Selling a Car in Florida: Everything You Need to Know

Selling a Car in Florida: Everything You Need to Know

Wondering how to sell your car in Florida? No matter where you live in the Sunshine State, preparing your car for a private sale requires some forethought and planning. As of 2018, there were more than 7.9 million registered cars in Florida. With private sales gaining momentum, PrivateAuto offers the perfect place to sell your car privately.

According to Florida law, you can privately sell no more than three cars in a calendar year without a dealer license.  Also note that, in Florida, you can't park vehicles in public right of ways or on public properties solely to sell that vehicle if you don't have permission from the property owner. This, along with other reasons, often makes selling your car online more favorable.

7 Steps to Legally Sell Your Car in Florida

Before you begin these steps, if you've already sold three cars this year, remember to obtain your dealer license.

1) Get a temporary tag.

In Florida, vehicle plates remain with a seller. So, if you've transferred your plate to a new car, you'll need a temporary tag on the car you're selling. A temporary tag lets prospective buyers take the car for a test drive. Make sure you keep insurance on the rig until you've sold it. source=privateauto&utmmedium=auto&utm_campaign=landingpage" class="text-[#00b3de] hover:underline”>You'll need insurance to get the temporary tag.

2) Pay off any liens.

Does the vehicle have any liens against it? In Florida, you can't sell a car if it has any existing liens. Once you pay off the lien, the lienholder notifies the FHSMV (Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle Department) and you regain the ability to transfer the title.

3) Don't have the title? Apply for a new one.

If you've lost the original car title, you must apply for a new one before you can sell the car. Submit form HSMV 82101 to the local FHSMV office with the appropriate fees. Depending on your county, your local office might offer expedited title service for a $10 additional fee.

4) VIN inspection.

If the car you're selling has never been titled in the state, you must complete and submit the VIN and Odometer Verification form, HSMV 82042. You and one of the following officials must certify that information collected on the form is correct. Officials that can certify the information include:

  • Officers of the FHSMV
  • Licensed, authorized car dealers
  • Licensed Florida notaries
  • Law enforcement officers

How to Sell a Car in Florida

5) Transfer the title.

While it isn't legally necessary, it's recommended that both you and the buyer meet at an FHSMV office to complete the sale and title transfer. If you can't find the title, you'll need to apply for a replacement.

The buyer completes FHSMV form 82040, attaches it to the title, and provides it to the office. The buyer must do this within 30 days of purchasing the vehicle if you don't meet at the office at the time of sale. If the buyer is unable to complete the form within 30 days, they'll be responsible for a late transfer fee. On this form, the buyer must disclose the official odometer reading at the time of purchase, which you must disclose and acknowledge at the time of sale.

6) Provide the buyer with a Bill of Sale.

Bills of Sale are an important part of the sales process and required by law. The Bill of Sale, form 82050, should be notarized prior to filing. The form removes your current registration from the car and also removes your interest and liability attached to the vehicle. After you file form 82050, it's then the buyer's responsibility to obtain the new title and registration in their name.

7) Don't forget to remove the license plate.

Florida law requires license plates to remain with sellers, not with vehicles. Once the buyer is ready to take possession of the vehicle, remove the license plate. You can then apply to place the license plate on another vehicle you own. If you're planning on moving out of Florida and will not be titling any vehicles in the state, you can return the plate to the FHSMV office nearest you.

Important Seller Information – Protect Your Interests

Whenever you sell a car in Florida, filing form 82050 is a must. It takes your name off the car you've sold and ensures you are not liable for anything that should occur once the new owner takes possession.

Once you have filed this form, it's up to the buyer to apply for and obtain the required documents to legally drive the car.

Even though you no longer own or have possession of the vehicle, if you don't file form 82050, you could be held responsible for anything involving the vehicle, such as accidents or criminal activities. Make sure to keep copies of any documents that show you've sold the car, such as the Bill of Sale, and the title transfer paperwork that shows the name and address of the car's new owner.

Should I Sell My Car Online?

With PrivateAuto, selling a car in Florida has never been so easy. When you list your car on PrivateAuto, you enjoy benefits like:

  • Advertising until your car is sold.
  • Communicating with interested buyers without sharing your personal information.
  • Window Brochure to advertise your vehicle on the road.
  • Easily managing and responding to offers right from your dashboard.
  • Test drive scheduler.
  • State Documents ready to sign.
  • Electronic Signatures.

Browse our cars for sale or create a listing today.