Frequently Asked Questions


Table of Contents

When did Florida’s Purple Alert Program begin?
What are the criteria for the Purple Alert?
How does the Purple Alert get activated?
How long does a Purple Alert stay activated?
What is the role of the public during a Purple Alert?
What is the role of the media?
How can I sign up to receive Purple Alerts?
What area(s) does the Purple Alert cover?
Does a physician have to verify or attest that the person meets the criteria of a Purple Alert?
How can I file a missing person report?


When did Florida’s Purple Alert Program begin? 
Florida’s Purple Alert Plan was established by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis on July 1, 2021 with an effective date of July 1, 2022.
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What are the criteria for the Purple Alert? 
  • The person is 18 years of age or older and does not qualify for a state level Silver Alert.
  •  Has your investigation determined the missing person:
    • Has any combination of the following: an intellectual or developmental disability, brain injury; or another physical, mental, or emotional disability that is not related to substance abuse -and-
    • Does not have Alzheimer’s disease or a dementia related disorder?
  • Has your law enforcement agency’s investigation concluded that the disappearance poses a credible threat of immediate danger or serious bodily harm to the missing person and they can only be returned to safety through law enforcement intervention?
  • Is there a detailed description of the missing person suitable for distribution?
  • Has your agency entered the missing person into the Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC)?
  • Does the law enforcement agency of jurisdiction recommend activation?
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How does the Purple Alert get activated? 
If you have a loved one missing you should contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. The law enforcement agency will take a report and determine if a Purple Alert is appropriate. If the agency determines that the case meets the criteria for a Purple Alert, they will contact the FDLE Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse. Only law enforcement can request a Purple Alert.
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How long does a Purple Alert stay activated?
The local Law Enforcement Agency will determine the status of the Alert, but generally, the Alert stays active until the missing person is recovered. If a Purple Alert is activated and the subject is missing in an identified vehicle, the Department of Transportation (DOT) road signs will be activated and remain active for a maximum of six (6) hours.
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What is the role of the public during a Purple Alert?
The public can play an important role in the rescue of missing persons with a mental or cognitive impairment. When they hear about a Purple Alert in their area, they should actively make note of the description of the person and any additional information provided. If the public encounters or believes they see the vehicle or the missing person they should immediately call 911 or *FHP (347) to respond. They should make note of the person’s whereabouts, and if applicable, the vehicle tag, direction of travel and location observation (highway/street, city and county).
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What is the role of the media?
Media outlets have the option on whether or not to broadcast Purple Alert information. Large audiences can be reached through the media, thereby enhancing everyone’s efforts in safely recovering a cognitively impaired missing person.
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How can I sign up to receive Purple Alerts?
You can sign-up to receive Purple Alerts by subscribing for email or text alerts.
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What area(s) does the Purple Alert cover?
When a Purple Alert is issued, the information regarding the case is distributed throughout the state with a focus on the area where the person was last seen.
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Does a physician have to verify or attest that the person meets the criteria of a Purple Alert?
How the local law enforcement agency verifies that the person meets the criteria for the Purple Alert is up to that agency's policies. Families or caregivers of a missing person should inform law enforcement if there is reason to believe that the person meets the criteria.
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How can I file a missing person report?
Contact the local law enforcement agency of jurisdiction where the missing person was last seen.
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For more information please visit the FDLE Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse website or contact us by phone at 1-888-356-4774.