The Walton County Tax Collector's Office welcomes all military members and their families to our county. The Walton County Tax Collectors Office provides many services to the community, such as the processing of titles and registrations, collection of property taxes, sale of hunting and fishing licenses, dog permits and beach permits. We hope the following information serves as a great help to you as you relocate to our county.
Establishing Florida Residency
If a military member wishes to make Florida their state of residence they must obtain a Florida drivers' license. There is a Florida drivers' license office conveniently located in Walton County.
State Florida Division of Drivers' License
1045 US Highway 331S, Unit B
DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435
Before you visit the local drivers' license office go to their website at www.gathergoget.com to obtain the list of documents required to receive a Florida drivers license. Florida drivers' licenses may be renewed up to 18 months prior to the expiration date. If you wish to renew or replace your Florida drivers' license online go to www.gorenew.com. If you are not able to renew online you may be eligible to be issued a military extension card that extends the expiration date of the license you currently hold until 90 days after you permanently return to Florida or are discharged from the military. Please go to www.flhsmv.gov to see if you are eligible for the military extension card.
Locations to Title and Register Your Vehicle in Walton County
The Walton County Tax Collectors Office has two locations in our county. You may title and register your vehicle at the location that is most convenient for you.
North Walton Office
571 US Highway 90E
DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433
South Walton Office
31 Coastal Centre Blvd., Ste. 700
Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459
Requirements to Title and Register Your Vehicle in Florida
In order to title your vehicle in Florida you must provide your original title. If you have a lien on your vehicle you must go to www.flhsmv.gov to the forms section. Form HSMV 83060 Registration of Vehicle with Out of State Lien must be filled out and mailed or faxed to your lien holder. Your lien holder will need to send us the original title. We can not accept a copy. Once your title is received, we will mail you a letter stating we have it and list the other paperwork that is required to complete your title transaction. All owners' listed on the title will need to come into the office to title the vehicle. Regardless of how the names are joined on the title, all parties need to be present to title the vehicle in Florida for the first time.
If your vehicle has been titled in your name less than 6 months you will need to bring in your Bill of Sale to show proof the required sales taxes were collected on this vehicle. The state of Florida requires 6% sales tax and a $50 local discretionary tax for vehicles with a selling price of $5,000 and up. The sales tax for vehicles with a selling price below $5,000 is 7%. Depending on the state you purchased the vehicle in you may get credit for the sales tax they collected. If they did not collect enough sales tax we will have to collect the difference. To claim an exemption from Florida Sales Tax you must be a Florida resident, reside outside of Florida pursuant to military orders, the vehicle has to be held outside of Florida for longer than 6 months, and the vehicle can not be brought into the state of Florida within 6 months from the date of purchase, even for temporary reasons.
If your vehicle is titled in a state other than Florida you must bring in your vehicle for us to verify the vehicle identification number. We also will need to verify the odometer reading of the vehicle. If you are not able to bring the vehicle to our office you must have HSMV 82042 Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification form completed by a law enforcement officer (military or civilian), Florida Notary or Provost Marshal. All signatures on this form have to be original. We do not accept faxed or emailed copies of this form. Please be advised that any alteration or erasure may void this document.
Requirements to Title and Register Your Vessel in Florida
In order to title your vessel in Florida you must provide your original title. If you have a lien on your vessel you must go to www.flhsmv.gov to the forms section. Form HSMV 83060 Registration of Vehicle/Vessel with an out of State Title and Lien must be filled out and mailed or faxed to your lien holder. Your lien holder will need to send us the original title. We can not accept a copy. Once your title is received, we will mail you a letter stating we have it and list the other paperwork that is required to complete your title transaction. All owners' listed on the title will need to come into the office to title the vessel. Regardless of how the names are joined on the title, all parties need to be present to title the vessel in Florida for the first time or submit an accurately completed title application (HSMV form 82040)
Several states do not title vessels. If this applies to your vessel you will need to provide the current original registration from that state to have it titled in Florida. All owners' listed on the registration will need to come into the office to title the vessel. Regardless of how the names are joined on the registration, all parties need to be present to title the vessel in Florida for the first time or submit an accurately completed title application (HSMV form 82040).
