Motor Vehicles

Titles

All motor vehicles must be titled and registered. Florida Statute 319.40 authorizes the DHSMV to issue an electronic certificate of title in lieu of a paper title. An electronic title may be converted to a paper title at the owner’s request. The DHSMV will mail the paper title from Tallahassee to the owner approximately two weeks after it is ordered. The owner may opt for an expedited paper title for an additional fee at a service center. 

Transfer of a Florida Title

The seller(s) must complete the “Transfer of Title by Seller” section in full on the certificate of title. This includes: the purchaser’s name, selling price, date of sale, and odometer reading with date read (when applicable). The seller(s) and purchaser(s) must then sign and print their name. Their signatures are not required to be notarized in this section, even if there is a labeled place.

Transfer of an Out-of-State Title

A customer with a motor vehicle, boat/vessel, or mobile home from out-of-state should have a certificate of title as proof of ownership. The transfer section on the out-of-state title must be properly executed by the seller if there is a transfer of ownership.

A customer whose title is held by a lending institution must provide their most current vehicle registration and the lienholder’s name, address, and account number.

We recommend that customers with a transaction involving a non-titled motor vehicle, boat/vessel, or mobile home contact our office to address specific requirements.

Florida Statutes require that the vehicle identification number (VIN) on motor vehicles be verified. The VIN verification may be completed on the Application for Certificate of Title with/without Registration (HSMV 82040), or a Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification form (HSMV 82042).

Obtain a Duplicate Florida Title

The owner of a motor vehicle, mobile home, or boat/vessel may obtain a duplicate Florida title by completing an Application for Duplicate or Lost in Transit/Reassignment Title (HSMV 82101). The owner must also submit a lien satisfaction form (HSMV 82260) if records show a recorded lien against the certificate of title.

In the instance that a seller has lost a title and the purchaser will obtain a Florida title, both the seller and the purchaser may visit our office together and complete form HSMV 82101. This allows the seller to transfer ownership without paying for an expedited title or waiting for a title to be sent in the mail. However, both duplicate and transfer of title fees will apply at the time of the transaction.

Sales Tax

The State of Florida has a state sales and use tax of 6%. Lake County has an additional 1% Discretionary Surtax on the first $5000 of the purchase price for a maximum of $50. The Tax Collector, as an agent for the Florida Department of Revenue (DOR), collects sales and use tax on transactions when a customer applies for a title or transfers a title to motor vehicles, mobile homes, and boats/vessels. If a motor vehicle, mobile home, boat/vessel is traded in, sales tax is collected on the difference between the purchase price of the vehicle and the gross trade-in allowance. Some exemptions to sales tax apply.

Registrations

Motor vehicles, boats/vessels, and trailers are registered according to the owner’s birth month. The registration is valid until midnight on the owner’s birthday. When a vehicle is registered in multiple names, the birthday of the person whose name appears first on the title will determine the registration expiration. A delinquent fee will be charged on all registrations not renewed by the 10th calendar day of the month following the expiration month. (Per Florida Statute 320.07(4))

The following is a list of some exceptions to birthday expirations:

  • Vehicles titled in the name of a company expire on June 30th
  • All mobile homes (not declared as real property) expire on December 31st
  • Trucks over 8000 pounds, tractors, semi-trailers, and 9+ passenger vehicles for hire expire December 31st

An Initial Registration Fee of $225 may be imposed, unless the owner is otherwise exempted, for the first time registration of private automobiles, motor homes, and pickups/trucks weighing 5,000 pounds or less.

Proof of Insurance

Proof of Florida insurance is required to purchase and renew a license plate in Florida. The vehicle owner must provide proof of personal injury protection (PIP) in the amount of $10,000 and combined bodily liability and property damage liability in the amount of at least $10,000.

Proof of insurance is not required to be presented at the time of purchase or renewal of license plates for motorcycles, mobile homes, and trailers. However, this is a statement of procedural fact and is in no way intended to suggest that insurance should not be carried. Additional Information about Insurance