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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. 319.33
319.33 Offenses involving vehicle identification numbers, applications, certificates, papers; penalty.
(1) It is unlawful:
(a) To alter or forge any certificate of title to a motor vehicle or mobile home or any assignment thereof or any cancellation of any lien on a motor vehicle or mobile home.
(b) To retain or use such certificate, assignment, or cancellation knowing that it has been altered or forged.
(c) To procure or attempt to procure a certificate of title to a motor vehicle or mobile home, or pass or attempt to pass a certificate of title or any assignment thereof to a motor vehicle or mobile home, knowing or having reason to believe that such motor vehicle or mobile home has been stolen.
(d) To possess, sell or offer for sale, conceal, or dispose of in this state a motor vehicle or mobile home, or major component part thereof, on which any motor number or vehicle identification number that has been affixed by the manufacturer or by a state agency, such as the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which regulates motor vehicles has been destroyed, removed, covered, altered, or defaced, with knowledge of such destruction, removal, covering, alteration, or defacement, except as provided in s. 319.30(4).
(e) To use a false or fictitious name, give a false or fictitious address, or make any false statement in any application or affidavit required under the provisions of this chapter or in a bill of sale or sworn statement of ownership or otherwise commit a fraud in any application.
(2) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to obtain goods, services, credit, or money by means of an invalid, duplicate, fictitious, forged, counterfeit, stolen, or unlawfully obtained certificate of title, registration, bill of sale, or other indicia of ownership of a motor vehicle or mobile home.
(3) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to obtain goods, services, credit, or money by means of a certificate of title to a motor vehicle or mobile home, which certificate is required by law to be surrendered to the department.
(4) It is unlawful for any person knowingly and with intent to defraud to have in his or her possession, sell, offer to sell, counterfeit, or supply a blank, forged, fictitious, counterfeit, stolen, or fraudulently or unlawfully obtained certificate of title, registration, bill of sale, or other indicia of ownership of a motor vehicle or mobile home or to conspire to do any of the foregoing.
(5) It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to knowingly possess, manufacture, sell or exchange, offer to sell or exchange, supply in blank, or give away any counterfeit manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plates or serial plates or any decal used for the purpose of identification of any motor vehicle; or for any officer, agent, or employee of any person, firm, or corporation, or any person who shall authorize, direct, aid in exchange, or give away such counterfeit manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plates or serial plates or any decal; or conspire to do any of the foregoing. However, nothing in this subsection shall be applicable to any approved replacement manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plates or serial plates or any decal issued by the department or any state.
(6) Any person who violates any provision of this section is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any motor vehicle used in violation of this section shall constitute contraband which may be seized by a law enforcement agency and shall be subject to forfeiture proceedings pursuant to ss. 932.701-932.704. This section is not exclusive of any other penalties prescribed by any existing or future laws for the larceny or unauthorized taking of motor vehicles or mobile homes, but is supplementary thereto.
(7)(a) If all identifying numbers of a motor vehicle or mobile home do not exist or have been destroyed, removed, covered, altered, or defaced, or if the real identity of the motor vehicle or mobile home cannot be determined, the motor vehicle or mobile home shall constitute contraband and shall be subject to forfeiture by a seizing law enforcement agency, pursuant to applicable provisions of ss. 932.701-932.704. Such motor vehicle shall not be operated on the streets and highways of the state unless, by written order of a court of competent jurisdiction, the department is directed to assign to the vehicle a replacement vehicle identification number which shall thereafter be used for identification purposes. If the motor vehicle is confiscated from a licensed motor vehicle dealer as defined in s. 320.27, the dealer’s license shall be revoked.
(b) If all numbers or other identifying marks manufactured on a major component part have been altered, defaced, destroyed, or otherwise removed for the purpose of concealing the identity of the major component part, the part shall constitute contraband and shall be subject to forfeiture by a seizing law enforcement agency, pursuant to applicable provisions of ss. 932.701-932.704. Any major component part forfeited under this subsection shall be destroyed or disposed of in a manner so as to make it unusable.
History.s. 14, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 1, ch. 69-9; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 190, ch. 71-136; s. 18, ch. 82-134; s. 1, ch. 85-155; s. 20, ch. 87-243; s. 5, ch. 90-283; s. 347, ch. 95-148; s. 96, ch. 99-13; s. 258, ch. 99-248; s. 114, ch. 2002-20; s. 12, ch. 2002-235.