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The Florida Statutes

The 2014 Florida Statutes

Title XXIII
MOTOR VEHICLES
Chapter 319
TITLE CERTIFICATES
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CHAPTER 319
CHAPTER 319
TITLE CERTIFICATES
319.001 Definitions.
319.14 Sale of motor vehicles registered or used as taxicabs, police vehicles, lease vehicles, rebuilt vehicles, nonconforming vehicles, custom vehicles, or street rod vehicles; conversion of low-speed vehicles.
319.141 Pilot rebuilt motor vehicle inspection program.
319.145 Autonomous vehicles.
319.17 Rules; forms; indexes and records.
319.20 Application of law.
319.21 Necessity of manufacturer’s statement of origin and certificate of title.
319.22 Transfer of title.
319.225 Transfer and reassignment forms; odometer disclosure statements.
319.23 Application for, and issuance of, certificate of title.
319.235 Encumbrance of coowned motor vehicle or mobile home.
319.24 Issuance in duplicate; delivery; liens and encumbrances.
319.241 Removal of lien from records.
319.25 Cancellation of certificates.
319.261 Real property transactions; retiring title to mobile home.
319.27 Notice of lien on motor vehicles or mobile homes; notation on certificate; recording of lien.
319.271 Terminal rent adjustment clause.
319.28 Transfer of ownership by operation of law.
319.29 Lost or destroyed certificates.
319.30 Definitions; dismantling, destruction, change of identity of motor vehicle or mobile home; salvage.
319.32 Fees; service charges; disposition.
319.323 Expedited service; applications; fees.
319.324 Odometer fraud prevention and detection; funding.
319.33 Offenses involving vehicle identification numbers, applications, certificates, papers; penalty.
319.34 Transfer without delivery of certificate; operation or use without certificate; failure to surrender; other violations.
319.35 Unlawful acts in connection with motor vehicle odometer readings; penalties.
319.40 Transactions by electronic or telephonic means.
319.41 Title history database.
319.001 Definitions.As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) “Certificate of title” means the record that is evidence of ownership of a vehicle, whether a paper certificate authorized by the department or a certificate consisting of information that is stored in an electronic form in the department’s database.
(2) “Department” means the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.
(3) “Front-end assembly” means fenders, hood, grill, and bumper.
(4) “Licensed dealer,” unless otherwise specifically provided, means a motor vehicle dealer licensed under s. 320.27, a mobile home dealer licensed under s. 320.77, or a recreational vehicle dealer licensed under s. 320.771.
(5) “Motorcycle body assembly” means frame, fenders, and gas tanks.
(6) “Motorcycle engine” means cylinder block, heads, engine case, and crank case.
(7) “Motorcycle transmission” means drive train.
(8) “New mobile home” means a mobile home the equitable or legal title to which has never been transferred by a manufacturer, distributor, importer, or dealer to an ultimate purchaser.
(9) “New motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle the equitable or legal title to which has never been transferred by a manufacturer, distributor, importer, or dealer to an ultimate purchaser; however, when legal title is not transferred but possession of a motor vehicle is transferred pursuant to a conditional sales contract or lease and the conditions are not satisfied and the vehicle is returned to the motor vehicle dealer, the motor vehicle may be resold by the motor vehicle dealer as a new motor vehicle, provided the selling motor vehicle dealer gives the following written notice to the purchaser: “THIS VEHICLE WAS DELIVERED TO A PREVIOUS PURCHASER.” The purchaser shall sign an acknowledgment, a copy of which is kept in the selling dealer’s file.
(10) “Rear body section” means both quarter panels, decklid, bumper, and floor pan.
(11) “Satisfaction of lien” means full payment of a debt or release of a debtor from a lien by the lienholder.
(12) “Used motor vehicle” means any motor vehicle that is not a “new motor vehicle” as defined in subsection (9).
History.s. 1, ch. 82-134; s. 2, ch. 89-333; s. 22, ch. 95-333; s. 20, ch. 2000-313; s. 7, ch. 2002-235; s. 15, ch. 2008-176; s. 29, ch. 2009-21.
319.14 Sale of motor vehicles registered or used as taxicabs, police vehicles, lease vehicles, rebuilt vehicles, nonconforming vehicles, custom vehicles, or street rod vehicles; conversion of low-speed vehicles.
(1)(a) A person may not knowingly offer for sale, sell, or exchange any vehicle that has been licensed, registered, or used as a taxicab, police vehicle, or short-term-lease vehicle, or a vehicle that has been repurchased by a manufacturer pursuant to a settlement, determination, or decision under chapter 681, until the department has stamped in a conspicuous place on the certificate of title of the vehicle, or its duplicate, words stating the nature of the previous use of the vehicle or the title has been stamped “Manufacturer’s Buy Back” to reflect that the vehicle is a nonconforming vehicle. If the certificate of title or duplicate was not so stamped upon initial issuance thereof or if, subsequent to initial issuance of the title, the use of the vehicle is changed to a use requiring the notation provided for in this section, the owner or lienholder of the vehicle shall surrender the certificate of title or duplicate to the department prior to offering the vehicle for sale, and the department shall stamp the certificate or duplicate as required herein. When a vehicle has been repurchased by a manufacturer pursuant to a settlement, determination, or decision under chapter 681, the title shall be stamped “Manufacturer’s Buy Back” to reflect that the vehicle is a nonconforming vehicle.
(b) A person may not knowingly offer for sale, sell, or exchange a rebuilt vehicle until the department has stamped in a conspicuous place on the certificate of title for the vehicle words stating that the vehicle has been rebuilt or assembled from parts, or is a kit car, glider kit, replica, flood vehicle, custom vehicle, or street rod vehicle unless proper application for a certificate of title for a vehicle that is rebuilt or assembled from parts, or is a kit car, glider kit, replica, flood vehicle, custom vehicle, or street rod vehicle has been made to the department in accordance with this chapter and the department has conducted the physical examination of the vehicle to assure the identity of the vehicle and all major component parts, as defined in s. 319.30(1), which have been repaired or replaced. Thereafter, the department shall affix a decal to the vehicle, in the manner prescribed by the department, showing the vehicle to be rebuilt.
(c) As used in this section, the term:
1. “Police vehicle” means a motor vehicle owned or leased by the state or a county or municipality and used in law enforcement.
2.a. “Short-term-lease vehicle” means a motor vehicle leased without a driver and under a written agreement to one or more persons from time to time for a period of less than 12 months.
b. “Long-term-lease vehicle” means a motor vehicle leased without a driver and under a written agreement to one person for a period of 12 months or longer.
c. “Lease vehicle” includes both short-term-lease vehicles and long-term-lease vehicles.
3. “Rebuilt vehicle” means a motor vehicle or mobile home built from salvage or junk, as defined in s. 319.30(1).
4. “Assembled from parts” means a motor vehicle or mobile home assembled from parts or combined from parts of motor vehicles or mobile homes, new or used. “Assembled from parts” does not mean a motor vehicle defined as a “rebuilt vehicle” in subparagraph 3., which has been declared a total loss pursuant to s. 319.30.
5. “Kit car” means a motor vehicle assembled with a kit supplied by a manufacturer to rebuild a wrecked or outdated motor vehicle with a new body kit.
