If you want to know how to transfer a car title in Florida, you’ve come to the right place. Through my years as a used car dealer in Florida, I did my fair share of title transfers and experienced the transfers that went smoothly and those that seemed to be impossible.
I created the guy below to help keep you from making some of the mistakes I did and lay the process out in a simple, straightforward, and helpful way.
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Table of Contents
Transferring a Florida Title
When a vehicle is sold, the seller must sign over the title to transfer legal ownership to the buyer. Key steps include:
- Seller completes the “Transfer of Title” section
- Buyer visits DMV office with title and documents
- New title issued with buyer’s name
To ensure a smooth title transfer, both the seller and buyer should understand their responsibilities in the process.
As the seller, you must:
- Fill out the title transfer section with buyer’s information
- Remove license plates from sold vehicle
- File a Notice of Sale for liability protection
The buyer should complete these steps:
- Get properly transferred title from seller
- Bring title and ID to local DMV office
- Pay sales tax and title transfer fees
Gathering Necessary Documents
To transfer ownership at the DMV, certain documents are required from both parties:
For the Seller
- Completed and signed-over title
- Notice of Sale form (Bill of Sale)
Tip: The bill of sale is essential for the buyer to pay the appropriate sales tax. It does not need to be any more than a handwritten document with both party’s signatures stating the amount paid, the date, and vehicle information.
For the Buyer
- Transferred title
- Valid ID (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
- Proof of insurance
- Any other applicable documents (bill of sale, lease agreements etc.)
Completing the Title as the Buyer
As the new buyer, properly signing the title paperwork is important to transfer ownership into your name.
When you receive the transferred title from the seller, review it to ensure:
- The “Transfer of Title by Seller” section is filled out
- Includes seller’s signature, printed name, date of sale, sale price, and odometer reading
- No errors or missing information
Then, complete the buyer section with the following steps:
- Sign your full legal name
- Use your normal signature, not printed style
- Sign clearly within the lines
- Print your name under your signature
- Enter date of signature
- Fill out names of any co-owners
- Have additional owners sign and print as well
- Carefully review all entered information
- Double check accuracy of printed names, date, sale price etc.
Visiting the Florida DMV Office
The buyer will need to visit a DMV office in their county of residence to register the new title under their name. Be sure to schedule an appointment online beforehand to reduce wait times.
What to Bring Inside a DMV Office:
- Properly transferred title
- Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration (Form HSMV 82040)
- Valid ID
- Proof of insurance
- $75-$115 for title transfer fee
- Additional documents if applicable
Completing the Title Transfer Paperwork
Once inside the DMV office, the clerk will guide you through the paperwork. Key forms include:
- Application for Title – establishes new ownership
- Transfer of Title – shows transfer from seller
- Fees/Taxes – $75-115 title fee plus 6-7% sales tax
- VIN Inspection – verifies VIN number to match title
After the Title Transfer
The steps below should be taken after leaving the DMV office:
- Seller – Keep copies of title transfer documents for your records
- Buyer – Start insurance and registration in your name
- Both parties – Retain bill of sale records
The title transfer process must be completed within 30 days of the sale date. Don’t worry if you go over this timeframe, as you may only face a small penalty fee.
Special Title Transfer Scenarios
The standard title transfer procedure may vary slightly in certain situations:
- Gifted Cars – Write “gift” or $0 for no sales tax
- Out-of-State Titles – Additional verification steps
- Leased Cars – Include lease contracts
- Minor Purchasers – Minors can buy cars like adults
In any case, be sure to work with your local DMV office to handle special title transfers correctly.
Here are some key takeaways for smoothly transferring Florida vehicle titles:
- Sellers must sign over title using the “Transfer of Title” section
- Buyers need to visit their county DMV office within 30 days
- Proper documentation like ID and insurance is required
- Allow 1-2 hours plus paperwork time at DMV offices
Following these steps will ensure your title transfer is quick, legal, and headache-free! Let the Florida DMV support you through this important ownership process.