If your vessel has been titled or registered in your name less than 6 months you will need to submit your bill of sale to show proof the required sales tax was collected on this vessel. The state of Florida requires 6% sales tax and a $50 local discretionary tax for vessels with a selling price of $5,000 and up. The sales tax for vessels with a selling price below $5,000 is 7%. Effective July 1, 2010, the maximum tax on the sale or use of a boat or vessel is $18,000. Purchases made on or after July 1, 2010, are subject to the maximum $18,000 tax. Taxpayers using boats or vessels in Florida on or after July 1, 2010, who are subject to Florida use tax pursuant to Section 212.06, Florida Statutes (F.S.), will owe a maximum $18,000 use tax. Depending on the state you purchased the vessel in you may get credit for the sales tax collected. If they did not collect enough sales tax we will collect the difference. Members of the United States Military can not claim an exemption from Florida sales and use taxes on a vessel.
Effective July 1. 2010, the maximum tax on the sale or use of a boat or vessel is $18,000. Purchases made on or after July 1, 2010, are subject to the maximum $18,000 tax. The $18,000 cap includes both the state (sales or use) tax and any applicable discretionary sales tax.
In the state of Florida boat trailers are required to be registered and issued a metal plate. They will not be titled unless they weigh over 2,000 pounds. The required documentation to register a boat trailer is The Certificate of Origin if it is new or the title if it has been titled in the past or a current original registration if it was previously registered. If the boat trailer has been titled or registered in your name less than six months you will need to submit your bill of sale to show proof the required sales tax was collected on the trailer.
A boat trailer that weighs 2,000 pounds and more will be titled. If the trailer weighing 2,000 pounds and more is titled in a state other than Florida you must bring in the trailer for the identification number to be verified. If you are not able to bring the trailer to our office, have form HSMV 82042 Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Vertification completed by a law enforcement officer (military or civilian), Florida Notary or Provost Marshal.
Non-Resident Military Member
If you are a non-resident military member and want to register your vehicle in Florida you must submit certain required forms to be eligible for special registration rates. We will need a copy of your military orders assigning you to a Florida military duty station. We also require proof of Florida insurance on the vehicle. If you maintain out of state insurance you are required to complete a Military Insurance Exemption Affidavit and present current proof of insurance from that state.
Please complete form HSMV 82002 Initial Registration Fee Exemption Affidavit to waive the required $225 Initial Registration Fee if you meet the required qualifications referenced on this form. The $225 Initial Registration Fee must be collected when the owner does not have a license plate or record of a license plate registered in his or her name for a vehicle he or she previously owned in Florida. If it is your first time registering a vehicle in Florida you have to pay this fee, unless the vehicle is exempted from this fee. Please contact our office to verify you qualify for an exemption of this fee.
When it comes time to renew your registration each year you must submit a copy of your military orders assigning you to a Florida military duty station, proof of Florida insurance or a Military Insurance Exemption Affidavit if your vehicle is insured in a state other than Florida and present current proof of insurance from that state.
Title and Register by Mail
If you wish to title and register your vehicle through the mail please go to www.flhsmv.gov and download all the required forms. Then give us a call at 850-892-8121 and we will be glad to assist you as you complete this process.
Military Service Related License Plates
When it comes time to select the plate you wish to put on your vehicle please go to www.flhsmv.gov to make your choice. We have basic and specialty plates to choose from. The specialty plates require additional fees to be paid when you register your vehicle the first time and each year thereafter when you renew your decal. We have several military license plates that can be issued to individuals who meet certain criteria. Some examples of these plates are Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, U.S. Paratrooper, and National Guard. Please contact our office at 850-892-8121 if you wish to receive further information about any of our license plates.