6. “Glider kit” means a vehicle assembled with a kit supplied by a manufacturer to rebuild a wrecked or outdated truck or truck tractor.
7. “Replica” means a complete new motor vehicle manufactured to look like an old vehicle.
8. “Flood vehicle” means a motor vehicle or mobile home that has been declared to be a total loss pursuant to s. 319.30(3)(a) resulting from damage caused by water.
9. “Nonconforming vehicle” means a motor vehicle which has been purchased by a manufacturer pursuant to a settlement, determination, or decision under chapter 681.
10. “Settlement” means an agreement entered into between a manufacturer and a consumer that occurs after a dispute is submitted to a program, or an informal dispute settlement procedure established by a manufacturer or is approved for arbitration before the New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board as defined in s. 681.102.
11. “Custom vehicle” means a motor vehicle that:
a. Is 25 years of age or older and of a model year after 1948 or was manufactured to resemble a vehicle that is 25 years of age or older and of a model year after 1948; and
b. Has been altered from the manufacturer’s original design or has a body constructed from nonoriginal materials.

The model year and year of manufacture that the body of a custom vehicle resembles is the model year and year of manufacture listed on the certificate of title, regardless of when the vehicle was actually manufactured.

12. “Street rod” means a motor vehicle that:
a. Is of a model year of 1948 or older or was manufactured after 1948 to resemble a vehicle of a model year of 1948 or older; and
b. Has been altered from the manufacturer’s original design or has a body constructed from nonoriginal materials.

The model year and year of manufacture that the body of a street rod resembles is the model year and year of manufacture listed on the certificate of title, regardless of when the vehicle was actually manufactured.

(2) A person may not knowingly sell, exchange, or transfer a vehicle referred to in subsection (1) without, before consummating the sale, exchange, or transfer, disclosing in writing to the purchaser, customer, or transferee the fact that the vehicle has previously been titled, registered, or used as a taxicab, police vehicle, or short-term-lease vehicle, is a vehicle that is rebuilt or assembled from parts, is a kit car, glider kit, replica, or flood vehicle, or is a nonconforming vehicle, custom vehicle, or street rod vehicle, as the case may be.
(3) Any person who, with intent to offer for sale or exchange any vehicle referred to in subsection (1), knowingly or intentionally advertises, publishes, disseminates, circulates, or places before the public in any communications medium, whether directly or indirectly, any offer to sell or exchange the vehicle shall clearly and precisely state in each such offer that the vehicle has previously been titled, registered, or used as a taxicab, police vehicle, or short-term-lease vehicle or that the vehicle or mobile home is a vehicle that is rebuilt or assembled from parts, is a kit car, glider kit, replica, or flood vehicle, or is a nonconforming vehicle, custom vehicle, or street rod vehicle, as the case may be. A person who violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) If a certificate of title, including a foreign certificate, is branded to reflect a condition or prior use of the titled vehicle, the brand must be noted on the registration certificate of the vehicle and such brand shall be carried forward on all subsequent certificates of title and registration certificates issued for the life of the vehicle.
(5) A person who knowingly sells, exchanges, or offers to sell or exchange a motor vehicle or mobile home contrary to this section or any officer, agent, or employee of a person who knowingly authorizes, directs, aids in, or consents to the sale, exchange, or offer to sell or exchange a motor vehicle or mobile home contrary to this section commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) A person who removes a rebuilt decal from a rebuilt vehicle with the intent to conceal the rebuilt status of the vehicle commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(7) This section applies to a mobile home, travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, or fifth-wheel recreation trailer only when the mobile home or vehicle is a rebuilt vehicle or is assembled from parts.
(8) A person is not liable or accountable in any civil action arising out of a violation of this section if the designation of the previous use or condition of the motor vehicle is not noted on the certificate of title and registration certificate of the vehicle which was received by, or delivered to, such person, unless the person has actively concealed the prior use or condition of the vehicle from the purchaser.
(9) Subsections (1), (2), and (3) do not apply to the transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle after the motor vehicle has ceased to be used as a lease vehicle and the ownership has been transferred to an owner for private use or to the transfer of ownership of a nonconforming vehicle with 36,000 or more miles on its odometer, or 34 months whichever is later and the ownership has been transferred to an owner for private use. Such owner, as shown on the title certificate, may request the department to issue a corrected certificate of title that does not contain the statement of the previous use of the vehicle as a lease vehicle or condition as a nonconforming vehicle.
(10)(a) A vehicle titled or branded and registered as a low-speed vehicle may be converted to a golf cart pursuant to the following:
1. The owner of the converted vehicle must contact the regional office of the department to verify the conversion, surrender the registration license plate and the current certificate of title, and pay the appropriate fee established under paragraph (b).
2. The owner of the converted vehicle must provide an affidavit to the department attesting that the vehicle has been modified to comply with the speed restrictions provided in s. 320.01(22) and acknowledging that the vehicle must be operated in accordance with s. 316.212, s. 316.2125, s. 316.2126, or s. 316.21265.
3. Upon verification of the conversion, the department shall note in the vehicle record that the low-speed vehicle has been converted to a golf cart and shall cancel the certificate of title and registration of the vehicle.
(b) The department shall establish a fee of $40 to cover the cost of verification and associated administrative costs for carrying out its responsibilities under this subsection.
(c) The department shall issue a decal reflecting the conversion of the vehicle to a golf cart, upon which is clearly legible the following text: “CONVERTED VEHICLE. Max speed 20 mph.” The decal must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle, so that the decal is plainly visible.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, ch. 20226, 1941; s. 1, ch. 28185, 1953; s. 1, ch. 29850, 1955; s. 1, ch. 57-390; s. 1, ch. 59-174; s. 1, ch. 59-452; s. 6, ch. 65-190; s. 1, ch. 69-379; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 187, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 78-412; s. 2, ch. 82-134; s. 7, ch. 83-218; ss. 3, 15, ch. 89-333; s. 1, ch. 92-88; s. 1, ch. 96-227; s. 10, ch. 96-413; s. 11, ch. 97-245; s. 11, ch. 99-248; ss. 46, 47, ch. 2000-171; s. 8, ch. 2002-235; s. 2, ch. 2008-170; s. 20, ch. 2012-181; s. 1, ch. 2013-161.
319.141 Pilot rebuilt motor vehicle inspection program.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Facility” means a rebuilt motor vehicle inspection facility authorized and operating under this section.
(b) “Rebuilt inspection” means an examination of a rebuilt vehicle and a properly endorsed certificate of title, salvage certificate of title, or manufacturer’s statement of origin and an application for a rebuilt certificate of title, a rebuilder’s affidavit, a photograph of the junk or salvage vehicle taken before repairs began, receipts or invoices for all major component parts, as defined in s. 319.30, which were changed, and proof that notice of rebuilding of the vehicle has been reported to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System.
(2) By October 1, 2013, the department shall implement a pilot program in Miami-Dade and Hillsborough Counties to evaluate alternatives for rebuilt inspection services to be offered by the private sector, including the feasibility of using private facilities, the cost impact to consumers, and the potential savings to the department.
(3) The department shall establish a memorandum of understanding that allows private parties participating in the pilot program to conduct rebuilt motor vehicle inspections and specifies requirements for oversight, bonding and insurance, procedures, and forms and requires the electronic transmission of documents.
