Tax Collector’s offices closing as of March 20

Effective immediately, motor vehicle, driver’s license, and tax transactions must be completed online

Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates. Image from the Tax Collector’s Office website

With the Sarasota County Tax Collector’s Office typically serving 1,400 customers a day, staff announced on March 19 that all of its offices would be closed beginning March 20.

“In accordance with actions of the Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, the Governor and other government partners, the Sarasota County Tax Collector is closing all offices until further notice,” a news release said.

Tax Collector Barbara Ford-Coates added in the release, “Staff will be working behind the scenes to assist customers online at or and on the phone at 861-8300.

“We appreciate the public’s understanding during this challenging time and we will do whatever we can to assist our customers.” Ford-Coates said in the release.

Earlier in the week, Ford-Coates announced that some in-person services would be restricted in an effort  to protect customers and staff from the spread of COVID-19 and to follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.

In that March 17 news release, she and her staff wrote that, effective immediately, and until further notice, most motor vehicle, driver’s license, and tax transactions would have to be completed online. “Driver’s license road tests and learner’s permit tests are suspended,” that release added.

“A detailed list of what customers can do online is available at,” the release noted. Further, phone operators are available at 861-8300 to assist customers who need help completing their online transactions or those who do not have access to the internet, the release added.

Deadlines have been extended for anyone with a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license (CDL) or ID card expiring between March 16 and April 15, the release continued. These licenses will be valid an additional 30 days, it pointed out, and renewals during that period would not have delinquent fees charged.

Vehicle registrations, due on the owner’s birthday, and 2019 tax payments due by March 31 can be paid online or through the mail, the release said.