OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

What is the purpose of the department?

The department's mission is to develop, maintain, and support a safe driving environment through law enforcement, public education and service, reduction of traffic crashes, titling and registering motor vehicles and vessels, and licensing drivers.

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 over 17 million licensed drivers and over 21.8 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 five bureaus
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, budgeting, purchasing, and facilities. Information Systems Administration provides informational technology resources to assist the department's operational divisions and is responsible for computer systems that are used to issue and store information for driver licenses and vehicle and vessel titles and registrations.

How well does the department perform?

The number of traffic crash fatalities has increased from 2,404 fatalities in 2013 to 3,105 fatalities in 2018, a 29% increase for the time period.
In Fiscal Year 2017-18, the department reported that 94.27% of customers rated customer service as satisfactory or better, exceeding its approved standard of 85%. However, the percentage of driver license office customers who waited longer than 30 minutes for service increased from 8.03% in Fiscal Year 2015-16 to 12.35% in Fiscal Year 2017-18.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions
HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR VEHICLES, DEPARTMENT OF
PROGRAM: ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
21,971,357
250.00
PROGRAM: FLORIDA HIGHWAY PATROL
COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ENFORCEMENT
39,162,521
294.00
EXECUTIVE DIRECTION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
3,106,834
24.00
HIGHWAY SAFETY
258,550,249
2,178.00
PROGRAM: INFORMATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
INFORMATION SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
51,630,483
163.00
PROGRAM: MOTORIST SERVICES
MOTORIST SERVICES
122,384,335
1,430.00
TOTAL
496,805,779
4,339.00

Updates

2019 Legislative Changes. The 2019 Legislature enacted Ch. 2019-44, Laws of Florida, which amended Florida's Ban on Texting While Driving Law. The bill changes the current enforcement of the ban on texting while driving from a secondary to a primary offense (beginning July 1, 2019). This change allows a law enforcement officer to detain a motor vehicle operator solely for texting, emailing, or instant messaging while driving. Drivers are additionally prohibited from using a handheld wireless communications device while driving in a designated school crossing, school zone, or work zone area (beginning October 1, 2019). The prohibition only applies to a work zone area if construction personnel are present or are operating equipment on the road or immediately adjacent to the area.  The bill prohibits a law enforcement officer from accessing a driver's wireless communications device without a warrant. When a citation is issued, the law enforcement officer is required to record the race and ethnicity of the violator. Law enforcement agencies are required to maintain this information and report it to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.  Beginning February 1, 2020, the department will annually report this information to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.  

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
Impaired Driving Campaign Report, January 2019, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Annual Performance Report Fiscal Year 2016-2017, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Red-Light Camera Summary Report Fiscal Year 2017-18, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
Seat Belt Violations 2017 Annual Report, Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' Office of Inspector General reports are available by contacting David Ulewicz, Acting Inspector General, at DavidUlewicz@flhsmv.gov.
The Auditor General reports on department operations are available on its website.
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
Website