Buying and Selling FAQs in Florida

We have many sections devoted to the important matter of buying and selling vehicles, including our State Regulations section. After all, next to buying or selling your home, this transaction will likely involve the most money. So, in this section, we'll take a look at some common questions regarding this issue.

What is a bill of sale?

It's a written document that helps to provide proof of transfer of ownership of personal property, such as a car. It will contain important information, including the purchase price of the vehicle, the sale date, a description of the vehicle, and the names of the buyer and seller.

Where can I get a blank bill of sale?

Glad you asked. We provide a generic bill of sale, and the state has its own version.

What is a notice of sale?

The state bill of sale or Notice of Sale and/or Bill of Sale for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, Off-Highway Vehicle or Vessel (Form HSMV 82050) can be downloaded and printed. It will need to be complete and then filed with your local county tax collector office. Doing so protects you from civil liability and other headaches that could occur if the buyer doesn't promptly register and title the vehicle.

Filing the form alerts the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) that the vehicle has been sold, and will let the DMV know that your old registration information can be removed from the system.

How much does it cost to register and get plates for my new vehicle?

That's a good question, but there isn't a simple answer. These registration fees vary depending on the weight and type of vehicle.

How long are temporary plates valid, and how much do they cost?

They're good for 30 days. You may order two plates at your local county tax collector office.

I'm selling my vehicle. What do I need to fill out on the title?

In the seller section, write the buyer's name and address, vehicle sales price, odometer reading, and the date of the sale. Be sure to also print and sign your name.

I'm buying a vehicle. What do I need to fill out on the title?

You just need to print and sign your name in the buyer's section.

I want the title to be in my wife's name, too. Will she need to be present when the title is being assigned?

Yes, she will. Everyone listed on the title must be there when it is being assigned.

I'm selling a vehicle to a private buyer. Do we need to complete the title transaction at a county tax collector office?

Absolutely not. However, it is a good idea, as this way questions can be easily answered, and you can rest assured that both parties have properly handled the necessary requirements.

I'm buying a used vehicle from someone in Georgia. Is there anything special that I need to do?

Yes. With a few exceptions, all vehicles that were titled or registered in another state must undergo a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection in Florida.

These inspections can be completed by law enforcement officers, county tax collector employees, or licensed motor vehicle dealers (including out-of-state dealers).

I'm having all sorts of problems with my new car. Where I can find out more about Florida's Lemon Law?

We cover this subject in our Lemon Law section.

Where can I find more information about registering and titling cars?

An excellent place to start is by looking at our helpful registration and titling sections.

I want a hybrid car, but they're expensive. Are there any tax breaks for hybrids?

No. Incentives for hybrids ended December 31, 2010. However there are incentives for Electric Vehicles (EVs).

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