(4) Before an applicant is approved, the department shall ensure that the applicant meets basic criteria designed to protect the public. At a minimum, the applicant shall:
(a) Have and maintain a surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of $50,000 executed by the applicant.
(b) Have and maintain garage liability and other insurance required by the department.
(c) Have completed criminal background checks of the owners, partners, and corporate officers and the inspectors employed by the facility.
(d) Meet any additional criteria the department determines necessary to conduct proper inspections.
(5) A participant in the program shall access vehicle and title information and enter inspection results through an electronic filing system authorized by the department.
(6) The department shall submit a report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives providing the results of the pilot program by February 1, 2015.
(7) This section shall stand repealed on July 1, 2015, unless saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
History.s. 21, ch. 2013-160.
319.145 Autonomous vehicles.
(1) An autonomous vehicle registered in this state must continue to meet federal standards and regulations for a motor vehicle. The vehicle shall:
(a) Have a means to engage and disengage the autonomous technology which is easily accessible to the operator.
(b) Have a means, inside the vehicle, to visually indicate when the vehicle is operating in autonomous mode.
(c) Have a means to alert the operator of the vehicle if a technology failure affecting the ability of the vehicle to safely operate autonomously is detected while the vehicle is operating autonomously in order to indicate to the operator to take control of the vehicle.
(d) Be capable of being operated in compliance with the applicable traffic and motor vehicle laws of this state.
(2) Federal regulations promulgated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shall supersede this section when found to be in conflict with this section.
History.s. 4, ch. 2012-111; s. 108, ch. 2012-174
319.17 Rules; forms; indexes and records.
(1) The department has authority to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement the provisions of this chapter, including rules that allow alternative methods of proof of satisfaction of liens.
(2) The department shall prescribe all forms required by or deemed necessary to the administration of this chapter. The department shall maintain a sufficient supply of blank forms and shall provide any form other than a certificate of title without charge to any resident of this state upon request. The department shall adopt as rules the documents and forms contained in former s. 319.31, with such modifications as it deems necessary to the effective administration of this chapter.
(3) The department shall maintain indexes of motor vehicles and mobile homes by name of owner, by title number, and by manufacturer’s motor number or vehicle identification number. The department shall keep an electronic record of notices of liens and satisfactions thereof. Such indexes and records shall be open to the inspection of the public at all reasonable times, except as provided in chapter 119.
History.s. 3, ch. 20917, 1941; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 3, ch. 82-134; s. 2, ch. 97-185; s. 61, ch. 98-200; s. 21, ch. 2000-313.
319.20 Application of law.The provisions of this chapter apply exclusively, except as otherwise specifically provided, to motor vehicles and mobile homes required to be registered and licensed under the laws of this state and defined by such registration laws. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to any moped or to any trailer or semitrailer having a net weight of less than 2,000 pounds. All provisions of this chapter relating to title certificates also apply to any recreational vehicle-type unit and to any mobile home classified and taxed as real property pursuant to s. 320.0815(2); and no title, lien, or other interest in such vehicle or mobile home shall be valid unless evidenced in accordance with this chapter.
History.s. 1, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 6, ch. 65-190; s. 1, ch. 65-447; s. 4, ch. 82-134.
319.21 Necessity of manufacturer’s statement of origin and certificate of title.
(1) No manufacturer, distributor, licensed dealer, or other person shall sell or otherwise dispose of a new motor vehicle or a new mobile home to a distributor, licensed dealer, or other person without delivering to such distributor, licensed dealer, or other person a manufacturer’s statement of origin duly executed and with such assignments thereon as may be necessary to show title in the purchaser thereof, on forms approved by the department; nor shall any distributor, licensed dealer, or other person purchase, acquire, or bring into the state, except for temporary use and not for sale, a new motor vehicle or a new mobile home without obtaining from the seller thereof the manufacturer’s statement of origin. Such statement of origin shall be in the English language. In addition to the assignments stated herein, the manufacturer’s statement of origin shall contain a certification of the identification and description of the motor vehicle or mobile home delivered and the name and address of the distributor, licensed dealer, or other person to whom the motor vehicle or mobile home was originally sold, over the signature of an authorized official of the manufacturer who made the original delivery; however, no statement of origin shall be required for any new motor vehicle or new mobile home purchased from a person other than a manufacturer or a representative of a manufacturer in a state which does not require such statement of origin. Prior to the issuance of a certificate of title for any such new motor vehicle or new mobile home, the holder of any security interest therein may demand and receive from the owner thereof the manufacturer’s statement of origin and may retain it as long as he or she holds the security interest.
(2) When a motor vehicle is built in two or more stages, each manufacturer must provide a manufacturer’s statement of origin for each stage.
(3) Except as provided in s. 320.27(7), no person shall sell or otherwise dispose of a motor vehicle or mobile home without delivering to the purchaser or transferee thereof a certificate of title with such assignment thereon as may be necessary to show title in the name of the purchaser. No person shall purchase or otherwise acquire or bring into the state a motor vehicle or mobile home, except for a surviving spouse as provided by s. 319.28 or except for temporary use, unless such person obtains a certificate of title for it in his or her name in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. However, any licensed dealer may, in lieu of having a certificate of title issued in the dealer’s name, reassign any existing certificate of title, except as provided in s. 319.225. It shall not be necessary for any licensed dealer to obtain a certificate of title on any new motor vehicle or new mobile home which he or she is selling or which he or she acquires for sale if the dealer obtains a manufacturer’s statement of origin as provided in subsection (1); however, the dealer shall attach the manufacturer’s statement of origin to the separate application for initial certificate of title which is made by the purchaser and certify on the face of such application that the vehicle is a new motor vehicle or new mobile home and shall also disclose the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, or other person from whom the dealer acquired such motor vehicle or mobile home. In no event shall a manufacturer’s statement of origin be issued or reissued to any distributor, licensed dealer, or other person for the purpose of updating any motor vehicle or mobile home for sale. As used in this subsection, the term “updating” means:
(a) Modification of the motor vehicle or mobile home in such a manner that it resembles in appearance the current year’s model;
(b) Replacement of the original identification number and chassis number, which replacement reflects a change in the year manufactured, or any other modification which misrepresents the actual year manufactured; or
(c) Issuance of another manufacturer’s statement of origin changing the model year of manufacture.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of other laws of this state, no motor vehicle or mobile home shall be eligible for initial registration in this state unless the provisions of this section have been complied with.
History.s. 2, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 1, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 1, ch. 61-296; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 77-11; s. 5, ch. 82-134; s. 4, ch. 89-333; s. 336, ch. 95-148; s. 7, ch. 95-333; s. 11, ch. 96-413; s. 56, ch. 2014-17.
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.
319.225 Transfer and reassignment forms; odometer disclosure statements.
(1) Every certificate of title issued by the department must contain the following statement on its reverse side: “Federal and state law require the completion of the odometer statement set out below. Failure to complete or providing false information may result in fines, imprisonment, or both.”
(2) Each certificate of title issued by the department must contain on its front side a form for transfer of title by the titleholder of record, which form must contain an odometer disclosure statement in the form required by 49 C.F.R. s. 580.5.
