Sarasota Resource Guide

SARASOTA RESOURCE GUIDE

NEWCOMER INFORMATION
From finding the right schools and registering your vehicle, to taxes and Driver’s License, relocation is often stressful and challenging. Use this guide to assist in your transition.

RESIDENCY
To become an official Florida resident, file a declaration of domicile through the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court, 2000 Main St., Sarasota, (941) 362-4066. You can download the form from www.sarasotaclerk.com.
A declaration of domicile is not an application for a homestead exemption.

HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION AND TAXES
Permanent Florida residents don’t have to pay taxes on the first $25,000 of their home’s appraised value. To file for a homestead exemption, you must establish residency by Dec. 31 prior to the year you will claim exemption, then file for exemption in January or February. Contact the Sarasota County Property Appraiser at 2001 Adams Lane, (941) 951-5650.

VEHICLE REGISTRATION/DRIVER’S LICENSE
New Florida residents must register their vehicles within 10 days of gaining employment, enrolling children in public school or establishing residency. Register at the Sarasota Tax Collector’s office, 101 S. Washington Boulevard, (941) 362-9898. Be prepared to show your current driver’s license, proof of Florida auto insurance, prior registration certificate and ownership title. The fee is based on the weight of the vehicle. Your automobile registration expires at midnight on your birthday.

New Florida residents also must apply for a Florida driver’s license within 30 days (but after they register their vehicle). The Florida Department of Motor Vehicles is located at 601 S. Pompano Ave. S. For an appointment, call (941) 361-6222. Bring proof of your Florida vehicle registration, your out-of-state driver’s license and your Social Security card. If your out-of-state license is valid, you only need to take a vision test. If your license is invalid, or if you are a first-time driver, a written exam and driver’s test are required. A copy of the Florida Driver Handbook is available at http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/handbooks/English. You must provide the vehicle for the driver’s test.

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VOTER REGISTRATION
You are eligible to vote if you are a U.S. citizen, a county resident and you will be at least 18 years old by the next election. You can register at the Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections Office at 101 S. Washington St., (941) 951-5307, or you can register online at http://election.dos.state.fl.us. You must submit your valid Florida driver’s license number or Florida identification card number. If you do not have either of these, you must provide the last four digits of your Social Security number. Your voter registration card will be mailed to you.