TRALA Fighting FL Proposal for Central Issuance of License Plates and Decals

TRALA is fighting a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) proposal to move to a centralized issuance process for license plates and decals. The Florida DHSMV is considering this new system as a means to save the state money. However, TRALA is concerned that moving to a central issuance process will result in a process that costs members time and money because of delays in waiting to receive license plates and decals from the central location in the mail.

TRALA, some TRALA members, and other stakeholders have participated on recent conference calls hosted by the Florida DHSMV, in which the DHSMV has discussed their general plans for moving forward with the central issuance proposal, as well as the desire to receive feedback from the industry while doing so. Moving to a central issuance process would require legislative action, which would not happen until the next legislative session begins in January 2013 at the earliest. However, TRALA is concerned with the possibility that a flawed proposal could gain steam before the next legislative session.

In a letter to DHSMV, TRALA explained its many concerns with moving to a centralized issuance process, as well as some potential unintended consequences the Department may not have been aware of when the proposal was first made public. First, a move to a process where plates and decals are sent from one location in the state by one vendor will force TRALA members to wait to enter into a rental or lease agreement for a vehicle with their customers for two or more days, depending on day and time of shipping, for the credentials to arrive. That would mean a loss of revenue to TRALA members, but also a loss of sales tax revenue to the State. While temporary credentials might be a viable solution for vehicles owned by individuals, TRALA's letter explains the unique problems commercial vehicles have with using temporary credentials.

"Because commercial vehicles owned by TRALA members are operated by their customers, when the immediate need for a rented or leased vehicle arises and the vehicle is registered and in custody of the customer the next day, later that same day the vehicle could be hundreds of miles away," says TRALA President and CEO Thomas James. Thus, he explains, it would be incredibly challenging, if not impossible for a TRALA member to receive the official credentials a few days later, and then track down the customer in order to get them on the truck. TRALA members would have no choice but to delay rental and lease agreements, which would cost TRALA members business, and the State of Florida tax revenue.

To see the letter from TRALA to Florida DHSMV officials explaining why the proposal would be bad for business in Florida, click 
here. For questions, contact TRALA's Joe Sculley at or by calling (703) 299-9120.