Florida Residency

Establishing Residency

The easiest way to become a Florida resident is to file a declaration of domicile with the County Clerk of the Court.

Registering to Vote

Whether you have moved from another county or from out of state, you must register in order to vote in Sarasota County. To register visit the Supervisor of Elections office.

Vehicle Registration

Newcomers must register their vehicles in Florida within 10 days of gaining employment or enrolling children in school. Proof of ownership, proof of Florida auto insurance, prior registration certificate, and a current driver’s license are needed. Florida is a title law state, so newcomers must also apply for a Florida Title Certificate. For information contact the Tax Collector’s office.

Driver’s License

New state residents have 30 days to apply for a driver’s license. State law requires that you first register your vehicle with the tax collector. Proof of this registration, your out-of-state license and your social security card must be shown.

Homestead Exemption

As a Florida resident, you are eligible to declare the first $25,000 of your home’s value as exempt for tax purposes, thereby reducing your ad valorem tax bill. To file, you must establish residency by December 31 prior to the year you will claim the exemption. For information call the County Property Appraiser’s office.

Florida Taxes

Florida does not tax personal income, salary, dividends, interest, or capital gains. Real Estate (ad valorem) taxes are levied on 100% of assessed real estate valuation, minus the Homestead Exemption, if applicable. Residents living within the corporate limits of the City of Venice pay both city and county taxes on real estate; homeowners in unincorporated areas pay only the county tax. 2004 millage rates were 14.6599 for county residents, plus 3.512 if residing within the city limits.

Boating & Fishing Licenses

All motorboats used in Florida must be registered at the Tax Collector’s Office. Boast with out-of-state registration need not register in Florida if they are here for 90 days or less. You may also purchase fishing licenses at the Tax Collector’s Office or at nearly any bait or sporting goods store, including Walmart. If you are over age 65, fishing licenses are free.