Benefits for US Military Veterans, Active Duty, Guard & Reserves
We love our US Military Veterans and members of the Guard, Reserve and active duty who reside in Manatee County. Here are just some of the many special benefits that you may be entitled to receive because of your service:
1. Veteran’s Designation on Your Florida Driver License/ID Card
Honorably discharged veterans may have a Veteran’s Designation added to the front of their Florida Driver License or ID card; which is the word “Veteran” in blue in the lower right corner of the card. To qualify for the Veteran’s Designation you must submit documentation (DD-214, VA documentation indicating Honorable Discharge) proving that you are an honorably discharged military veteran. To add the designation only and not make any other changes, there is no fee. If there are changes to your license when you add the designation, the standard replacement/renewal fees will apply. An Online Application is REQUIRED for all transactions! To complete your driver license or ID card transaction atone of our offices, you must complete the Online Driver License & ID Card Application (https://taxcollector.jotform.com/210103795736152 – or scan the QR code to access the application – prior to your appointment. Do not print the application; an associate will access your electronic submission during your appointment. Applications are valid for 90 days.
2. Out-of-State Resident Registration Exemption – Save $225
Out-of-State residents who are stationed in Florida due to military orders may be exempt from paying the initial registration fee ($225) on vehicles they own. (Proof of residency, military orders and additional documentation may be required.)
All military plates may be ordered by scheduling an appointment and visiting one of our offices except the following: Medal of Honor, Air Force Cross, Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, and World War II Veteran plates. These plate requests MUST be submitted to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) for processing. The mailing address is:
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Direct Mail, 2900 Appalachee Parkway, MS #72 Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Florida Statutes, Section 316.1955, authorizes vehicles displaying a Disabled Veteran, Disabled Veteran Wheelchair, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Wheelchair Symbol or a Motorcycle Wheelchair Symbol license plate, that are transporting the person eligible for the plate, to park in a space designated for handicapped parking. To obtain a parking permit, please complete this document and have your doctor sign: https://public.powerdms.com/MCTC/documents/1474115
5. Free License Plate for Florida National Guard Members
The qualifying guard member and their first sergeant or commanding officer must complete the Application for U.S. Reserve or Florida National Guard License Plate (HSMV form 83030). The Florida National Guard member then schedules an appointment to visit one of our offices and provides us with the signed form. Note: Initial Registration, specialty, personalized, processing and Amateur Radio fees may still apply.
6. Out-of-Country Sales Tax Exemption for US Military Members Importing Vehicles from Overseas
If ALL the following requirements are met, the US military member who owns the vehicle may be exempt from Florida sales tax when registering and titling it; (1) The vehicle was purchased and used in a foreign country for six months or longer before being imported into Florida (proof would be an out of country registration). (2) The vehicle is being titled or registered in Florida for personal use by the active member and/or his/her spouse. (3) The military member provides proof of active military status. Note: For additional details on required documentation and other necessary steps to obtain this exemption, please contact our office before visiting.
7. Service Connected Permanent Disability Property Tax Exemptions
Some veterans may qualify for Service-connected Permanent Disability property tax exemptions. You must contact the Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office at 941.748.8208 or visit the Manatee County Property Appraiser at www.manateepao.gov to learn details and documentation required for these exemptions. Our office is unable to assist with property tax exemptions.
8. Driver License Renewal Options for Manatee County Military Members Deployed Out-of-State
If your license is scheduled to expire when you are deployed or stationed outside Florida, we encourage you to renew online before you deploy or move. Florida drivers may renew a driver license up to 18 months prior to the expiration date printed on thelicense. You may renew, change your address and obtain a replacement licenses online – or scan the QR code to access the site. Once you have completed an online renewal, you can find out when your license is printed and mailed by viewing the DL/ID Card Status Check System. Please allow 7 to 10 days to receive the license in the mail. Extensions:If you are not eligible to renew your Class E (Operator) driver license online, the DHSMV in Tallahassee may issue a military extension card (NOT A LICENSE) that extends your driving privilege continuously each year until: 90 days after you are discharged from military service, you return to Florida to reside, or you obtain a new driver license or ID card from Florida or another state. To receive the military extension, apply during your transaction onlineOR you must complete the Military Personnel and Dependents Affidavit (HSMV form 73641) certifying active duty status in the U.S. Armed Forces while stationed outside of Florida and provide a copy of the member’s current military orders. Please note: Local tax collector offices CANNOT issue extensions – they are only issued by the DHSMV in Tallahassee. Finally, because the military extension card is not an actual license, please understand it may not be accepted in some countries.
9. Sampling of Florida’s Military/Veteran License Plates
10. Disabled Veteran Special Discounts with Other Florida Government Agencies
Disabled Veterans may qualify for other government services including: Free Hunting/Fishing License; Toll Exemption Permit; Sales Tax Reduction for Vehicle Modifications; and more. To learn more, contact the government agency that administers these programs by visiting: taxcollector.com/cip/cip-view.cfm?cip=159.
11. First Manatee South County Tag Agency – extended hours and Saturday Hours
The First Manatee South County Tag Agency processes registration and title transactions for vehicles, boats, and mobile homes, as well as parking permits. This office does not offer driver license, hunting and fishing, or property tax services.
It offers extended hours (9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday) and Saturday hours (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Appointments are available but are not required. To schedule an appointment, visit the auto tag agency website (autotagagency.net). It is located in Southwood Shoppes at 5756 14th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34207. Their phone number is (941) 782-6050.
This office accepts cash, check, and debit. A 3.5% fee will be charged on all check transactions to guarantee funds and on all debit transactions as a processing fee. An additional $20 fast title fee applies to titles printed on-site. The First Manatee South County Tag Agency is a privately owned office operating under the authority granted by the Manatee County Tax Collector’s office.
12. Non-Manatee County residents
Not a Manatee County resident? Out-of-county residents can only be served at First Manatee South County Tag Agency. See the section above for more details regarding the First Manatee South County Tag Agency. Otherwise, you will need to visit your home county tax collector’s office.
Military&Veteran_Benefits – Last Update: 06/13/2022