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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXIII
MOTOR VEHICLES
Chapter 319
TITLE CERTIFICATES
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F.S. 319.22
319.22 Transfer of title.
(1) Except as provided in ss. 319.21 and 319.28, a person acquiring a motor vehicle or mobile home from the owner thereof, whether or not the owner is a licensed dealer, shall not acquire marketable title to the motor vehicle or mobile home until he or she has had issued to him or her a certificate of title to the motor vehicle or mobile home; nor shall any waiver or estoppel operate in favor of such person against a person having possession of such certificate of title or an assignment of such certificate for such motor vehicle or mobile home for a valuable consideration. Except as otherwise provided herein, no court shall recognize the right, title, claim, or interest of any person in or to any motor vehicle or mobile home sold, disposed of, mortgaged, or encumbered, unless evidenced by a certificate of title duly issued to that person, in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(2)(a) An owner or coowner who has made a bona fide sale or transfer of a motor vehicle or mobile home and has delivered possession thereof to a purchaser shall not, by reason of any of the provisions of this chapter, be deemed the owner or coowner of such vehicle or mobile home so as to be subject to civil liability for the operation of such vehicle or mobile home thereafter by another when such owner or coowner has fulfilled either of the following requirements:
1. When such owner or coowner has made proper endorsement and delivery of the certificate of title as provided by this chapter. Proper endorsement shall be:
a. When a motor vehicle or mobile home is registered in the names of two or more persons as coowners in the alternative by the use of the word “or,” such vehicle shall be held in joint tenancy. Each coowner shall be deemed to have granted to the other coowner the absolute right to dispose of the title and interest in the vehicle or mobile home, and the signature of any coowner shall constitute proper endorsement. Upon the death of a coowner, the interest of the decedent shall pass to the survivor as though title or interest in the vehicle or mobile home was held in joint tenancy. This provision shall apply even if the coowners are husband and wife.
b. When a vehicle or mobile home is registered in the names of two or more persons as coowners in the conjunctive by the use of the word “and,” the signature of each coowner or his or her personal representative shall be required to transfer title to the vehicle or mobile home.

The department shall adopt suitable language to appear upon the certificate of title to effectuate the manner in which the interest in or title to the motor vehicle or mobile home is held.

2. When such owner or coowner has delivered to the department, or placed in the United States mail, addressed to the department, either the certificate of title properly endorsed or a notice in the form prescribed by the department. In addition to the information required by the department under this subparagraph, the notice must also contain the information required under paragraph (b) when the title being transferred is to a motor vehicle.
(b) An owner or coowner who has made a bona fide sale or transfer of a motor vehicle and has delivered possession thereof to a purchaser shall notify the department within 30 days after the sale or transfer in the form prescribed by the department. Notice by such owner or coowner under this paragraph shall satisfy the notice requirement under subparagraph (a)2. for limitation of liability under paragraph (a). The notification shall include the vehicle identification number and the buyer’s full first name, middle initial, last name, and personal or business identification, which may include, but need not be limited to, a driver license number, Florida identification card number, or federal employer identification number, and any information required by the department. This paragraph shall not apply to any transfer or sale to or by a licensed motor vehicle dealer or to an insurer who has taken possession or is taking possession of the vehicle or the title thereto pursuant to a policy of insurance.
(c) The department shall inform the motor vehicle owner or coowner of the requirements of this subsection with the issuance of each certificate of title to a motor vehicle. The information may be printed on the certificate of title or on a separate form that is included with the certificate.
(3) In the case of a private or casual sale, except for transfers by a surviving spouse as provided by s. 319.28, no title shall be accepted for transfer unless the name of the person who is selling the vehicle is shown as the owner on the face of the title. For the purposes of this subsection, a private or casual sale is a sale or assignment of motor vehicle or mobile home ownership in which none of the parties to the transaction is a licensed dealer and none of the parties is an insurer who has taken possession or is taking possession of the vehicle or the title thereto pursuant to a policy of insurance.
(4) Each certificate of title shall contain a labeled place for the seller’s price to be indicated. No title shall be accepted for transfer by any county tax collector or other agent of the state unless the sales price is entered in the appropriately labeled place on the certificate of title by the seller, if a labeled place is provided. This subsection does not apply to any transfer of motor vehicle or mobile home ownership by a licensed dealer.
(5) It is illegal to transfer title to a motor vehicle when the purchaser’s name does not appear on the title. Any buyer or seller who knowingly and willfully violates this subsection with intent to commit fraud commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
History.s. 3, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 2, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 79-333; s. 196, ch. 81-259; s. 1, ch. 81-291; s. 6, ch. 82-134; s. 1, ch. 83-91; s. 11, ch. 89-333; s. 337, ch. 95-148; s. 8, ch. 95-333; s. 9, ch. 2002-235; s. 1, ch. 2009-206.