(3) Each certificate of title issued by the department must contain on its reverse side as many forms as space allows for reassignment of title by a licensed dealer as permitted by s. 319.21(3), which form or forms shall contain an odometer disclosure statement in the form required by 49 C.F.R. s. 580.5. When all dealer reassignment forms provided on the back of the title certificate have been filled in, a dealer may reassign the title certificate by using a separate dealer reassignment form issued by the department in compliance with 49 C.F.R. ss. 580.4 and 580.5, which form shall contain an original that shall be submitted to the department by the dealer and a copy that shall be retained by the dealer in his or her records for 5 years. The provisions of this subsection shall also apply to vehicles not previously titled in this state and vehicles whose title certificates do not contain the forms required by this section.
(4) Upon transfer or reassignment of a certificate of title to a used motor vehicle, the transferor shall complete the odometer disclosure statement provided for by this section and the transferee shall acknowledge the disclosure by signing and printing his or her name in the spaces provided. This subsection does not apply to a vehicle that has a gross vehicle rating of more than 16,000 pounds, a vehicle that is not self-propelled, or a vehicle that is 10 years old or older. A lessor who transfers title to his or her vehicle without obtaining possession of the vehicle shall make odometer disclosure as provided by 49 C.F.R. s. 580.7. Any person who fails to complete or acknowledge a disclosure statement as required by this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. The department may not issue a certificate of title unless this subsection has been complied with.
(5) The same person may not sign a disclosure statement as both the transferor and the transferee in the same transaction except as provided in subsection (6).
(6)(a) If the certificate of title is physically held by a lienholder, the transferor may give a power of attorney to his or her transferee for the purpose of odometer disclosure. The power of attorney must be on a form issued or authorized by the department, which form must be in compliance with 49 C.F.R. ss. 580.4 and 580.13. The department shall not require the signature of the transferor to be notarized on the form; however, in lieu of notarization, the form shall include an affidavit with the following wording: UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, I DECLARE THAT I HAVE READ THE FOREGOING DOCUMENT AND THAT THE FACTS STATED IN IT ARE TRUE. The transferee shall sign the power of attorney form, print his or her name, and return a copy of the power of attorney form to the transferor. Upon receipt of a title certificate, the transferee shall complete the space for mileage disclosure on the title certificate exactly as the mileage was disclosed by the transferor on the power of attorney form. If the transferee is a licensed motor vehicle dealer who is transferring the vehicle to a retail purchaser, the dealer shall make application on behalf of the retail purchaser as provided in s. 319.23(6) and shall submit the original power of attorney form to the department with the application for title and the transferor’s title certificate; otherwise, a dealer may reassign the title certificate by using the dealer reassignment form in the manner prescribed in subsection (3), and, at the time of physical transfer of the vehicle, the original power of attorney shall be delivered to the person designated as the transferee of the dealer on the dealer reassignment form.
(b) If the certificate of title is lost or otherwise unavailable, the transferor may give a power of attorney to his or her transferee for the purpose of odometer disclosure. The power of attorney must be on a form issued or authorized by the department, which form must be in compliance with 49 C.F.R. ss. 580.4 and 580.13. The department shall not require the signature of the transferor to be notarized on the form; however, in lieu of notarization, the form shall include an affidavit with the following wording: UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, I DECLARE THAT I HAVE READ THE FOREGOING DOCUMENT AND THAT THE FACTS STATED IN IT ARE TRUE. The transferee shall sign the power of attorney form, print his or her name, and return a copy of the power of attorney form to the transferor. Upon receipt of the title certificate or a duplicate title certificate, the transferee shall complete the space for mileage disclosure on the title certificate exactly as the mileage was disclosed by the transferor on the power of attorney form. If the transferee is a licensed motor vehicle dealer who is transferring the vehicle to a retail purchaser, the dealer shall make application on behalf of the retail purchaser as provided in s. 319.23(6) and shall submit the original power of attorney form to the department with the application for title and the transferor’s title certificate or duplicate title certificate; otherwise, a dealer may reassign the title certificate by using the dealer reassignment form in the manner prescribed in subsection (3), and, at the time of physical transfer of the vehicle, the original power of attorney shall be delivered to the person designated as the transferee of the dealer on the dealer reassignment form. If the dealer sells the vehicle to an out-of-state resident or an out-of-state dealer and the power of attorney form is applicable to the transaction, the dealer must photocopy the completed original of the form and mail it directly to the department within 5 business days after the certificate of title and dealer reassignment form are delivered by the dealer to its purchaser.
(c) If the mechanics of the transfer of title to a motor vehicle in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (a) or paragraph (b) are determined to be incompatible with and unlawful under the provisions of 49 C.F.R. part 580, the transfer of title to a motor vehicle by operation of this subsection can be effected in any manner not inconsistent with 49 C.F.R. part 580 and Florida law; provided, any power of attorney form issued or authorized by the department under this subsection shall contain an original that shall be submitted to the department by the dealer to effect transfer of a title certificate as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) and a copy that shall be retained by the dealer in its records for 5 years.
(d) Any person who fails to complete the information required by this subsection or to file with the department the forms required by this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. The department shall not issue a certificate of title unless this subsection has been complied with.
(7) If a title is held electronically and the transferee agrees to maintain the title electronically, the transferor and transferee shall complete a secure reassignment document that discloses the odometer reading and is signed by both the transferor and transferee at the tax collector office or license plate agency. Each certificate of title issued by the department must contain on its reverse side a minimum of three spaces for notation of the name and license number of any auction through which the vehicle is sold and the date the vehicle was auctioned. Each separate dealer reassignment form issued by the department must also have the space referred to in this section. When a transfer of title is made at a motor vehicle auction, the reassignment must note the name and address of the auction, but the auction shall not thereby be deemed to be the owner, seller, transferor, or assignor of title. A motor vehicle auction is required to execute a dealer reassignment only when it is the owner of a vehicle being sold.
(8) Upon transfer or reassignment of a used motor vehicle through the services of an auction, the auction shall complete the information in the space provided for by subsection (7). Any person who fails to complete the information as required by this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. The department shall not issue a certificate of title unless this subsection has been complied with.
(9) This section shall be construed to conform to 49 C.F.R. part 580.
History.s. 5, ch. 89-333; s. 2, ch. 90-270; s. 338, ch. 95-148; s. 12, ch. 96-413; s. 6, ch. 2010-198; s. 22, ch. 2013-160.
319.23 Application for, and issuance of, certificate of title.
(1) Application for a certificate of title shall be made upon a form prescribed by the department, shall be filed with the department, and shall be accompanied by the fee prescribed in this chapter. If a certificate of title has previously been issued for a motor vehicle or mobile home in this state, the application for a certificate of title shall be accompanied by the certificate of title duly assigned, or assigned and reassigned, unless otherwise provided for in this chapter. If the motor vehicle or mobile home for which application for a certificate of title is made is a new motor vehicle or new mobile home for which one or more manufacturers’ statements of origin are required by the provisions of s. 319.21, the application for a certificate of title shall be accompanied by all such manufacturers’ statements of origin.
