Florida Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale Form
A Florida motor vehicle bill of sale form is a state-provided, multi-purpose document completed during car transactions. It provides information like the vehicle’s year, manufacturer, body type, model, color, certificate of title number, and vehicle identification number (VIN). The form also contains an odometer disclosure statement where both parties must write down the automobile’s current mileage.
What is a Florida Car Bill of Sale?
A Florida car bill of sale indicates that two (2) residents complied with the limits of a vehicle transfer. If the deal involves co-buyers or co-sellers, these parties must also sign. The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) does not accept documents without the signature(s) of the co-owner(s).
Although primarily used as a bill of sale, individuals can also utilize it as a transfer of sale. If filled out as a bill of sale, the buyer and seller need to complete all three (3) sections and sign. When used as a notice of transfer, only the seller needs to execute sections one (1) and three (3). They do not have to include their signature, but they can if they wish to do so.
What are the Buyer’s Tasks?
When purchasing a vehicle, a buyer must use logical reasoning and consider their long-term goals. Furthermore, individuals should think about a car that seems practical for their lifestyle rather than acting with haste. Making immediate decisions can prove impractical, especially if the person cannot afford the vehicle in the future. Therefore, they should discuss the matter with a family member, friend, dealer, or someone else that can help them make a reasonable choice.
The buyer must research the vehicle before purchasing it. Since Florida does not have a lemon law for used cars, they do not receive reimbursement for ill-equipped cars that do not meet standards.
Therefore, the seller should run the car’s vehicle identification number through the Department of Transportation’s online search tool for recalls and safety issues. In addition, they should use the state’s online portal to verify the odometer reading.
Buyers should thoroughly inspect the car prior to the sale. They should ensure it has functioning doors, locks, and windows without scratches, dings, or chips. The individual must also make sure the car has the original vehicle identification number (VIN), matching the title number. The interested party can have a mechanic check the automobile, as well, to determine its monetary value and overall quality.
The FLHSMV recommends buyers and sellers attend the title transfer appointment together. Both parties complete a secure title reassignment and disclose the odometer reading. This step ascertains the seller no longer has ownership, and the buyer assumes responsibility.
Buyers who use a loan to pay for the car must notify the FLHSMV that the vehicle has a lien. When the owner pays the loan, the lienholder must send the department a Satisfaction of Lien. If the individual plans to title the car in another state, they must receive a thirty (30) day temporary tag to drive it to another state.
Before making vehicle purchases, buyers must research the most realistic car for their needs. They should consider its purpose, the number of miles they plan to drive it, part costs, and other relevant factors. The buyer’s guide contains additional information about the car for individuals to read.
As soon as the buyer signs the contract with the dealer, they cannot reverse or cancel the sale. Therefore, they must thoroughly understand the fine print in the paperwork before endorsing. This step protects them from unwanted deals or agreements.
New vehicles need a new warranty, whereas used cars do not. Purchasers must also review the warranty policy to make sure they comprehend the listed terms. Florida has a lemon law for new cars (but not used), which protects the buyer from issues with the car post-sale.
The buyer should receive a temporary tag from the dealer while waiting for the registration and/or title. Dealerships send the required documents and payment to the purchaser once they have proof of insurance from the consumer.
What are the Seller’s Tasks?
Vehicle owners must research and adhere to state law when selling their cars. The individual should maintain an organized record when transferring the title and keep copies of the documents. Private sales and dealership transactions differ slightly, although they have the same goal: to transfer ownership to the buyer.
When conducting a private sale, the seller must consider the following points to carry out the deal successfully.
- They cannot advertise on public roadways or on someone else’s private property without permission.
- If the seller lost the title or someone stole it, they must request a duplicate before carrying out the transaction.
- The buyer and seller should visit a service center together to carry out the transfer. During the appointment, the seller must complete a Notice of Sale and the “Transfer of Title by Seller” section on the front side of the title, which also includes the odometer disclosure statement. If the buyer does not register the car and the seller does not complete a transfer of notice, the state holds the seller accountable for payments, tax fees, and accidents.
- Electronic title transfer must happen at a service center. Both parties provide their photo identification and fill out a secure title reassignment and odometer disclosure statement.
- If the car has an existing lien, the private sale cannot occur. First, the owner must pay the loan. Then, the lienholder reports the transaction to the FLHSMV using a “Satisfaction of Lien” document.
- Owners of out-of-state vehicles must schedule a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection and odometer verification before selling. This process must occur through a compliance examiner (or officer), motor vehicle dealer, notary public, or law enforcement officer.
- After the sale, the seller must remove and keep the license plates to affix to another vehicle. If the individual plans to move out of the state or cancel their insurance, they must give the license plates to the service center.
Dealerships have a standard protocol for selling vehicles since the company’s credibility can change drastically if issues with sales occur. Small companies must also carry out transactions properly to prevent legal claims or penalties from the state.
A business or entity fits the criteria for a dealership if they sell or display three (3) or more cars for sale in a twelve (12) month period. In this case, the owner must consult with an agent at the motor vehicle service center to learn their next steps. Failing to do so can result in arrests and fines.
How to Register a Car in Florida (4 Steps)
New owners have thirty (30) days after the title transfer to submit the title and registration application to an authorized service center. Incoming residents must register their automobile within ten (10) days of becoming a resident. If individuals own a car but do not operate it, they do not need to obtain a registration or title (§ 320.02).
Step 1 – Insurance
Vehicle owners must have an insurance policy before registering the car in the state. They must have a personal injury protection (PIP) and property damage liability (PDL) policy of at least $10,000 each.
Step 2 – Register
First-time registrations must happen at a service center location. Residents can contact their county’s office to make an appointment. The applicant must gather the mandatory paperwork and have the forms signed as needed. While the state does not require notarization on most vehicle-related paperwork, they recommend it. This step authenticates the document if the agent questions its validity.
Step 3 – Display Plates + Stickers
After the agent approves the registration and title, the resident receives license plates and a registration sticker. First, they must attach the license plates to the front and back of the car. Then, they must apply the sticker to the upper right-hand corner of the license plate.
The driver receives a new sticker every time they renew the registration. At this time, they must remove the old sticker and replaces it with the new one. Owners must always have the registration with them when operating the car. They must present if stopped by law enforcement.
Step 4 – Renew
Vehicle owners choose the duration of the registration when submitting their application and payment. It can last either one (1) or two (2) years and expires at midnight on the individual’s birthday (§ 320.07).
Residents can renew up to ninety (90) days before the due date. If they fail to renew by the last day of the month following the expiration date, the FLHSMV charges them a fine.
- Renewal notice or registration card;
- Photo identification (i.e., driver’s license or state ID);
- Proof of insurance; and
When renewing online, the applicant must have the above documents, as well as their vehicle’s information (i.e., VIN, make, model, etc.), date of birth, and last four (4) digits of their social security number.
|Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles|
Neil Kirkman Building
2900 Apalachee Parkway, MS 58
Tallahassee, FL 32399