During the month of August each property owner is mailed a Notice of Proposed Property Taxes. This notice identifies the property by Parcel Number and gives a brief legal description. It will list each taxing authority and itemize the actual amount of taxes for last year, the proposed amount for this year and the rollback rate if no budget change is made.
If you have any questions about your Notice of Proposed Property Taxes please call the Property Appraiser's Office at 850-892-8123 in Defuniak Springs or 850-267-4500 in Santa Rosa Beach and ask to speak to an appraiser. After speaking with an appraiser and discussing your notice of proposed property taxes, you have the right to file a petition with the Value Adjustment Board (VAB). The petition forms are available at the Property Appraisers office. The deadline for filing a petition is 25 days from the mailing of your notice of proposed property taxes. You must file on or before this date to have your appraisal considered. There will be a $15.00 fee that has to be paid at filing.
The Property Appraiser's Office is responsible for processing property tax exemption applications. Applications for all exemptions have to be made on or before March 1st of the tax year. The initial application has to be made in person at the Property Appraiser's office. If you fail to make an application for an exemption by March 1 of the tax year you shall not be eligible for an exemption that tax year. The current exemptions available are $25,000 homestead, additional $25,000 homestead for persons 65 and older, widow's, widower's, disability, $500 for blind persons, service-connected total and permanent disability, and service-connected total and permanent disability.
In order for military members to receive property tax exemptions they must be a legal resident of the State of Florida, have a Florida license plate on their car, have a Florida driver's license and meet other requirements to qualify for the exemptions.
Pursuant to Florida law, effective 2011, military personnel deployed outside the United States in support of designated military operations may qualify to receive an additional Homestead Exemption for days of deployment within the prior calendar year. Service members or their designated representatives may apply to the Property Appraiser for this exemption.
You may go to the Property Appraisers web site www.waltonpa.com to find out more information about property tax exemptions.
Taxes are paid in arrears covering the period January 1st to December 31st of the tax year. You will receive your actual tax bill the first week of November each year. If you do not receive your tax bill at this time contact us as soon as possible. The tax bills are mailed out by our office each year. If you receive a tax bill for property you have sold please forward it to the new owner or return it to the Tax collector's Office immediately. Discounts for early payment are computed for you on the bottom of your bill. The discounts are 4% in November, 3% in December, 2% in January, 1% in February. Your taxes are due by postmark of March 31st each year. Discounts are determined by the postmark of the payment.
Your taxes become delinquent April 1st of each year. For real estate taxes a 3% penalty is imposed on April 1st. An advertising fee is imposed on May 1st. If the postmark is on or after April 1st, the amount due is determined by the date your payment is received in our office. Tax certificates will be sold on all unpaid accounts on or before June 1st resulting in additional charges. Personal and business checks will not be accepted for payment of taxes that are delinquent. After March 31st only cash, money order, cashier's check or credit/debit cards (additional fee of 2.5%) will be accepted.
If you wish to pay your taxes by installments, you must file an application with this office prior to May 1st of the current tax year to be eligible to go on installments for the upcoming tax year. In order to qualify, your taxes for the prior year have to be more than $100. Your first installment payment will be mailed to you the first of June. It must be paid by June 30th for you to remain on the installment plan. You do not have to reapply for the installment plan each year. If you wish to be removed from the installment plan you must fill out a request with our office.
There are three ways that mobile homes are taxed in Florida. A mobile home will be assessed and taxed as real property, subject to an annual license tax (decal) and assessed and taxed as tangible personal property.
When the mobile home is permanently affixed to land that is in the mobile home owners' name he is required to purchase a real property (RP) decal from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (our office). RP mobile homes are taxed annually with the land as real property. Once the mobile home owner acquires the real property (RP) decal he may be eligible to file for homestead.
