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Want To Get Back Into The Keys After A Hurricane? You'll Need A New Sticker

A Monroe County sheriff's deputy checks documentation at the Keys checkpoint last year.
Monroe County Sheriff's Office
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When the Keys put up a checkpoint that only allowed residents, workers and property owners onto the island chain, they quickly encountered rampant fraud in the hurricane re-entry stickers and had to switch to other documentation.

When Monroe County put up a checkpoint for two months last spring to keep visitors out during the pandemic, they thought they had an easy way to identify residents: the windshield stickers used for re-entry after hurricane evacuations.

But the officers working those checkpoints soon encountered a raft of fake stickers — and there was a growing black market for real ones.

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Now the county has come up with a new hurricane re-entry sticker program. They have bar codes and are color-coded for different parts of the island chain, to allow for phased re-entry.

They're no longer available from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office. You can get them at the county's tax collector offices in Key West, Big Pine Key, Marathon, Plantation Key or Key Largo. You can get one per vehicle with proof of residency or property ownership and a car registration.

The city of Key West has its own sticker program and those have not changed. But if you live there, and you need one, you can get it at Key West City Hall.

County and city officials strongly recommend getting those stickers now — before hurricane season starts and an evacuation is ordered.