The Department regularly conducts inspections of the petroleum distribution system and analyzes samples of petroleum products to ensure consumers are being offered quality products at a fair measure. During the 2010/2011 fiscal year 97.9 percent of the samples collected and analyzed from more than 10 billion gallons of petroleum fuel distributed throughout Florida met state standards, which are considered among the strictest in the nation. The Department issued 516 stop-sale orders to prevent the sale of 17,877,298 gallons of substandard or improperly labeled fuel. The quality of gasoline, alternative fuels (E85, biodiesel, ethanol, etc.), kerosene, diesel and fuel oil are determined at Department testing laboratories through analyses of octane rating, distillation, vapor pressure, vapor-liquid ratio, sulfur content, lubricity, oxygenate content, silver corrosion, alcohol content, fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) percentage, and flash point.
Laboratory personnel also test antifreeze products for corrosion, freezing point, boiling point, pH, and foaming as part of the antifreeze registration and regulatory monitoring program. Similarly, brake fluid products must also pass strict standards for boiling point, elastomer swelling and chemical content before being registered by the Department for sale to the public. The Department registered 610 brands of antifreeze and brake fluid as acceptable products to be marketed in Florida. In the 2010/2011 fiscal year, laboratory analysts at Department laboratories in Tallahassee, Port Everglades, and Tampa conducted 195,915 tests of petroleum and alternative fuels in addition to antifreeze and brake fluid products.
The Department is responsible for conducting inspections at the 9,025 retail facilities operating in Florida. During fiscal year 2010/2011, inspectors conducted 277,762 petroleum inspections at both wholesale and retail petroleum facilities across the state. Inspections included calibrating tests, proper installations and maintenance of measuring devices and attached equipment, price gouging investigations, testing for water and debris, verification of backup electricity generation equipment and wiring, and labeling of petroleum dispensers at both wholesale and retail facilities. As a result of these inspections 4,946 pumps were cited for improper calibration and 66,321 corrections were issued for poorly maintained pumps. The Department also handled 3,306 petroleum-related and pricing consumer complaints as a result of posting the 1-800-HELP FLA consumer hotline decal on petroleum dispensers and elsewhere. Complaints have concentrated on fuel quality, meter accuracy and price. The field staff is charged with responding to these complaints within 24-48 hours. The Department continues to use numerous fraud investigation techniques including the deployment of undercover vehicles to further ensure that consumers receive fair measure when purchasing petroleum products. The unmarked vehicles have a specially designed and calibrated gasoline tank that enables a trained inspector to determine a pump’s calibration without a service station operator’s knowledge. The undercover vehicles have confirmed that most petroleum pumps are accurate and consumers are receiving fair measure.
|Frequently Asked Questions|
Brake Fluid and Antifreeze
- What do I need in order to sell brake fluid and/or antifreeze products in Florida?
- Must I register brake fluid and antifreeze products every year?
- What do I need to do with a completed registration form?
- When can I expect to receive a permit or registration certificate?
- Are the brake fluid and antifreeze products that are placed in customers' cars by motor vehicle repair and radiator shops subject to product quality specifications?
Gasoline / Oil Inspection Affidavit and Inspection Fee Report
- Who is required to submit a Gasoline and Oil Inspection Affidavit and Inspection Fee Report?
- What fuels are subject to the 1/8 cent per gallon Petroleum Inspection Fee?
Service Agencies Registration
- Must I re-submit a Service Agencies Registration Application annually?
- Is it possible for a Meter Mechanic to register on line?
Recommendations for Handling Ethanol Blended Fuels by the Renewable Fuels Association
What do I need in order to sell brake fluid and/or antifreeze products in Florida?
You must apply for a permit to sell each brand/formula combination of brake fluid and register each brand of antifreeze using the forms DACS 03211, DACS 03212 or DACS 03213 . Please read the instruction page carefully on each form.
Must I register brake fluid and antifreeze products every year?
Yes. A brake fluid permit must be re-applied for by July 1 of the registration year, if previously registered in this state in the immediate prior registration period. A $25 late fee shall be charged in addition to the $50 registration renewal fee if the application is submitted after July 1 of the calendar year. New brake fluid products can be registered at any time, but will expire on June 30 and will have to be renewed according to the procedures above in order for the product to continue to be sold in this state. The registration fee for new brake fluid products is $100. Anytime a change is made to a brand/formula combination, it shall be considered a new registration.
Antifreeze product registration applications must be received by July 1 of the registration year, if previously registered in this state in the immediate prior registration period. The cost to register antifreeze products is $200 for each brand. Any first-time applications can be submitted at any time.
What do I need to do with a completed registration form?
Each form has instructions specifying what needs to be done to successfully complete your application. You must ensure that the forms, products and fees are sent to the proper addresses (which are different) listed in the instructions on each form.
When can I expect to receive a permit or registration certificate?
A permit or registration certificate will be issued after all fees and paperwork have been received and processed. The product samples must also pass appropriate laboratory tests according to specifications adopted by the Department in order to receive a permit or registration certificate.
Are the brake fluid and antifreeze products that are placed in customers' cars by motor vehicle repair and radiator shops subject to product quality specifications?
Yes, all such products must meet adopted product quality standards. Some of the antifreeze products are even recycled products. Although recycled antifreeze products are not registered as brands, any such product placed into a customer's car must be of the same quality as virgin packaged antifreeze products. Brake fluid products cannot be recycled for use in consumer vehicles.
Who is required to submit a Gasoline and Oil Inspection Affidavit and Inspection Fee Report?
Before selling or offering for sale petroleum fuel in this State, all manufacturers, terminal suppliers, wholesalers, and importers must complete and submit the affidavit form (DACS 03202 ) and inspection fee report (DACS 03222 ), if applicable.
What fuels are subject to the 1/8 cent per gallon Petroleum Inspection Fee?
The petroleum inspection fee, pursuant to s. 525.09, F.S., is imposed on all gasoline, kerosene (except when used as aviation turbine fuel), and #1 fuel oil sold in this State. The inspection fee is collected in the same manner as the motor fuel tax pursuant to s. 206.41, F.S.
Is it possible for a Meter Mechanic to register on line?
No, meter mechanics must register at one of the annual meter mechanic clinics held at specified statewide locations, usually in the spring. This is to ensure any new changes in regulations are discussed with the meter mechanics and they have the opportunity to have any questions answered by Department staff. All registered mechanics are notified of the time and location prior to the clinic dates in order to make arrangements to attend.