Florida Specialty License Plates

Lorea Thomson
Posted by Lorea Thomson
Updated on
Published in Animals & Pets

The State of Florida offers a way for people to contribute to a cause they care about through specialty license plates. The plan to use a specialty license plate to build a billion-dollar fund for state park repairs now includes additional tags for veterans, Biscayne Bay, and the imaginary Margaritaville of Jimmy Buffet fame.  The bills' sponsors – Rep. Allison Tant, D-Tallahassee, in the House, and Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, in the Senate – say the House will set aside Tant’s proposal and send Baxley’s bill to Governor Ron DeSantis for his signature.

Along the way the plan to boost funds for state parks became a legislative train, picking up proposed plates for veterans, environmental causes, disease awareness and other causes to gain support.  Tant said the park system needs the money to restore seabeds and trails, revitalize ecosystems and animal habitats and renovate welcome centers, cabins, and restrooms. 

Florida began using motor vehicle plates to raise money for a particular cause with the 1987 Challenger plate, which raised money for a memorial to the Space Shuttle astronauts. The Margaritaville plate will raise money for the SFC charitable foundation that supports local initiatives such as Habitat for Humanity and children’s programs. 

Florida already has more than 120 specialty tags. The state currently offers more than 120 specialty plates; the number fluctuates as the plates drop below the 1,000 registrations needed to stay in print and others join the list once they generate the 3,000 requests needed before the state will offer a plate.  To get a specialty license plate, drivers pay an annual fee between $15 and $25 on top of registration costs. The extra money goes to organizations dedicated to the cause the plate promotes. 

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said as of this month there were 1,710,552 specialty plates on Florida vehicles. Here are the top 10 specialty tags in the state as of April 22, 2021.

  1. Endless Summer - 98,100 
  2. University of Florida - 94,807 
  3. Helping Sea Turtles Survive - 93,179 
  4. Florida State University - 71,719 
  5. Miami Heat - 55,174 
  6. Protect Wild Dolphins - 52,736 
  7. Marine Corps - 49,250 
  8. Save the Manatee - 48,290 
  9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 44,520 
  10.  Protect the Panther - 41,273 




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