There’s a new system for reentry stickers

Tax Collector’s offices now handle vehicle reentry decals

When the Florida Keys are in the cone of a Cat 5 hurricane, the last thing anyone wants to do is worry about the reentry decal system for your car, not while scrambling to buy clips for storm shutters and extra food for Fluffy. 

Take it from Sheriff Rick Ramsay: Now is the time to prepare for hurricane season, which means not forgetting the paperwork.

“That means getting your evacuation plan in place, gathering important documents, stocking your shelves and cleaning up the yard among all the myriad other steps we take each year to stay safe,” Ramsay said. “There are some changes to the reentry sticker program this year, and it’s important all residents are aware of them.”

Hurricane reentry stickers for vehicles are no longer available at Sheriff’s Office substations, Ramsay emphasized. The Monroe County Tax Collector’s office is now handling reentry decals.

According to Monroe County Emergency Management: Residents may now obtain one sticker for each registered vehicle by providing proof of residency at a Monroe County Tax Collector’s office. Proof of residency includes a Florida driver’s License and vehicle registration, or a property bill with an out-of-county vehicle registration for out-of-county residents who own a home in Monroe County. 

These stickers make reentry to the Keys easier if checkpoints are installed following a destructive storm that causes a public safety issue. Stickers will be available throughout the year, so do not wait until a storm is approaching to pick up a sticker. Stickers will not be available once a state of emergency is declared in Monroe County, which occurs several days before a storm is forecast to strike.

The new barcoded system uses stickers that are color-coded according to reentry zones. Stickers for Lower Keys residents from the south end of the 7 Mile Bridge to Stock Island (MM 40 to MM 4) will be dark pink. Middle Keys residents from the south end of the Long Key Bridge to the north end of the 7 Mile Bridge (MM 64 to MM 47) get aqua stickers, and Upper Keys residents from the county line including Ocean Reef to the north end of the Long Key Bridge (MM 113 to MM 64) will have a purple decal. 

Special note for Key West residents: The City of Key West requires its own sticker, which is white and has not changed. If you already have a City of Key West reentry decal, you do not need to pick up a new one. 

For more information, including tax collector office locations to get your reentry sticker, go to www.monroecounty-fl.gov/916/Reentry-Vehicle-Windshield-Stickers.

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Charlotte Twine fled her New York City corporate publishing life and happily moved to the Keys six years ago. She has written for Travel + Leisure, Allure, and Offshore magazines; Elle.com; and the Florida Keys Free Press. She loves her two elderly Pomeranians, writing stories that uplift and inspire, making children laugh, the color pink, tattoos, Johnny Cash, and her husband. Though not necessarily in that order.