(2) The applicant for a certificate of title shall indicate on the application if the motor vehicle is to be used as a taxicab, police vehicle, or lease vehicle or if the motor vehicle or mobile home is a rebuilt vehicle, as those terms are defined in s. 319.14. Upon issuance of a certificate of title for such vehicle, the department shall stamp, in a conspicuous place on the title, words stating the nature of the proposed use of the vehicle or stating that the vehicle has been rebuilt and may have previously been declared a total loss vehicle due to damage. This subsection applies to a mobile home, travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, or fifth-wheel recreation trailer only when the mobile home or vehicle is a rebuilt vehicle as defined in s. 319.14.
(3) If a certificate of title has not previously been issued for a motor vehicle or mobile home in this state, the application, unless otherwise provided for in this chapter, shall be accompanied by a proper bill of sale or sworn statement of ownership, or a duly certified copy thereof, or by a certificate of title, bill of sale, or other evidence of ownership required by the law of the state or county from which the motor vehicle or mobile home was brought into this state. The application shall also be accompanied by:
(a)1. A sworn affidavit from the seller and purchaser verifying that the vehicle identification number shown on the affidavit is identical to the vehicle identification number shown on the motor vehicle; or
2. An appropriate departmental form evidencing that a physical examination has been made of the motor vehicle by the owner and by a duly constituted law enforcement officer in any state, a licensed motor vehicle dealer, a license inspector as provided by s. 320.58, or a notary public commissioned by this state and that the vehicle identification number shown on such form is identical to the vehicle identification number shown on the motor vehicle; and
(b) If the vehicle is a used car original, a sworn affidavit from the owner verifying that the odometer reading shown on the affidavit is identical to the odometer reading shown on the motor vehicle in accordance with the requirements of 49 C.F.R. s. 580.5 at the time that application for title is made. For the purposes of this section, the term “used car original” means a used vehicle coming into and being titled in this state for the first time.
(c) If the vehicle is an ancient or antique vehicle, as defined in s. 320.086, the application shall be accompanied by a certificate of title; a bill of sale and a registration; or a bill of sale and an affidavit by the owner defending the title from all claims. The bill of sale must contain a complete vehicle description to include the vehicle identification or engine number, year make, color, selling price, and signatures of the seller and purchaser.

Verification of the vehicle identification number is not required for any new motor vehicle; any mobile home; any trailer or semitrailer with a net weight of less than 2,000 pounds; or any travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, or fifth-wheel recreation trailer.

(4) The application for a certificate of title for a motor vehicle or mobile home previously titled or registered outside this state shall show on its face such fact and shall indicate the time and place of the last issuance of certificate of title, or registration, of such motor vehicle or mobile home outside this state and the name and address of the governmental officer, agency, or authority making such registration, together with such further information relative to its previous registration as may reasonably be required by the department, including the time and place of original registration, if known, and if different from the last foreign registration. The applicant shall surrender to the department all certificates, registration cards, or other evidence of foreign registration as may be in his or her possession or under his or her control.
(5) The certificate of title issued by the department for a motor vehicle or mobile home previously registered outside this state shall give the name of the state or country in which the vehicle was last registered outside this state. The department shall use reasonable diligence in ascertaining whether or not the facts in the application are true; and, if satisfied that the applicant is the owner of the motor vehicle or mobile home and that the application is in the proper form, it shall issue a certificate of title.
(6)(a) In the case of the sale of a motor vehicle or mobile home by a licensed dealer to a general purchaser, the certificate of title must be obtained in the name of the purchaser by the dealer upon application signed by the purchaser, and in each other case the certificate must be obtained by the purchaser. In each case of transfer of a motor vehicle or mobile home, the application for a certificate of title, a corrected certificate, or an assignment or reassignment must be filed within 30 days after the delivery of the motor vehicle or after consummation of the sale of the mobile home to the purchaser. An applicant must pay a fee of $20, in addition to all other fees and penalties required by law, for failing to file such application within the specified time. In the case of the sale of a motor vehicle by a licensed motor vehicle dealer to a general purchaser who resides in another state or country, the dealer is not required to apply for a certificate of title for the motor vehicle; however, the dealer must transfer ownership and reassign the certificate of title or manufacturer’s certificate of origin to the purchaser, and the purchaser must sign an affidavit, as approved by the department, that the purchaser will title and register the motor vehicle in another state or country.
(b) If a licensed dealer acquires a motor vehicle or mobile home as a trade-in, the dealer must file with the department, within 30 days, a notice of sale signed by the seller. The department shall update its database for that title record to indicate “sold.” A licensed dealer need not apply for a certificate of title for any motor vehicle or mobile home in stock acquired for stock purposes except as provided in s. 319.225.
(7) If an applicant for a certificate of title is unable to provide the department with a certificate of title that assigns the prior owner’s interest in the motor vehicle, the department may accept a bond in the form prescribed by the department, along with an affidavit in a form prescribed by the department, which includes verification of the vehicle identification number and an application for title.
(a) The bond must be:
1. In a form prescribed by the department;
2. Executed by the applicant;
3. Issued by a person authorized to conduct a surety business in this state;
4. In an amount equal to two times the value of the vehicle as determined by the department; and
5. Conditioned to indemnify all prior owners and lienholders and all subsequent purchasers of the vehicle or persons who acquire a security interest in the vehicle, and their successors in interest, against any expense, loss, or damage, including reasonable attorney fees, occurring because of the issuance of the certificate of title for the vehicle or for a defect in or undisclosed security interest on the right, title, or interest of the applicant to the vehicle.
(b) An interested person has a right to recover on the bond for a breach of the bond’s condition. The aggregate liability of the surety to all persons may not exceed the amount of the bond.
(c) A bond under this subsection expires on the third anniversary of the date the bond became effective.
(d) The affidavit must:
1. Be in a form prescribed by the department;
2. Include the facts and circumstances under which the applicant acquired ownership and possession of the motor vehicle;
3. Disclose that no security interests, liens, or encumbrances against the motor vehicle are known to the applicant against the motor vehicle; and
4. State that the applicant has the right to have a certificate of title issued.
(8) The department shall in no event issue a certificate of title for any motor vehicle or mobile home to any applicant until the applicant has shown that:
(a) All sales or use taxes due on the transfer of the motor vehicle or mobile home are paid.
(b) A current motor vehicle registration as required by s. 320.02, except for a vehicle not required by law to have such registration, has been obtained.
(c) In each case in which a mobile home or recreational vehicle-type unit is classified as real property and an “RP” series sticker has been issued, the applicant has informed the property appraiser of the county wherein the mobile home or recreational vehicle-type unit is to be located of the intended site of the mobile home or recreational vehicle-type unit.
(d) The provisions of s. 319.225 have been complied with.
(9) The title certificate or application for title must contain the applicant’s full first name, middle initial, last name, date of birth, sex, and the license plate number. An individual applicant must provide a valid driver license or identification card issued by Florida or another state, or a valid passport. A business applicant must provide a federal employer identification number, if applicable; verification that the business is authorized to conduct business in the state; or a Florida city or county business license or number. In lieu of the license plate number, the individual or business applicant must provide an affidavit certifying that the motor vehicle to be titled will not be operated upon the public highways of this state.
(10) The department, upon the issuance of a certificate of title for a mobile home upon which no identification or serial number is affixed or ascertainable, may assign and require the permanent affixation upon such mobile home of an identification number. Prior to the assignment of any identification number, the department shall require satisfactory assurances that the application for a certificate of title and identification number is not being made for any unlawful purpose.
