State and local laws are designed to make sure Orlando residents can sell their car safely and effectively. But the goal is also to make sure the car's buyer gets a transaction they can trust and that's completed properly. Florida has a few state-specific requirements for private sellers and following them is an important part of getting the vehicle transaction completed properly. Here's what you need to know when it's time to sell your car in Orlando.

What Does Orlando Require You to Do?

Because Orlando has some specific requirements, you'll want to follow this checklist of tips and tricks to ensure you've covered everything. Then you won't have to worry about having a good transaction, and both you and your buyer can feel safe and secure when the car and its title change hands.

Pay Off Any Liens Before Selling

Florida law prohibits the sale of cars that have active liens. Since vehicles with liens legally belong to the lienholder, only the issuing company can transfer the title. You won't be issued a paper or e-title until the lender submits a lien release to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).

Apply for a Demonstration-Only Temporary Tag

If you've already turned in or transferred your personal tag, you'll need to pay for a demonstration tag for prospective buyers to test drive the car legally. You can't let them drive it without a tag, and a temporary one will work perfectly for test drives.

Transfer the Title to the New Owner

Fill out the transfer section on the front of your paper title and hand it over to the new owner. That's it! FLHSMV recommends sellers complete the transfer at one of their offices to ensure the process is done correctly. If a mistake is made, it can really cause a hassle for you and the buyer.

Car parking lot

What Should You Consider When Selling?

Even though there are only three main steps for selling a car in Orlando, you still need to consider a few other things during the process. The state also has rules for private party vehicle sales. Here are some of the specifics you'll want to think about.

Find Private Property to Park the Car

In Florida, it's illegal to park a car for advertisement purposes on public property, roadways, or private property without prior authorization. This practice, known as "curb stoning," may result in your car being towed and the issuance of hefty parking tickets. Make sure you park only in the right place, and only with permission.

Have a Dealer's License if You Advertise More Than Three Cars per Year

Florida law allows a maximum of three vehicle sales per year by private sellers. According to the FLHSMV, "Florida law presumes any person, firm, partnership or corporation that buys, sells, offers for sale, displays for sale or deals in three or more motor vehicles in any 12-month period to be a motor vehicle dealer and must have an appropriate license issued by the state."

Complete a Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification Form

Vehicles without a state-issued title are required to have a Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification form before they can be transferred. This document must be verified and signed by a notary public, police officer, FLHSMV officer, or a state-licensed car dealer.

Report the Vehicle's Mileage

Every title has an odometer reading section where sellers must write the exact mileage at the time of sale. Do NOT skip this section! Federal law mandates that sellers disclose the mileage when selling a vehicle unless the odometer is after-market or broken. The buyer should acknowledge that the mileage provided is correct for the car.

Submit a Notice of Sale

A Notice of Sale (Form HSMV 82050) is what other states refer to as a notice of transfer and release of liability. This document certifies that you've relinquished ownership of the vehicle and are no longer responsible for anything that happens with the automobile. In some states, this form is suggested, not mandatory. Florida law, however, requires the submission of this document any time a car changes hands.

Transfer or Turn Over Your Tag

The seller must remove the license plate before giving the car to its new owner. From there, the seller has two options: pay a fee to have the plate transferred to another vehicle or return the tag to the FLHSMV.

Handing over the car keys to the new owner

Where Can I Sell My Car in Orlando?

Here are a few of the most popular outlets for selling used cars in Orlando:

Cargurus

What's unique about Cargurus is it has a built-in payment feature to ensure secure payment. It costs $30 to list your car for 60 days, but you can extend your listing for as long as you'd like.

Carmax

Many find that selling to Carmax is more efficient and cost-effective than selling to a private party or dealership. Carmax probably won't offer you as much as a private buyer, but for many, the price difference is worth the convenience.

Carvana

Carvana markets itself as the "car buying experience of the future" with its hands-off approach to car buying and trade-ins. Simply enter your vehicle information into their database to get an instant estimate.

