Buying out your leased car can allow you to keep driving a vehicle you love. However, in Florida you must legally transfer the title from the leasing company into your name to become the owner.
The guide I created below explains every step of completing a lease buyout title transfer in Florida to properly convey ownership.
Follow the detailed instructions below to ensure your lease buyout transfer goes smoothly and avoid post-purchase hassles.
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Table of Contents
Why Title Transfer is Crucial for Lease Buyouts
When you originally leased your car, ownership remained with the dealership or finance company even as you drove it. Transferring the title upon lease buyout means the vehicle now belongs to you.
Here are two key reasons title transfer is mandatory:
- Proof You Own the Vehicle: The title legally conveys ownership to you instead of the leasing company. This verifies you can register, sell, or trade in the car.
- Ability to Resell the Car: Any future buyers will require you to sign over the title to complete a sale. No title means you can’t sell your lease buyout vehicle.
Now, let’s walk through what’s involved in successfully transferring a lease title in Florida.
Overview: How the Lease Buyout Title Transfer Process Works
The lease title transfer process resembles a standard used car purchase in Florida. The leasing company takes the place of the private seller signing over ownership.
Here are the basic steps:
- Lessor gathers documents: Your leasing company or lender should provide the title, lease buyout paperwork, bill of sale, and odometer statement.
- Apply for new title: You fill out and submit a title transfer application with supporting documents to your local DMV.
- Pay applicable taxes/fees: Any sales taxes plus title and registration transfer fees apply. Check Florida DMV for current rates.
- New title issued in your name: Once approved, the Florida DMV issues a new title conveying legal vehicle ownership to you.
Step-by-Step Guide to Transferring a Lease Title in Florida
Follow these key steps to successfully change your lease title into your name:
1. Contact your leasing company
- Inform them you plan to buy out your lease when the term ends
- Request they gather and send all necessary documents
2. Apply for a new title
- Get a title transfer application form from your local DMV
- Fill out the application with your details as the buyer
- List the leasing company or lender as seller
3. Submit supporting lease buyout documents
- Signed-over vehicle title with odometer reading
- Lease buyout contract and bill of sale
- Driver’s license or Florida ID
4. Pay applicable fees within deadlines
- Title transfer fee ($75.75)
- Late fees if more than 30 days since buyout
- Any sales tax owed on the purchased vehicle
5. Receive your new title
- Florida DMV processes the title transfer
- They mail your new title showing sole ownership
Tip: Initiate the buyout process at least 2 months before your lease ends to avoid registration or temporary tag issues.
What Documents Are Needed to Transfer a Lease Title in Florida?
To apply for a new title conveying lease buyout ownership, provide these key documents to the Florida DMV:
- Application for Certificate of Title: Get this from your local tax collector or DMV office. Includes VIN, purchase details, owner names, etc.
- Current Lease Agreement and Buyout Contract: Verify ownership and purchase amount paid. Both should be signed.
- Prior Title Signed Over to You: Shows the leasing company transferred ownership rights.
- Driver’s License or Florida ID Card: Confirms your identity as the buyer.
- Insurance Documentation: Florida requires current proof of insurance coverage.
- Odometer Disclosure: Documents current mileage at the time of lease buyout.
- Bill of Sale: Details of purchase amount, date, and buyer/seller names for your records.
Collect these documents from your lessor before completing the lease buyout payment to avoid title transfer issues.
What Are the Costs for a Lease Title Transfer in Florida?
Beyond the leased vehicle purchase amount, costs include:
- Title Fees: $75.75 base fee plus $20 late penalty if not transferred within 30 days of buyout date.
- Sales Tax: 6% of the vehicle purchase price if not already paid upfront at lease inception.
- Registration Fees: Likely needed when titling in your name instead of the leasing company.
Verify specific charges and methods of payment with your county tax office or Florida DMV. Some counties implement titling fees on top of the state amounts.
Tips for a Smooth Florida Lease Title Transfer
Follow this advice to avoid headaches and ensure your lease buyout title transfer goes quickly and seamlessly:
- Start early: Give yourself plenty of time by beginning the buyout process 1-2 months before your lease terminates.
- Verify all VINs match: Double check the vehicle identification number on all documents matches the VIN plates and stickers on your actual vehicle.
- Review deadlines: Note expiration dates for temporary tags, registration, and title transfer time limits to sidestep penalties.
- Confirm insurance: Carry at least minimum Florida insurance coverage levels to transfer the title hassle-free.
- Check for errors: Ensure no mistaken signatures or incorrect names on title transfer paperwork. Seek corrections from the DMV prior to submission.
Next Steps After Your Lease Title Transfer
Once you successfully have the new title in your name after a lease buyout, next you can:
- Register the car in Florida if still actively driving it
- Sell your used vehicle to a private party or dealer
- Trade it in when shopping for your next car
Just be sure to sign over the title upon your next sale so the new owner can also register it legally.
Just follow the steps outlined here for a smooth lease title transfer. Florida makes it relatively straightforward as long as you have the right documentation handy.
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