(11) The department shall use security procedures, processes, and materials in the preparation and issuance of each certificate of title to prohibit to the extent possible a person’s ability to alter, counterfeit, duplicate, or modify the certificate of title.
(12) All titles, manufacturers’ statements of origin, applications, and supporting documents submitted with the application, including, but not limited to, odometer statements, vehicle identification number verifications, bills of sale, indicia of ownership, dealer reassignments, photographs, and any personal identification, affidavits, or documents required by or submitted to the department, shall be retained by the department for not less than 10 years.
History.s. 4, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 3, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 1, ch. 28184, 1953; s. 2, ch. 61-296; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 72-15; s. 2, ch. 75-66; s. 1, ch. 77-102; s. 4, ch. 78-221; s. 1, ch. 78-225; s. 2, ch. 78-412; s. 1, ch. 79-32; s. 1, ch. 79-399; s. 1, ch. 80-388; s. 7, ch. 82-134; s. 2, ch. 83-91; s. 42, ch. 85-180; s. 7, ch. 88-306; s. 1, ch. 89-53; ss. 12, 16, ch. 89-333; s. 339, ch. 95-148; ss. 13, 21, ch. 96-413; s. 12, ch. 99-248; s. 5, ch. 2001-196; s. 112, ch. 2002-20; s. 1, ch. 2004-29; s. 58, ch. 2005-164; s. 6, ch. 2009-71; s. 7, ch. 2010-198; s. 21, ch. 2012-181; s. 23, ch. 2013-160; s. 1, ch. 2014-181.
319.235 Encumbrance of coowned motor vehicle or mobile home.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,” whether or not the coowners are husband and wife, each coowner shall be deemed to have granted to any other coowner the absolute right to place a lien or encumbrance on the motor vehicle or mobile home; and the signature of one coowner shall constitute proper execution of the notice of lien. When a motor 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 shall be required in order to place a lien or encumbrance on the motor vehicle or mobile home.
History.s. 8, ch. 82-134.
319.24 Issuance in duplicate; delivery; liens and encumbrances.
(1) The department shall assign a number to each certificate of title and shall issue each certificate of title and each corrected certificate in duplicate. The database record shall serve as the duplicate title certificate required herein. One printed copy may be retained on file by the department. The department shall record and maintain a current odometer reading for vehicles covered by s. 319.225(4) at the time of any title activity.
(2) A duly authorized person shall sign the original certificate of title and each corrected certificate and, if there are no liens or encumbrances on the motor vehicle or mobile home, as shown in the records of the department or as shown in the application, shall deliver the certificate to the applicant or to another person as directed by the applicant or person, agent, or attorney submitting such application. The motor vehicle dealer license number must be submitted to the department when a dealer applies for or receives a duplicate title. The current odometer reading must be submitted on an application for a duplicate title. If there are one or more liens or encumbrances on the motor vehicle or mobile home, the certificate shall be delivered by the department to the first lienholder as shown by department records or to the owner as indicated in the notice of lien filed by the first lienholder pursuant to s. 319.27. If the notice of lien filed by the first lienholder indicates that the certificate should be delivered to the first lienholder, the department shall deliver to the first lienholder, along with the certificate, a form to be subsequently used by the lienholder as a satisfaction. If the notice of lien filed by the first lienholder directs the certificate of title to be delivered to the owner, then, upon delivery of the certificate of title by the department to the owner, the department shall deliver to the first lienholder confirmation of the receipt of the notice of lien and the date the certificate of title was issued to the owner at the owner’s address shown on the notice of lien and a form to be subsequently used by the lienholder as a satisfaction. If the application for certificate shows the name of a first lienholder different from the name of the first lienholder as shown by the records of the department, the certificate shall not be issued to any person until after all parties who appear to hold a lien and the applicant for the certificate have been notified of the conflict in writing by the department by certified mail. If the parties do not amicably resolve the conflict within 10 days from the date such notice was mailed, then the department shall serve notice in writing by certified mail on all persons appearing to hold liens on that particular vehicle, including the applicant for the certificate, to show cause within 15 days from the date the notice is mailed why it should not issue and deliver the certificate to the person indicated in the notice of lien filed by the lienholder whose name appears in the application as the first lienholder without showing any lien or liens as outstanding other than those appearing in the application or those which may have been filed subsequent to the filing of the application for the certificate. If, within the 15-day period, any person other than the lienholder shown in the application or a party filing a subsequent lien, in answer to such notice to show cause, appears in person or by a representative, or responds in writing, and files a written statement under oath that his or her lien on that particular vehicle is still outstanding, the department shall not issue the certificate to anyone until after such conflict has been settled by the lien claimants involved or by a court of competent jurisdiction. If the conflict is not settled amicably within 10 days of the final date for filing an answer to the notice to show cause, the complaining party shall have 10 days to obtain a ruling, or a stay order, from a court of competent jurisdiction; if no ruling or stay order is issued and served on the department within the 10-day period, it shall issue the certificate showing no liens except those shown in the application or thereafter filed to the original applicant if there are no liens shown in the application and none are thereafter filed, or to the person indicated in the notice of lien filed by the lienholder whose name appears in the application as the first lienholder if there are liens shown in the application or thereafter filed. A duplicate certificate or corrected certificate shall only show such lien or liens as were shown in the application and subsequently filed liens that may be outstanding.
(3) Except as provided in subsection (4), the certificate of title shall be retained by the first lienholder or the owner as indicated in the notice of lien filed by the first lienholder. If the first lienholder is in possession of the certificate, the first lienholder shall be entitled to retain the certificate until the first lien is satisfied.
(4) If the owner of the motor vehicle or mobile home, as shown on the title certificate, or the director of the state child support enforcement program, or the director’s designee, desires to place a second or subsequent lien or encumbrance against the motor vehicle or mobile home when the title certificate is in the possession of the first lienholder, the owner shall send a written request to the first lienholder by certified mail, and such first lienholder shall forward the certificate to the department for endorsement. If the title certificate is in the possession of the owner, the owner shall forward the certificate to the department for endorsement. The department shall return the certificate to either the first lienholder or to the owner, as indicated in the notice of lien filed by the first lienholder, after endorsing the second or subsequent lien on the certificate and on the duplicate. If the first lienholder or owner fails, neglects, or refuses to forward the certificate of title to the department within 10 days from the date of the owner’s or the director’s or designee’s request, the department, on the written request of the subsequent lienholder or an assignee thereof, shall demand of the first lienholder the return of such certificate for the notation of the second or subsequent lien or encumbrance.
