How To Transfer a Car Title in Florida

A title certificate is a document that establishes ownership of a vehicle. The transfer of title is one of the most important steps in buying or selling a used car, in Florida or in any other state.
A title transfer needs to be done correctly, and in private car sales, you need to pay special attention to the details. Our title transfer guide explains everything you need to know about transferring a vehicle title in Florida.
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Florida Vehicle Title Transfer Process

A Florida car title transfer has two stages.

1. The two parties (buyer and seller) meet in person. The buyer pays the seller. Both fill out and sign the physical certificate of title. The buyer is the legal owner of the car from this point forward.
2. The buyer finalizes the title transfer process with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) office. At the same time, the buyer registers the vehicle and applies for a new license plate.

The first step (meeting between seller and buyer) is the most important. The second step is merely a formality.

When you sign over ownership of the car to the buyer as the seller, you will formalize the entire transaction. You'll remove the license plate and be done with the vehicle.
As the buyer in a private car sale, you become the legal owner of the car as soon as the seller transfers the title to your name. You’ll finalize with FLHSMV to get title and registration in your name. You’ll also get a new Florida license plate and auto insurance. If you don’t have car insurance, get a quick quote here.

Sign a Florida Title Correctly

When signing the Florida vehicle title, always keep the following in mind.

Mistakes make the document invalid.
Do not erase anything or use white-out.
Only use black or blue ink. Any other color will void the title.
Write neatly.
Only use legal birth names.

Front of The Title

The back of the title has sections for the seller (red), the buyer (teal), and the leadholder (green). Here is the process for filling out the front of a Florida title.

Finalize Ownership Transfer with Florida FLHSMV

You’ve done the deal and are the proud owner of a new-to-you vehicle. Your work is not yet done. There are still steps you need to take to finalize the title transfer with the state of Florida. You also need to acquire a new license plate and register the car with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles's office

You will need to submit the following to your local Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) office:

Proof of identity (valid Florida driver’s license or another acceptable Florida photo ID card)
Proof of ownership
Bill of sale or manufacturer's certificate of origin
Proof of required auto insurance coverage
Completed application for certificate of title with/without registration
Paid registration fees and applicable sales tax
A filled-out title certificate application
$75.25 title transfer fee

Submit title transfer documentation within 30 days of purchase to avoid penalty fees.

Even though the seller has already transferred the title to you, Florida requires you to do this step to transfer the title into your name in the FLHSMV system.

Online FLHSMV Title Transfer
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles offers online services. Your title can be requested online for an additional fee of $2.50. After requesting it and paying the fees, the title will be mailed to your address within 10 days.

Florida Bill of Sale

A bill of sale is required to buy or sell a car in Florida. A bill of sale provides legal protection for both the buyer and the seller. It proves that the seller is no longer associated with the vehicle, and it proves the buyer's ownership.

PrivateAuto provides an official Florida bill of sale as part of our in-app transaction process. At the right time in the transaction, both the buyer and the seller will be asked to e-sign the document right in the PrivateAuto app.

Here is some of the information the Florida bill of sale requires.

Buyer’s name, address, and signature
Seller’s name, address, and signature
Final sale price
Description of the vehicle
Odometer reading

This information proves that the seller did sell the vehicle and that the buyer is the new owner.

Florida License Plates

Some states allow the license plates to remain with the car when sold. Unfortunately, Florida requires the seller to remove the plates from the car. As the buyer, you’ll apply to the FLHSMV for a new license plate and pay the $28 Florida license plate fee, which is included in the registration fee.

You will need to submit the following:

Proof of insurance—usually in the form of an online document or insurance card
Proof of identity
A completed form HSMV (Form 82040)
Payment of $225
A filled-out vehicle title with your name, and signature of both you and the seller

See our state-by-state guide to license plate requirements if you’re considering buying or selling a car in another state.

Registration Fees

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles is responsible for vehicle registration and driver licensing in the state.

In Florida, you can choose to register your vehicle for one or two years. FLHSMV will charge you a registration fee based on the weight of the vehicle, whether or not it is from out of state, and the length of time you register your vehicle for. The initial motor vehicle registration fee is $225 plus extra fees such as:

A title transfer fee $75.25
Payment for the Florida sales tax of 6% (of the vehicle price)

The annual tax and other fees are determined by your vehicle's weight class.

The following are the annual fees for private use vehicles:

A $27.60 fee per year ($55.20 for two years) for vehicles weighing between 0-2499 pounds
A $35.60 fee per year ($71.50 for two years) for vehicles weighing between 2500-3499 pounds
A $45.60 fee per year ($91.20 for two years) for vehicles weighing 3500 pounds or more

Buy or Sell Used Cars in Florida With PrivateAuto

Whether you are trying to find a used vehicle for sale near you or you are trying to sell your vehicle, PrivateAuto makes it happen.

Our integrated banking gateway, PrivateAuto Pay, is truly revolutionary. It allows you to send or receive unlimited funds instantly and for free.
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Florida Title Transfer FAQ

How to replace lost car titles in Florida?

Replacing the car title is required if it's damaged, stolen, or if a lien on the vehicle needs to be removed.

To apply for a duplicate title, you need the following:

- The application for vehicle transactions (Form VSD 190)
- The duplicate vehicle title fee of $50

What fees are there when buying a used car in Florida?