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A car title proves ownership. If you’re buying a car, you’ll need to make sure that the title is transferred into your name. Buyers working with dealerships generally don’t have to worry about this process, as the dealer will do it all for them. However, if you’re buying from a private seller, or you’re the seller in question, there are several things you’ll need to know about how to transfer a car title in Florida.
What buyers should do
For buyers, transferring a car title in Florida isn’t particularly difficult. With that being said, there are several crucial steps here:
- Make sure that the seller has completed the transfer section on the back of the title.
- Complete the Application for Certificate of Title with/without Registration.
- Obtain insurance on the car (and have proof of insurance).
- Complete the Florida Affidavit of Insurance.
- Make sure you have the money for the associated fees, which include the following:
- License plate fees ($225) if you do not have a license plate to transfer to the car
- Registration fee (based on the vehicle, and ranging from $46 to $72)
- $72.25 for an electronic title (or you can pay $77.75 for a paper copy if you prefer)
- $2 per lien on the vehicle
- Take all of this to your county’s tax collector’s office.
- Not getting the seller to provide a lien satisfaction document (note that if this is not provided, you, the buyer, will be responsible for paying any liens)
- Not getting a bill of sale (this is not required by the DMV, but a notarized bill of sale can provide peace of mind)
What sellers should do
Sellers also have several specific steps that must be followed to transfer a car title in Florida.
- Complete all applicable sections on the back of the title, making sure to sign and date it.
- Complete a bill of sale and provide the buyer with a copy (have it notarized).
- Provide the buyer with a lien satisfaction document if the title is not lien-free.
- After the sale, complete and submit the Notice of Sale and/or Bill of Sale for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, Off-Highway Vehicle or Vessel to the DHSMV.
Gifting or inheriting a vehicle
The process of gifting a vehicle is identical to buying/selling one, and will require the same forms and steps. Inheriting a car is very similar as well, but there are a couple more steps. In addition to the standard documents and fees, you will also need to provide a copy of the will or other legal document, as well as the previous owner’s death certificate. This information needs to be submitted to the county tax collector’s office before taking ownership of the vehicle (but after getting insurance coverage for it).
For more information about how to transfer a car title in Florida, visit the state’s DHSMV website.
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