(5)(a) Upon satisfaction of any first lien or encumbrance recorded at the department, the owner of the motor vehicle or mobile home, as shown on the title certificate, or the person satisfying the lien shall be entitled to demand and receive from the lienholder a satisfaction of the lien. If the lienholder, upon satisfaction of the lien and upon demand, fails or refuses to furnish a satisfaction thereof within 30 days after demand, he or she shall be held liable for all costs, damages, and expenses, including reasonable attorney’s fees, lawfully incurred by the titled owner or person satisfying the lien in any suit brought in this state for cancellation of the lien. A motor vehicle dealer acquiring ownership of a motor vehicle with an outstanding purchase money lien, shall pay and satisfy the outstanding lien within 10 working days of acquiring ownership. The lienholder receiving final payment as defined in s. 674.215 shall mail or otherwise deliver a lien satisfaction and the certificate of title indicating the satisfaction within 10 working days of receipt of such final payment or notify the person satisfying the lien that the title is not available within 10 working days of receipt of such final payment. If the lienholder is unable to provide the certificate of title and notifies the person of such, the lienholder shall provide a lien satisfaction and shall be responsible for the cost of a duplicate title, including fast title charges as provided in s. 319.323. The provisions of this paragraph shall not apply to electronic transactions pursuant to subsection (9).
(b) Following satisfaction of a lien, the lienholder shall enter a satisfaction thereof in the space provided on the face of the certificate of title. If the certificate of title was retained by the owner, the owner shall, within 5 days of the satisfaction of a lien, deliver the certificate of title to the lienholder and the lienholder shall enter a satisfaction thereof in the space provided on the face of the certificate of title. If there are no subsequent liens shown thereon, the certificate shall be delivered by the lienholder to the person satisfying the lien or encumbrance and an executed satisfaction on a form provided by the department shall be forwarded to the department by the lienholder within 10 days of satisfaction of the lien.
(c) If the certificate of title shows a subsequent lien not then being discharged, an executed satisfaction of the first lien shall be delivered by the lienholder to the person satisfying the lien and the certificate of title showing satisfaction of the first lien shall be forwarded by the lienholder to the department within 10 days of satisfaction of the lien.
(d) If, upon receipt of a title certificate showing satisfaction of the first lien, the department determines from its records that there are no subsequent liens or encumbrances upon the motor vehicle or mobile home, the department shall forward to the owner, as shown on the face of the title, a corrected certificate showing no liens or encumbrances. If there is a subsequent lien not being discharged, the certificate of title shall be reissued showing the second or subsequent lienholder as the first lienholder and shall be delivered to either the new first lienholder or to the owner as indicated in the notice of lien filed by the new first lienholder. If the certificate of title is to be retained by the first lienholder on the reissued certificate, the first lienholder shall be entitled to retain the certificate of title except as provided in subsection (4) until his or her lien is satisfied. Upon satisfaction of the lien, the lienholder shall be subject to the procedures required of a first lienholder by subsection (4) and this subsection.
(6) When the original certificate of title cannot be returned to the department by the lienholder and evidence satisfactory to the department is produced that all liens or encumbrances have been satisfied, upon application by the owner for a duplicate copy of the certificate upon the form prescribed by the department, accompanied by the fee prescribed in this chapter, a duplicate copy of the certificate of title, without statement of liens or encumbrances, shall be issued by the department and delivered to the owner.
(7) Any person who fails, within 10 days of receipt of a demand by the department by certified mail, to return a certificate of title to the department as required by subsection (4) or who, upon satisfaction of a lien, fails within 10 days after receipt of such demand to forward the appropriate document to the department as required by paragraph (5)(b) or paragraph (5)(c) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(8) Notwithstanding any requirements in this section or in s. 319.27 indicating that a lien on a motor vehicle or mobile home shall be noted on the face of the Florida certificate of title, if there are one or more liens or encumbrances on the motor vehicle or mobile home, the department shall electronically transmit the lien to the first lienholder and notify the first lienholder of any additional liens. Subsequent lien satisfactions shall be electronically transmitted to the department and must include the name and address of the person or entity satisfying the lien. When electronic transmission of liens and lien satisfactions is used, the issuance of a certificate of title may be waived until the last lien is satisfied and a clear certificate of title is issued to the owner of the vehicle. In subsequent transfer of ownership of the motor vehicle, it shall be presumed that the motor vehicle title is subject to a lien as set forth in s. 319.225(6)(a) until the title to be issued pursuant to this subsection is received by the person or entity satisfying the lien.
(9) The department shall in the sending of any notice only be required to use the last known address as shown by its records.
History.s. 5, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 4, ch. 25150, 1949; ss. 2, 3, 4, 5, ch. 28184, 1953; s. 1, ch. 59-189; s. 1, ch. 61-510; s. 1, ch. 61-450; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 188, ch. 71-136; s. 9, ch. 82-134; s. 8, ch. 83-218; s. 2, ch. 85-176; s. 8, ch. 88-176; s. 1, ch. 89-156; s. 6, ch. 89-333; s. 341, ch. 95-148; s. 14, ch. 96-413; s. 6, ch. 97-300; s. 13, ch. 98-397; s. 22, ch. 2000-313; s. 22, ch. 2012-181.
319.241 Removal of lien from records.The owner of a motor vehicle or mobile home upon which a lien has been filed with the department or noted upon a certificate of title for a period of 5 years may apply to the department in writing for such lien to be removed from the department files or from the certificate of title. The application shall be accompanied by evidence satisfactory to the department that the applicant has notified the lienholder by certified mail, not less than 20 days prior to the date of the application, of his or her intention to apply to the department for removal of the lien. Ten days after receipt of the application, the department may remove the lien from its files or from the certificate of title, as the case may be, if no statement in writing protesting removal of the lien is received by the department from the lienholder within the 10-day period. If, however, the lienholder files with the department within the 10-day period a written statement that the lien is still outstanding, the department shall not remove the lien until the lienholder presents a satisfaction of lien to the department. Ten days after the receipt of an application for a derelict motor vehicle certificate and notification to the lienholder, the department may remove the lien from the derelict motor vehicle record if a written statement protesting removal of the lien is not received by the department from the lienholder within the 10-day period.
History.s. 1, ch. 59-479; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 10, ch. 82-134; s. 342, ch. 95-148; s. 8, ch. 2010-198.
319.25 Cancellation of certificates.
(1) If it appears that a certificate of title has been improperly issued, the department shall cancel the certificate. Upon cancellation of any certificate of title, the department shall notify the person to whom the certificate of title was issued, as well as any lienholders appearing thereon, of the cancellation and shall demand the surrender of the certificate of title, but the cancellation shall not affect the validity of any lien noted thereon. The holder of the certificate of title shall return it to the department forthwith. If a certificate of registration has been issued to the holder of a certificate of title so canceled, the department shall immediately cancel the certificate of registration and demand the return of such certificate of registration and license plate or mobile home sticker; and the holder of such certificate of registration and license plate or sticker shall return them to the department forthwith.
(2) The department is authorized, upon application of any person and payment of the proper fees, to prepare and furnish lists containing title information in such form as the department may authorize, to search the records of the department and make reports thereof, and to make photographic copies of the department records and attestations thereof, except as provided in chapter 119.
History.s. 6, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 5, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 6, ch. 28184, 1953; s. 1, ch. 59-157; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 4, ch. 79-344; s. 2, ch. 82-130; s. 11, ch. 82-134; s. 38, ch. 94-306; s. 3, ch. 97-185.
319.261 Real property transactions; retiring title to mobile home.
(1) This section shall provide a process by which the owner of a mobile home which is permanently affixed to real property owned by that same person may permanently retire the title to the mobile home. For purposes of this section, the term “real property owned by that same person” shall include any tenancy of a recorded leasehold interest in the real property for a term of 30 years or more.
