(1) A confidential registration certificate and registration license plate or decal shall be issued under a fictitious name only for a motor vehicle or vessel owned or operated by a law enforcement agency of state, county, municipal, or federal government, the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, or any state public defender’s office. The requesting agency shall file a written application with the department on forms furnished by the department, which includes a statement that the license plate or decal will be used for the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit or law enforcement or any state public defender’s office activities requiring concealment of publicly leased or owned motor vehicles or vessels and a statement of the position classifications of the individuals who are authorized to use the license plate or decal. The department may modify its records to reflect the fictitious identity of the owner or lessee until such time as the license plate or decal and registration certificate are surrendered to it.
(2) Except as provided in subsection (1), any motor vehicle owned or exclusively operated by the state or any county, municipality, or other governmental entity must at all times display a license plate of the type prescribed in s. 320.0655. Any vessel owned or exclusively operated by the state or any county, municipality, or other governmental entity must at all times display a registration number as required in s. 328.56 and a vessel decal as required in s. 328.48(5). (3) This section constitutes an exception to other statutes relating to falsification of public records, false swearing, and similar matters. All records relating to the registration application of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, a law enforcement agency, or any state public defender’s office, and records necessary to carry out the intended purpose of this section, are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1), and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution as long as the information is retained by the department. This section does not prohibit other personations, fabrications, or creations of false identifications by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, or law enforcement or public defender’s officers in the official performance of covert operations.