Titling A Car or Vehicle in Florida
A title or the pink slip proves your ownership of a vehicle. Whether you are buying, selling, gifting, donating or inheriting a car, you need to sort out the title. The rules and regulations of vehicle titling vary from state to state. So to make it easy and convenient, we collected all the information you need to get you going in the right direction.
New cars (not titled in any state)
The beauty of buying a new car in Florida is that the dealer will take care of the titling. All new vehicles have a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin which will be signed by the licensed dealer for transfer to you. At the bottom of the MCO, be sure to find the odometer disclosure also signed by you and the dealer. The title paperwork should be solely completed by the dealer and should not be given to you (the buyer) for completion. To obtain a Florida car title, attach the completely filled out MCO, title application form (DHSMV form 82040) including your name, Florida address, date of birth, sex, driver license number, a complete description of the vehicle and any lien to be recorded.
Sales tax will also be collected if applicable. For out-of-the state dealer, 6% will be collected on the purchase price less any sales tax paid in the state where the car or vehicle was bought. If you are living in the Pinellas County, you will pay an additional 1% on the first $5,000 taxable amount.
Cars previously titled in Florida
Furnish a Florida Title form to transfer the ownership. All owners must be present to sign appropriate applications. Both parties are required to show proof of identification – driver’s license or valid IDs). If an owner cannot make an appearance, a Power of Attorney must be presented. Together with the title fee and lien fee, sales tax will also be collected plus an additional 1% for Pinellas residents. A Florida insurance is also required for getting a license plate.
Cars previously titled in other state
Submit your out-of-state car title at the County tax Collector office as a proof of ownership. Complete the Florida Title Application Form along with the verified Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and odometer reading or the DHSMV form 82042.
A Sales Tax will be collected if applicable. If the current title has been in your name for less than six months, you need to show the bill of sale as proof of sales tax. If the sales tax is less than the Florida sales tax, you are subject to additional sales tax. A title fee, lien fee and initial registration must also be paid. You need to have a Florida insurance to obtain a license plate. One more thing, bring the vehicle so the County Tax Collector’s staff can verify the VIN (if the weather permits).
Vehicles Titled in Another Country
The state of Florida does not credit the sales tax or use tax you paid to a foreign county. Thus, you are required to pay the 6% Florida sales tax plus the local discretionary sales surtax or use tax before a certificate of title and license plate.
Note: Vehicles which are originally titled in Florida, taken to another county and return to the state with the same ownership, sales tax and use tax will NOT be due. However, the VIN needs to be verified by a DMV Compliance Examiner/Inspector.
Visit auto-title.org for step-by-step guide for obtaining or transferring a car title.
Losing a Car Title and Obtaining a Duplicate
A car title is a very important document, however it can be lost, misplaced or stolen. Fortunately, it is easily fixed in Florida. You can apply for a duplicate title at the County Tax Collector’s office.
Duplicate titles cost $75.25 for an electronic copy. An additional of $2.50 service and handling fee will be collected if you want a paper copy and another $2 to have the lien recorded.
If there is a lien on the vehicle you need to provide proof that the lien has been paid. You might also be required to show ownership and proof of identification. So come to the office prepared.
For a full checklist and guide to seeking a duplicate title, visit auto-title.org
Making Changes on your car title
Changing Names or Making Corrections
If your name has been changed due to a divorce, adoption, marriage or other legal proceedings, you can update your car title too. But before doing so, you need to update your information with the Social Security Administration. After which,
- fill out the title application form at the County Tax Collector’s office
- Pay the fees
- Bring proof of your name change such as marriage certificate or divorce decree or other court certifications
Deleting or Adding Name(s)
Take a look at your current car title
- If it says “and” in between names, all parties must sign the title to initiate the name deletion process.
- If it says “or” just one party needs to sign
To add a new name, the person whose name is being added should sign the title
- Fill out the Transfer of Title section with the odometer reading, where it says price, put “gift”
- Submit the appropriately signed title or mail it to the County Tax Collector’s office
- Apply for a new title
- Pay the fees
Updating your car title with your current address can be done online or in person. You are required to report the change of address within 10 days after your move.