Home » Articles » Titles » How to Transfer a Car Title in Florida
If you’re selling a car in Florida, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with how to transfer the car title to the buyer. A car title is a legal document representing vehicle ownership and is the most important document in the title transfer process. In Florida, state law says you must provide the title to the buyer when selling a vehicle. So, how do you transfer a car title in Florida?
To get started, you’ll need the original title of your car. If you’ve misplaced your title or it has been stolen or damaged, you must apply for a duplicate title before completing the transfer. Once you have the physical title in hand, gather the following documents:
The “current” car title is the certificate that is on file with the FLHSMV. If you’ve applied for a duplicate title, the duplicate title becomes the current title once it is issued. If you find the old title after the duplicate is issued, the old title is no longer valid. The title certificate will have a section on the back that is designated for ownership transfer.
As the seller, you are required to complete this form as part of the transaction. This form records the sale and also removes your name from the record. It’s essential that you remove your name from the record, as failing to do so may result in civil liability for the vehicle (parking tickets, fines, impound, etc.).
If your vehicle was not last titled in Florida, you must complete this form and have it notarized or authenticated by one of the following parties:
If your car was last titled in Florida, you do not need to complete this form unless directed by the FLHSMV.
This form is technically for the buyer to apply for the title, but it’s a good idea to prepare it anyway, as you’ll need to record the odometer reading. In Florida, the seller must record the odometer reading, and the buyer and seller must acknowledge the odometer disclosure.
If the title is held electronically, the seller and the buyer must visit the nearest motor vehicle service center together to complete the transaction in person with a motor vehicle agent.
The FLHSMV strongly recommends completing the title transfer with a motor vehicle agent at your nearest motor vehicle service center to ensure all necessary documents are completed. You may also choose to complete this transaction on your own without the assistance of a motor vehicle agent. However, both the seller and buyer must eventually interact with or visit a motor vehicle service center to complete the transaction.
There is a section on the back of your car title that allows you to transfer the ownership. This is because there’s only one active title at a time, so once this is completed, it will be recorded in the FLHSMV system as the active title. Complete this section very carefully with the buyer, including all required information. Do not make any errors on this form. Any errors will invalidate the title and require a duplicate to be issued before the transaction can be finalized.
Once you’ve completed the ownership transfer section on the back of the car title and it’s been signed by the buyer and seller, visit your nearest motor vehicle service center to submit the documents and get your buyer a new title. Bring the following documents and items to the center:
The motor vehicle agent will review the documents provided and alert you if there are any discrepancies or errors in the process. If the paperwork is done correctly, the notice of sale will be filed, and the records updated to reflect the new ownership of the vehicle.
Transferring a car title in Florida might seem confusing, but with a bit of research, you can sell your car with confidence. For more information about selling a vehicle in Florida, visit the FLHSMV webpage.
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