Saraosota, FL Newcomer Guide
When transitioning to a new area, it is important to have the right information to get started on the right foot. We have put together this resource page of helpful information and phone numbers to help make your transition easier
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 (PDF file). A declaration of domicile is not an application for a homestead exemption.
HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION AND TAXES
Florida residence can apply for a homestead Exemption where residents don’t have to pay taxes on the first $25,000 of their home’s official county appraised value. To file for a homestead exemption, you must establish residency by Dec. 31 prior to the year you will claim exemption, and then file for exemption in January or February. Contact the Sarasota County Property Appraiser at 2001 Adams Lane, (941) 951-5650.
In order to meet the qualification deadline for the exemption you must be a Florida resident and own and occupy the property as your permanent residence on January 1st of the year you claim the exemption. In order to meet the application deadline you must apply by March 1st of the year for which you are claiming the exemption. You may apply in person or online. Visit the local County Exemption office for more details or Call 941.861.8200 for more information.
Sarasota Main Office- 2001 Adams Lane, Sarasota, FL 34237
Venice Office 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 115, Venice, FL 34293
Florida has no personal income tax!
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. New registrants to must 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.
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.
Sarasota County is located on the Florida Gulf Coast between Tampa and Fort Myers.
The latitude and longitude of Sarasota, Florida is: 27° 20′ 10″ N / 82° 31′ 50″ W
573 square miles
35 miles of beachfront
Average Temperature Range
Annual: 61.2F to 83.8F
January: 49.3F to 73.3 F
July: 71.6F to 91.7 F
Sarasota averages 342 annual days of sunshine
Average Annual Rainfall: 52.08 inches
More than 325,900 residents
Median age: 48.9 years
Major Access Roads
Interstate 75 and US Highway 41, and Honore Ave. (North-South)
University Parkway, Fruitville Road, Bee Ridge Road and Clark Road (East-West)
Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) is located at the intersection of US 41 & University Parkway. (941) 359-5200
Peak Residency Season
The area’s peak residency period runs from January through Easter.
A wide variety of accommodations are available, from campgrounds and cottages to privately owned homes and luxury resort hotels.
Myakka River State Park (28,875 acres)
Oscar Scherer State Park
Enjoy bird-watching, biking, walking and camping amid Florida’s natural swamps, palmetto brush and pines. Myakka State Park offers guided boat and train tours.
IMPORTANT PHONE NUMBERS
Sarasota County, 941-861-5300
Longboat Key, 941-316-1944
City of Venice, 941-480-3030
Children’s Hospital of Sarasota: 941-927-8805
Bon Secures Venice Hospital: 941-485-7711
Doctors Hospital of Sarasota: 941-342-1100
Englewood Community Hospital: 941-475-6571
Lakewood Ranch Medical Center: 941-782-2100
Sarasota Memorial Hospital: 941-917-9000
Selby Public Library 941-861-1100
Jacaranda Library (Venice) 941-861-1260
Fruitville Library 941-861-2500
Longboat Key Library 941-383-2011
Gulf Gate Library 941-861-1230
Elsie Quick Library, Englewood 941-861-1200
Venice Public Library 941-861-1330
North Port Library 941-861-1300
City of Sarasota Police941-366-8000
Longboat Key Police 941-316-1977
City of Venice Police 941-486-2444
City of North Port Police 941-426-3111
Sarasota County Sheriff 941-951-5800
U.S. Post Office, 800-275-8777
Sarasota County Area Transit, 941-316-1234
Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport
City of Sarasota, 941-365-7651