TrueCar

If you're in a time crunch, look into selling or trading your car to TrueCar. Their appraisal tool will give you a quote in minutes. All you need is your tag and VIN.

PrivateAuto

With the PrivateAuto platform, you can sell your car in Orlando quickly and efficiently, and the buyer can even apply for financing if they need it. Everything's done in one place.

Make Sure You Follow All the Steps to Sell Your Car in Orlando

Selling your car in the Sunshine State, and specifically in Orlando, is easy, but you want to make sure you follow all the steps so you don't have trouble with the sale. Here's the basic order you'll want to go in, for an easier, more efficient sale.

Get Your Paperwork in Order

You'll need a paper title to sell your car in Orlando, even if you have an e-title. Most Florida dealerships have made the switch to e-titles for their customers, which is a convenient system, until it's time to resell the car.

There are a few ways to transfer your e-title. If you have a bank card, you can submit an online application for a copy of a certified title and have it mailed directly to you for a small fee.

Alternatively, you can accomplish the same thing at your county tax office for just $2.50. Some county tax offices have a same-day title-printing program for an additional charge. The FLHSMV can also transfer an e-title, but it must be done in-office with both parties present.

Car key laying on top of a car loan application

Take Care of Any Vehicle Debt

Those who still owe on their vehicle must have the lien removed from the title before they can resell it. To do this, contact the lender and tell them you want to pay off your debt. Once you're paid-up, the lienholder can submit a lien release form, and the DMV will either issue you a paper by mail or update your e-title in the database.

Complete a Demo-Only Temporary Tag Application

If the vehicle you're selling doesn't have a license plate, you'll need to apply for a demo-only temporary tag before any prospective buyers can test drive it. This form requires the vehicle description, applicant's driver's license information, and the buyer and issuing agent's signatures.

Have a VIN Inspection (if Required)

If your title isn't state-issued, you'll need to submit a VIN and odometer verification form to your local tax collector. Once you've completed the vehicle and owner information sections, you'll need to have the document certified by a state-licensed notary, law enforcement officer, tax collector employee, or a representative from the Florida Division of Motorist Services.

Complete the Seller and Mileage Sections of the Title

At the bottom of your paper title, you'll notice a section labeled "Transfer of Title by Seller." You need to fill this out before handing it over. This section will ask for the buyer's information, the seller's name(s), vehicle mileage, sales price, amount of tax collected, and the dealer's license number (if the seller is licensed). Both parties must sign and date.

File a Notice of Sale

Florida requires a notice of sale (Form HSMV 82050) for any motor vehicles, mobile homes, and vessels sold in the state. The good thing about this document is it also serves as a bill of sale, which means less paperwork for you. The first section is dedicated to vehicle information. You'll need to write in the VIN, title number, vehicle description, sales price, date of sale, and the buyer's information.

The next section is the odometer disclosure portion. You'll check a box indicating whether the car has a five- or six-digit odometer, write in the mileage, and add the date. Then you'll check one of three boxes:

  • Reflects actual mileage (used for functioning odometers)
  • In excess of mechanical limits (for odometers which have started renumbering)
  • Not the actual mileage (for replacement odometers)

Transfer or Return the License Plate

Lastly, don't forget to transfer or return your tag. Florida allows sellers 30 days to turn in their license plate or transfer it to another automobile. Florida drivers can either surrender their plate in person or mail it to any FHSMV location with a letter stating they wish to cancel the tag.

Use PrivateAuto, and Make Your Sale Simpler

PrivateAuto's innovative platform streamlines the process of buying or selling a car privately. You can work directly with the other party, and close the sale on your own. It's more than just a listing service, and will also help you ensure all the paperwork and other requirements are completed for your location.

You can also eliminate the complexity of accepting payments when you use PrivateAuto, with instant electronic funds transfers and direct banking integration. With verified funds and buyers, withdrawal of funds to your personal bank account, and buyer financing available, seller your car in Orlando has never been easier or more convenient. You can get started today, and have a better car-selling experience.