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Government & City Services

The City of Miami, Miami-Dade County and the various suburban cities and unincorporated areas weave a tangled web of government. Who's responsible for what? Let your About Guide to Miami sort out Miami's government for you.
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Who Are My Florida Legislators?
Florida residents are represented by a number of elected officials at both the state and federal levels. These elected representatives are responsible for hearing the voices of their constituents and representing constituent concerns in our legislative bodies. In addition to serving in their official legislative capacity, elected...

Miami-Dade Government Explained
Because Miami-Dade County is so expansive and populated (it boasts a population of 2.3 million residents), our Miami-Dade government can look a little complicated at first. And, admittedly, we don’t have the most simple system of government! In this article, we focus on breaking down the Miami-Dade government structure, including why it’s set...

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez Profile
Carlos Gimenez is the mayor of Miami-Dade County. This article will explore the background and early political career of Mayor Gimenez; it will also detail how you can get in touch with him with your own ideas about improving Miami-Dade County.

Applying for Medicaid in Florida
Medicaid provides low income Florida families with free or low-cost medical insurance to provide a basic level of medical care to all Florida residents. Applying for Medicaid is a fairly complex process, requiring different steps based upon the manner in which you qualify. Some require the involvement of only the state government, while others...

Florida Taxes
Florida taxes are complex, just as they are in any other state. In this article, we take a look at how residents of the Sunshine State are affected by income tax, sales tax, property tax and other government levies.

Food Stamps in Florida
Florida offers a Food Stamps program through the Florida Department of Children and Families. This program is designed to assist low-income households with the purchase of nutritious food for the family table. In this article, we take a look at the Food Stamp programs eligibility requirements, application procedures and purchasing rules.

Recycling Your Christmas Tree
Looking for a way to dispose of your Christmas tree in an environmentally-friendly fashion for free? Miami Dade's Department of Solid Waste Management offers the ideal solution - turn your Christmas tree into garden mulch!

Florida Sales Tax Rates
Florida law mandates a minimum sales tax rate which is collected by the state government to provide services to all Floridians. However, the law also provides for a local option sales tax that lets each county set its own local tax that is collected on top of the general state rate.

Get a Florida Learner's Permit
Florida allows 15-year olds to obtain a learner's license that allows them to drive with a licensed adult for instructional purposes.

Bulk Waste Pickups for Miami Residents

Get a Copy of a Miami Death Certificate
The Miami-Dade County Health Department is responsible for maintaining death certificates for individuals who passed away in our county. There are several methods for obtaining a certified copy of a death certificate.

How to Get a Marriage License in Miami
If you're starting to think about that spring wedding, one of the less fun steps is getting a marriage license. The license must be given to the person officiating the ceremony before you begin, so make sure you have it in hand! Here are the simple steps to getting your Miami-Dade marriage license.

Get a Copy of a Miami Birth Certificate
If you were born in Miami-Dade county, the Miami-Dade County Health Department is responsible for maintaining your birth certificate. There are several methods for obtaining a certified copy of your original certificate in the event it was lost or stolen.

Florida Lottery -- Winning Numbers and Lotto Results
Looking for the most recent winning Florida Lottery numbers? If you missed the live drawing, you can find the latest lottery results by visiting the links below. Be sure to bookmark this page so you can check it each time you play!

Florida Lottery – Winning Number History
Are you a frequent Florida Lottery player? If so, you may be interested in using the results of past games to help you pick your lottery numbers. This page provides you historical winning numbers for all Florida Lottery games.

Florida Sex Offenders Registry
Recent legislation requires the state of Florida to make information available to the public on persons convicted of sex crimes living in our communities. Sex offenders are required to register with law enforcement and have their addresses and mug shots appear online. This information can prove vital to parents seeking to protect their children from potential danger. I was shocked to find that there are 79 registered offenders living within 5 miles of my Miami home.

Pay a Traffic Ticket in Miami
You can now pay your Miami-Dade County traffic tickets online and save yourself the hassle of writing a check or visiting the court.

Homestead Air Reserve Base
Homestead ARB, located in the southern part of Miami, hosts an Air Force Reserve F-16 unit.

Trash in Miami-Dade County
Chances are, if you’re familiar with the Miami-Dade Department of Solid Waste Management, it’s simply as “the trash collectors.” That’s certainly true, but you may not be familiar with the full range of services offered by Miami’s waste professionals. In this article, we’ll take a brief look at the basics of trash collection, recycling and other waste issues affecting Miami residents.

How to get a Passport in Miami-Dade
We here in Miami do a lot of traveling out of the country. Whether we are visiting an old home and family or vacationing on an island beach, we usually need a passport to get there. Here's what you need to apply for a passport with minimum hassle.

