By Gay Cororaton, Chief Economist, MIAMI REALTORS®
A strong job market, the increased opportunity to work from home, retirement, and the property tax advantage are why people continue to move to Florida. South Florida continues to attract residents from other states with sustained momentum since the pandemic based on the number of out-of-state drivers who establish residence in Florida and swap their driver’s license, according to data is from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
As of the first quarter of 2023, there were 20,041 driver license exchanges in the South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Martin, up 26% compared to the average of 15,873 driver license exchanges per quarter during 2016 through 2019. Driver license exchanges tallied at over 20,000 in the past two quarters after treading at slightly below 20,000 in the first half of 2022.
Miami-Dade County saw the highest percentage increase in driver license exchanges compared to the pre-pandemic average in 2016 Q1 – 2019 Q4 of 31.6% (5,542 from 4,212) followed by Palm Beach (28.9%, 7,588 from 5,885), Broward (21.4%, 6,127 from 5,046), and Martin (7.5%, 784 from 729).
New York, New Jersey, and California Were Top Feeder States of Driver License Exchanges
New York, New Jersey, and California were the top states of origin of the 20,041 driver license exchanges in 2023 Q1 making up 43% of total driver license exchanges: New York (24.4%), New Jersey (10.3%), California (8%).
The number of driver license exchanges from these three feeder states has increased phenomenally compared to the pre-pandemic quarterly average during 2016 Q1 – 2019 Q4. The number of California to Miami license exchanges rose 80% (691 from 383), New York to Miami is up 68% ( 1,242 from 742), and New Jersey to Miami is up 29% (440 from 340).
New York and New Jersey drivers tended to establish residence in Palm Beach and Broward while California drivers tended to establish residence in Miami-Dade.
Of the 4,897 New York drivers who exchanged a license, 43% established residence in Palm Beach (Broward, 29%; Miami-Dade, 25%; Martin, 3%).
Of the 2,042 New Jersey drivers who exchanged a license, 48% went to Palm Beach (Broward, 27%, Miami-Dade, 21%; Martin, 4%).
Of the 1,603 California drivers, 43% established residence in Miami-Dade (30% in Broward, 25%in Palm Beach; 4% Martin, 4%).
A MIAMI REALRORS® research showed that Miami-Dade and Broward tend to attract younger persons compared to Palm Beach and Martin County. In Miami-Dade, 49% of out-of-state movers were 25-44 years old, and in Broward, 36%. In Palm Beach and Martin, the 25-44 years old movers made up a smaller share, at 27% and 17%, respectively. In Martin County, 39% of households who moved were 65 years old and over.
Miami-Dade tends to attract single households, with 44% of households who moved as single-person households. Broward tends to attract families with children under 18, making up 14.3% of households who moved. In Palm Beach and Martin, married couples with no children under 18 years old were the largest group, making up 30.4% and 42.7% of households who moved, respectively.
 Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles https://www.flhsmv.gov/new-resident/
New residents who want to drive on Florida’s roads must transfer their license at a local office within 30 days after establishing residency. A person can establish residence by means such as registering to vote, enrolling children in a public school, starting employment or engaging in business, or living in the state of Florida for over six months.
 Miami-Dade’s Out-of-State Homebuyers Earn Nearly $100K+ Median Household Income – MIAMI REALTORS®