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How do I check if a contractor is licensed?

To make sure that you are doing business with a professional who is properly licensed, you can call the Sarasota Permit Center or check online:
Permit Centers: (941) 861-3029 or (941) 861-6678;

How do I get a driver’s license?

Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles and bring original documents that confirm you are in this country legally. You must prove your identity, confirm your Social Security number and your residential address. A list of the most common documents you will need can be found at

Bring documents to Robert L. Anderson Administration Center, Sarasota Tax Collector, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail, (941) 861-8300; Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

How do I register to vote?

You can register in person, at a public library, or print out an outline application and mail it. To vote in an upcoming election, you must be registered for at least 29 days.

Voting rules: You must be a U.S. citizen and Florida resident, 18 years or older; not now be adjudicated mentally incapacitated to vote in Florida or any other state, and not be a convicted felon, unless your voting rights have been restored. You must provide a valid Florida driver license number or state identification number and sign the application.

Sarasota County Supervisor of Elections, Robert L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 Tamiami Trail S., Room 114, Venice, (941) 861-3760, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; in Sarasota, The Terrace Building, 101 S. Washington Blvd., (941) 861-8600, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

How do I register my car?

Visit a Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle’s office. (Robert L. Anderson Administration Center, 4000 S. Tamiami Trail., Venice.) Bring your title, proof of ID, and car insurance card. Have a VIN inspection and odometer reading completed, if you’re a new resident. Pay your initial $225 vehicle registration fee, title fees, plate fees and taxes. At the DMV you’ll also need your original out-of-state title and VIN verification. When you are issued a motor vehicle registration you will receive a license plate, vehicle registration certificate and validation decal.

How do I get a library card?

Download application at Click “Get a library card.”
Visit a library branch. You will need proof of residency and your address.
Library card applicants must establish identity and show proof of residence. Show one of the following to fulfill both requirements: Florida driver’s license with a current Sarasota County address; Florida identification card with a current Sarasota County address. Otherwise, applicants are required to show a photo ID and one of the following documents as proof of residence:

• Sarasota County vehicle registration
• Sarasota County current rental agreement for a minimum of six months
• Sarasota County current property tax receipt/bill
• Deed to property in Sarasota County
• Declaration of domicile in Sarasota County
• A current pay stub showing current Sarasota County address
• Sarasota County government employee identification badge
• Sarasota County school, college or university identification card
• Sarasota County school, college or university report card
• Current utility bill for water, gas electricity, cable or satellite TV with current Sarasota County address
• Consular identification card with current Sarasota County address.

Libraries in the greater Venice area include Venice Library kiosk at the Venice Community Center, 326 S. Nokomis Ave., (941) 861-1330, and Frances T. Bourne Jacaranda Library, 4143 Woodmere Park Blvd., (941) 861-1260.

All borrowers must have a valid library card to check out materials. A valid library card can be used at all nine Sarasota County libraries. Sarasota County residents may obtain a card for free. Nonresidents may elect to purchase a nonresident card for $15 that offers the same privileges as resident cards.

Where do I call to turn on utilities?

Venice, (941) 486-2626; Sarasota County, (941) 861-6790.

How do I register my children for Sarasota County public school?

Call Sarasota County Schools, (941) 927-9000 to find out which school serves your district. Students are assigned a public school based on their address, but if they wish to attend another public school in the area or take online classes through Sarasota Virtual School, school choice is available. Special needs students can also attend Oak Park School, a special needs campus that takes students from pre-kindergarten up to age 22. Certified gifted students are eligible to attend Pine View, the district’s all-gifted school for grades 2-12.

To register for public school, call your districted school and make an appointment. Students need a birth certificate, Florida Certificate of Immunization (blue card), proof of a school physical examination, and proof of address/guardianship. To be kindergarten eligible, students must be at least 5 years old before the Sept. 1 cutoff. Most elementary schools also offer a pre-kindergarten program for students who miss the cutoff date.

What are the emergency numbers for my neighborhood?

Call 911 for all emergencies; Venice Police non-emergency, (941) 486-2444; Sarasota Sheriff non-emergency, (941) 861-5800.

City of Venice Fire Department, (941) 480-3030; Nokomis Fire Department, (941) 488-8855.

Where’s the post office?

Venice, 350 W. Venice Ave.; Osprey, 333 Tamiami Trail S.; Laurel and Nokomis, 303 Laurel Road W.

When is trash day?

You need to call for days of pickup. The city of Venice has its own trash service, (941) 486-2422; Sarasota County uses Waste Management, (941) 493-2422. Both have curbside recycling; you need to separate paper from glass, plastic and aluminum and have your receptacles on the street by 6 a.m.

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