How to Register to Vote in Miami-Dade
Everyone's vote counts, but in Florida we had that illustrated all too well in the 2002 presidential election. In a swing state where elections can be decided by a handful of people, it's more important than ever this year to register and vote in the election. But who can register, and how do you go about it? It's easy, and I'll take you through the steps.

How to Get a Florida Driver's License
Whether you're new to driving, new to Florida or just need to get a replacement license, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is your first stop. Arrive prepared with this checklist and you won't be doomed for a repeat visit.

Coral Gables City Government Departments
Who's responsible for historic preservation in the Gables? Granting zoning variances? Putting out fires? Find the answers here, complete with contact information.

Emergency Evacuation Assistance Program
Each June, South Florida ushers in a new hurricane season and residents make contingency evacuation plans in the event disaster strikes. Miami-Dade's Office of Emergency Management offers this special program for the eldery, infirm and others who might require special evacuation assistance.

Find Your State Legislators
Do you have a pressing issue you'd like to discuss with your representative in Tallahassee? These district maps will help you locate the members of the Florida House and Senate serving your area and provide you with contact information.

Property Assessor's Public Access System
This Geographical Information System (GIS) provides a birds-eye photographic view of every square inch of Miami-Dade county. Detailed property ownership and tax records are available with the click of a mouse.

Schedule a Trash Pickup
If you live in Aventura, Pinecrest, Sunny Isles Beach or unincorporated Dade, you can request a bulk trash collection online using this automated site. Residents may use this service once per calendar year.

Florida DUI Laws
Florida law mandates stiff penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics (also known as "drunk driving"). In this article, we take a look at the specifics of Florida's DUI law including what happens during a DUI traffic stop, what you can expect if you are arrested for DUI and the penalties if you are...

Fireworks Laws in Florida
If you're planning a holiday fireworks show, you might want to brush up on Florida's fireworks laws, which recently changed. The bottom line is that, just because you see it in a store or at a roadside stand doesn't mean that it is legal to purchase, possess or use it!

Federal Poverty Guidelines
In order to qualify for food stamps in Florida, your income must meet requirements based upon the federal poverty guidelines issued by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Venom One - Miami's Snakebite Response Team
When it comes to snakes in Miami-Dade County, no one is more experienced than the famed Venom One team, a group of volunteer paramedic firefighters who specialize in evacuating and treating victims of venomous snakebites. As southern Florida contains some of the country’s most venomous snakes, it’s no wonder the Venom One Miami-Dade Fire...

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado
Tomas Regalado is the 33rd and current mayor of Miami, Florida. Since assuming the mayor’s office in February 11, 2009, Mayor Regalado has focused his political career on growing Miami’s cultural reputation. He’s also made commitments to fiscal responsibility during one of the shakiest economic moment’s in Florida’s history.

Divorce Laws in Florida
When it comes to divorce in Florida, theres the right way to go about it and then theres the way that involves plenty of work, headaches and heartaches for all parties involved. According to a recent study of marriage, only 34% percent of people in the United States who have ever been married have ever been divorced (a far cry from the...

Florida Alcohol Laws
Whether youre visiting the Sunshine State for the first time or consider yourself an in-the-know local, it pays to understand the ins and outs of Florida alcohol laws. From what days you can purchase alcohol to penalties you may incur for drinking underage or driving while under the influence, these are the Florida alcohol laws you need to...

Florida Governor Rick Scott
Rick Scott (full name: Richard Lynn Scott) is the 45th Governor of Florida. Having served in this official capacity since his swearing in on January 4th, 2011, Governor Rick Scott has centered his political career on helping build up Miami as one of the largest seaports in the United States.

Florida Car Seat Laws
Florida law requires that children traveling in motor vehicles be properly restrained with an appropriate child safety device. The specific requirements vary depending upon the childs age and are based upon industry and government safety guidelines. Remember, the purpose of these laws is to ensure your childs safety and you should view them...

Miami Prison Inmate Services
Miami Dade County operates a network of six correctional facilities designed to house inmates who are awaiting trial or have been convicted of a crime. These facilities provide a number of services to friends and family members of prison inmates.

Florida Gun Laws
The state of Florida has a large number of laws in place for owning and carrying guns, some strict, while others are considered among the most lax in the country. To obtain a permit to carry a concealed weapon, citizens must meet a number of qualifications.

Miami's Curfew Ordinance and the Florida Curfew Law
Cities and counties are allowed to create and enforce their own curfew laws on minors as long as those laws are not overly invasive. The purpose of these laws is to curtail the number of minors involved in criminal activities and make for a safer community.

Understanding Miami Water Bills

Miami Dog Licenses

Florida’s Child Custody Laws
A custody battle can be a very difficult time period. Here is what you need to know when you are going through a child custody battle.

What Time is it in Miami?

South Florida Area Codes
The South Florida region is served by three area codes: 305, 786 and 239. These three area codes all lie within the Eastern Time Zone. Are you familiar with each of these area codes and how they divide the South Florida region?

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