Attorney General Ashley Moody and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles today issued tips warning consumers about tag renewal scams. The tips come as part of the Attorney General’s and FLHSMV’s #SteerClearOfFraudOAG campaign on automotive fraud. Tag renewal scams involve company websites acting as a third-party service provider and promising to renew motor vehicle registrations quickly for a premium fee. Tag renewal scams most commonly involve companies trying to charge fees for services already provided by the FLHSMV.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “Florida drivers should use caution to ensure they do not fall victim to any irreputable third-party service provider using deception to charge undisclosed or exorbitant fees. I am excited to partner with FLHSMV to help prevent tag renewal scams and raise awareness about other schemes targeting Florida drivers through our #SteerClearOfFraudOAG campaign.”
FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes said, “FLHSMV is proud to offer a safe and convenient way for customers to do business with the department. In 2018, customers completed 3.76 million transactions through the department’s online site, GoRenew.com, and I am dedicated to continuing to provide excellent customer service and expanding online transactions for those we serve.”
Sites that offer customers the option of renewing online often require payment of additional, and sometime excessive, convenience fees. When using GoRenew.com, the official renewal site of FLHSMV, the department charges a $2.00 convenience fee applied to the total transaction.
Consumers can best steer clear of tag renewal scams by:
- Researching state fees in advance. Motor vehicle fees are listed out on the FLHSMV website at flhsmv.gov/fees;
- Being aware that private third-party companies that renew tags or registrations may charge service fees on top of the standard renewal costs charged by the state;
- Using FLHSMV’s official website for renewals, GoRenew.com. FLHSMV offers ways for Floridians to renew licenses, vehicle tags and vehicle registrations both online and in person;
- Identifying solicitations or postcards that appear to be bills or official mailings from federal, state, city or county governments. Before sending payment or providing personal or confidential information, confirm with the government entity that the mailing is legitimate; and
- Paying special attention to fine print and looking for disclaimers that may indicate the mailing is a solicitation and not an official mailing.
Anyone who experiences a tag renewal scam is encouraged to immediately report it to FLHSMV or the Florida Attorney General’s Office. Consumers can contact the FLHSMV Customer Service Center by calling (850) 617-2000. Consumers can also file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office online at MyFloridaLegal.com or by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.