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Florida Selling a Vehicle

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What Are the Basics?

Selling a car can be fairly simple in Florida, but it’s important that you understand the ins and outs of the title and registration process so that both you and the person purchasing the car are fully in compliance with state laws throughout and at the end of the sale.

As a seller, the most important thing you need to do to protect yourself is complete a Notice of Sale (as of July 2009, this is required by Florida law).

How Do I Transfer the Title?

It’s strongly encouraged that you visit a motor vehicle service center with the buyer in order to complete the title transfer process. This protects both the seller and the buyer to ensure that each step of the transfer process is completed correctly.

As the seller, you’ll need t complete the front of the title certificate, including the selling price and date sold. The buyer must attach an Application for Certificate of Title.

What if I’ve Lost the Title?

Life happens: if you’ve lost the title, you can simply apply for a duplicate. Fill out this form and submit it with a duplicate title fee. You may be eligible for expedited service.

What Information is Included in the Bill of Sale?

All bill of sale documents must be notarized in order to be recognized by the State of Florida. The bill of sale should include:
  • Vehicle make
  • Vehicle model
  • Vehicle body type
  • Vehicle color
  • VIN
  • Name and physical address of the purchaser
  • Date of sale
  • Complete odometer reading
  • Date the odometer reading was recorded
  • Name and physical address of the seller
  • Signatures and date of signature from both parties

Why Do I Need to Include the Odometer Reading?

Disclosing the odometer reading on the title of a vehicle protects the buyer against fraud. This prevents the seller from swapping out a vehicle with higher mileage, and prevents the buyer from disputing the sale after it’s complete. If you’re selling a vintage or classic vehicle, you may exempt from including the odometer reading on the title.

Why Do I Need A Bill of Sale?

A bill of sale dictates the terms of purchase, protecting both the seller and the buyer. The notarization of this document prevents the buyer from disputing the terms of the sale after the car has been transferred.

May I Transfer Plates?

No. The buyer will register and receive a temporary tag. You’ll keep your tags or transfer them to another vehicle.

What If I Don’t Transfer Plates to a New Vehicle?

Surrender them to a motor vehicle service center if you move to another state, or if you cancel the insurance on the vehicle on which the license plate is used.

What If I Am Giving The Car to Someone Rather Than Selling It?

You’ll still need to go through the above steps, including title transfer and bill of sale. The person receiving the gift can accompany you to the motor vehicle service center to receive the title.

How Do I, As Executor, Transfer the Car to An Heir?

You’ll need to apply for a new title to transfer the vehicle to an heir.

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Last Verified:
Aug 16, 2022