If the owner of the mobile home does not own the lot or land that the mobile home is placed on he is required to pay the annual license tax (decal). The mobile home decal is purchased from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (our office). This decal has to be renewed each year in December.
If the mobile home owner is not eligible for the real property (RP) sticker and does not purchase the yearly decal, the mobile home will be assessed and taxed as tangible personal property. The mobile home owner is required to have updated decal(s) on his mobile home as of January 1st of the current tax year. The mobile home owner will have to pay the tangible personal property tax before he can update his decal(s).
Freshwater, Saltwater and Hunting Licenses for the Military
In the state of Florida a Military Gold Sportsman's License is available to Florida residents who are active or retired members of the U. S. Armed Forces (Armed Forces
Reserve, Florida National Guard, Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve) for $20. They must submit a current military identification card and Florida drivers license to purchase this license. It expires one year from the date of purchase.
A non-resident active military member that is stationed in Florida may receive a Military Gold Sportsman's License for $20 if they submit their military orders showing they are stationed in Florida and their out of state drivers license. It expires one year from the date of purchase.
This license includes freshwater and saltwater fishing, hunting, wildlife management area, archery, crossbow, muzzle loading gun, turkey, deer, Florida waterfowl permit, lobster and snook permits. This license can only be purchased at a county tax collector's office. Please call our office if you need further information or go to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission web site at www.myfwc.com.
Register to Vote
Locations for the Walton County Supervisor of Elections Office
North Walton Office
571 US Hwy 90E
DeFuniak Springs, FL 32433
Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm
South Walton Office
31 Coastal Centre Blvd
Santa Rosa Bch, FL 32459
Monday-Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm
A person may become a registered voter only if that person is at least 18 years of age, a citizen of the United States, a legal resident of the State of Florida, a legal resident of the county in which that person seeks to be registered and registers pursuant to the Florida Election Code.
A voter registration application must been completed. You may pick up an application at one of the Supervisor of Elections local offices, have an application mailed to you or complete an application online. Once your application has been received and processed you will be mailed a voter information card. If you have a change of name, address, or party affiliation please contact the Supervisor of Elections office to issue you a new voter information card.
The Federal Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) cover active duty members of the US Armed Forces, the Merchant Marine, spouses and dependents. UOCAVA voters can follow the same procedures to register to vote and request absentee ballots as anyone else, but have extra options. They can also register to vote and request absentee ballots by the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and through the Overseas Vote Foundation. They can go to www.fvap.gov to locate this application to download.
Military voters residing within the county in which they wish to register should use the Florida Voter Registration Form and indicate their military status, so the Supervisor of Elections Office may insure their UOCAVA status when they move out of the county but wish to maintain voting residency there.
It is very important for voters to request absentee ballots as early as possible before an election. The voter must keep the local elections office appraised of any address changes once a request is made. Absentee ballots that are returned undeliverable to the elections office because of a bad address automatically cancel the voter's absentee request, and the voter must make a new request providing the correct address.
Overseas voters (those with an APO, FPO or foreign address only, not Hawaii, American Samoa, etc.) may have absentee ballots faxed or emailed, if there is a problem with mail.
Ballots can be returned by fax, but not by email. Returning faxed ballots are immediately placed in secrecy envelopes without handling. Only the Voter's Certificate, which must be signed and dated, is examined. It is very important to notify the elections office of address changes as soon as possible so you don't jeopardize your active voter registration status. Sending your address change via email would be best to insure you receive your absentee ballot promptly.
If you need further information regarding voting in Walton County and absentee ballots please contact The Supervisor of Elections Office.
Dog on the Beach Permit
Effective April 1, 2011, The Walton County Clerk of Courts office is the designated issuing authority for the dogs on the beach permits. They can be contacted for further information at www.co.walton.fl.us or by phone at 850-892-8115 in DeFuniak Springs, FL or at 850-267-3066 in Santa Rosa Beach, FL.