vehicle dealers, manufacturers and manufactured home installers and investigates consumer complaints against any licensed or unlicensed dealer or installer. The bureau also enforces regulations involving dealer sales and mobile home construction and installation.
  • Bureau of Issuance Oversight
  • Bureau of Motorist Compliance
  • Bureau of Motorist Services Support serves as liaison to county tax collectors, providing training as well as technical and day to day operational support for the issue driver licenses and motor vehicle title and registration services. The bureau also performs investigations of driver license and motor vehicle fraud.
  • Bureau of Records is the official custodian of Florida driver license records and manages all records for the state's licensed drivers. The bureau prints, distributes, and accounts for all uniform traffic citations issued in Florida and ensures they are recorded on the corresponding driver record.

 The department also includes the Division of Administrative Services and Information Systems Administration. The Division of Administrative Services is responsible for the oversight of all department administrative functions including accounting, purchasing, and facilities' maintenance and operation. The Division of Information Systems Administration provides and supports critical systems that store information used throughout the state by government agencies, private businesses, and residents, including issuing and storing information for driver licenses, vehicle registrations, and vehicle and vessel titles.

How well does the department perform?

In Fiscal Year 2019-20, the department reported that 77.93% of drivers license office customers waited 30 minutes or less for service. The department's standard is 95%. Additionally, the average customer service call center wait time was 13:16 minutes, while the approved standard wait time was 12 minutes or less. While the department did not meet these performance measures, the percent of customers that rated these services as satisfactory or better was 89.16%, above the department's standard of 85%.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2021-22
Fund Dollars Positions
HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAM: ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
24,010,911
250.00
PROGRAM: FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ENFORCEMENT
40,316,520
294.00
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
3,109,690
24.00
HIGHWAY SAFETY
260,624,985
2,186.00
PROGRAM: INFORMATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
INFORMATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
55,842,731
155.00
PROGRAM: MOTORIST SERVICES
MOTORIST SERVICES
127,216,756
1,425.00
TOTAL
511,121,593
4,334.00

Updates

Exclusion of Identified Persons from Motor Vehicle Coverage. The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-96, Laws of Florida, which allow private passenger motor vehicles policies to exclude named individuals from coverage for claims or suits. The law provides that if the individual is not a named insured, is identified on the declarations page or by endorsement, and the named insured agrees in writing to the exclusion, and individual may be excluded from coverage applicable to the individual's injuries, lost wages or death; property damage liability; bodily injury liability; uninsured motorist coverage; and any coverage the named insured is not required by law to purchase. However, any excluded driver must have the financial ability to respond for any damages arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle, as required by law.    

Florida Smart ID. The 2021 Legislature enacted Chapter 2021-235, Laws of Florida, which requires the department to establish a secure and uniform credentialing system for issuing optional digital proofs of driver licenses and identification cards to Florida residents. A digital credential comes in the form of a smart phone app protected by biometrics or a personal identification number. It allows an individual to display the relevant information on their phone or send it electronically. To be issued a digital proof, individuals must have satisfied all requirements for issuance of the respective driver license or identification card and have been issued a printed card. Since 2014, the department has been required to prepare for the development of a Florida Smart ID. The bill allows that the department may contract with one or more private entities to develop the system.

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?

Other Reports

Texting While Driving Report, February 2020, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Impaired Driving Campaign Report, January 2021, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Red-Light Camera Summary Report Fiscal Year 2019-20, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Seat Belt Violations 2019 Annual Report, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles reports including driver, vehicle, and crash statistics are available on the departments' resource page.

Websites of Interest
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Driver Licenses and ID Cards General Information
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Fees
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Office Locations
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, General Reports & Statistics
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Useful Web Links
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Performance Information


Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

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?

DHSMV Customer Service Center, 850-617-2000

Any complaint with any division in DHSMV may be sent to ExecutiveDirector@flhsmv.gov.

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