(2) The title to the mobile home may be retired by the department if the owner of the real property records the following documents in the official records of the clerk of court in the county in which the real property is located:
(a) The original title to the mobile home shall include a description of the mobile home, including model year, make, width, length, and vehicle identification number, and a statement by any recorded lienholder on the title that the security interest in the home has been released, or that such security interest will be released upon retirement of the title as set forth in this section.
(b) The legal description of the real property, and in the case of a leasehold interest, a copy of the lease agreement.
(c) A sworn statement by the owner of the real property, as shown on the real property deed or lease, that he or she is the owner of the mobile home and that the home is permanently affixed to the real property in accordance with state law.
(3) The clerk of court, upon receipt of the documents set forth in subsection (2), shall record said documents against the real property and provide a copy of the recorded title to the owner of the real property with a copy of all the documents recorded pursuant to subsection (2).
(4) The owner of the mobile home, or lienholder as shown on the certificate of title pursuant to power of attorney from the owner of the mobile home, shall file an application with the department for retirement of the title to the mobile home after completing the requirements in subsections (2) and (3). The department shall retire the title upon receipt of an application from the owner of the mobile home or lienholder requesting retirement of the title, accompanied by documents listed in subsection (2) which have been recorded by the clerk of court pursuant to subsection (3). Upon retirement of the title, the department shall notify the applicant that the title has been retired.
(5) A mobile home whose title has been retired pursuant to this section shall be conveyed by deed or real estate contract and shall only be transferred together with the property to which it is affixed, unless procedures described in this section for issuance of a new title are followed.
(6) The owner of the real property with a recorded and retired title shall file an application with the department to issue a new title to the mobile home, if the mobile home is to be removed from the real property. The department shall issue a new title upon receipt of an application from the owner of the real property containing the following information:
(a) An affidavit signed by the owners of the land and all secured parties and other lienholders consenting to the removal of the home.
(b) A certification from a title insurance company listing the owners and all secured parties and other lienholders, which is dated within 10 days of the date of application for a new title under this subsection.
(7) If the title has been retired pursuant to this section, for purposes of perfecting, realizing, and foreclosure of security interests, a separate security interest in the mobile home shall not exist, and the mobile home shall only be secured as part of the real property through a mortgage or deed of trust. This section in no way modifies or changes the existing common law.
(8) A mobile home whose title has been retired shall be conveyed by deed or real estate contract and shall only be transferred together with the property to which it is affixed.
(9) Every person who falsifies or intentionally omits material information required in an affidavit, or otherwise intentionally violates a material provision of this section, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree.
(10) This section applies to the sale or transfer of mobile homes occurring on or after the effective date of this section, or to any person who voluntarily elects to retire the title to the mobile home pursuant to this section.
(11) Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the taxation of mobile homes.
History.s. 1, ch. 2003-282; s. 1, ch. 2004-283.
319.27 Notice of lien on motor vehicles or mobile homes; notation on certificate; recording of lien.
(1) Each lien, mortgage, or encumbrance on a motor vehicle or mobile home titled in this state shall be noted upon the face of the Florida certificate of title or on a duplicate or corrected copy thereof, as provided by law; however, this section does not apply to any security agreement, retain title contract, conditional bill of sale, chattel mortgage, or other like instrument covering any motor vehicle or mobile home floor plan stock of any licensed dealer. Except for the recording of liens upon motor vehicles or mobile homes for which no Florida certificates of title have been issued as provided in subsection (3), the department shall not be a recording office for liens on motor vehicles or mobile homes.
(2) No lien for purchase money or as security for a debt in the form of a security agreement, retain title contract, conditional bill of sale, chattel mortgage, or other similar instrument or any other nonpossessory lien, including a lien for child support, upon a motor vehicle or mobile home upon which a Florida certificate of title has been issued shall be enforceable in any of the courts of this state against creditors or subsequent purchasers for a valuable consideration and without notice, unless a sworn notice of such lien has been filed in the department and such lien has been noted upon the certificate of title of the motor vehicle or mobile home. Such notice shall be effective as constructive notice when filed. The interest of a statutory nonpossessory lienor; the interest of a nonpossessory execution, attachment, or equitable lienor; or the interest of a lien creditor as defined in s. 679.1021(1)(zz), if nonpossessory, shall not be enforceable against creditors or subsequent purchasers for a valuable consideration unless such interest becomes a possessory lien or is noted upon the certificate of title for the subject motor vehicle or mobile home prior to the occurrence of the subsequent transaction. Provided the provisions of this subsection relating to a nonpossessory statutory lienor; a nonpossessory execution, attachment, or equitable lienor; or the interest of a lien creditor as defined in s. 679.1021(1)(zz) shall not apply to liens validly perfected prior to October 1, 1988. The notice of lien shall provide the following information:
(a) The date of the lien if a security agreement, retain title contract, conditional bill of sale, chattel mortgage, or other similar instrument was executed prior to the filing of the notice of lien;
(b) The name and address of the registered owner;
(c) A description of the motor vehicle or mobile home, showing the make, type, and vehicle identification number; and
(d) The name and address of the lienholder.
(3)(a) A person may file a notice of lien with regard to a motor vehicle or mobile home before a security agreement, retain title contract, conditional bill of sale, chattel mortgage, or other similar instrument is executed granting a lien, mortgage, or encumbrance on, or a security interest in, such motor vehicle or mobile home.
(b) As applied to a determination of the respective rights of a secured party under this chapter and a lien creditor as defined by s. 679.1021(1)(zz), or a nonpossessory statutory lienor, a security interest under this chapter shall be perfected upon the filing of the notice of lien with the department, the county tax collector, or their agents. Provided, however, the date of perfection of a security interest of such secured party shall be the same date as the execution of the security agreement or other similar instrument if the notice of lien is filed in accordance with this subsection within 15 days after the debtor receives possession of the motor vehicle or mobile home and executes such security agreement or other similar instrument. The date of filing of the notice of lien shall be the date of its receipt by the department central office in Tallahassee, if first filed there, or otherwise by the office of the county tax collector, or their agents.
(4)(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (2), any person holding a lien for purchase money or as security for a debt in the form of a security agreement, retain title contract, conditional bill of sale, chattel mortgage, or other similar instrument covering a motor vehicle or mobile home previously titled or registered outside this state upon which no Florida certificate of title has been issued may use the facilities of the department for the recording of such lien as constructive notice of such lien to creditors and purchasers of such motor vehicle or mobile home in this state provided such lienholder files a sworn notice of such lien in the department, showing the following information:
1. The date of the lien;
2. The name and address of the registered owner;
3. A description of the motor vehicle or mobile home, showing the make, type, and vehicle identification number; and
4. The name and address of the lienholder.

Upon the filing of such notice of lien and the payment of the fee provided in s. 319.32, the lien shall be recorded in the department.

(b) When a Florida certificate of title is first issued on a motor vehicle or mobile home previously titled or registered outside this state, the department shall note on the Florida certificate of title the following liens:
1. Any lien shown on the application for Florida certificate of title;
2. Any lien filed in the department in accordance with paragraph (a); and
3. Any lien shown on the existing certificate of title issued by another state.
(c) When a Florida certificate of title has been issued on a motor vehicle or mobile home previously titled or registered outside this state, liens valid in and registered under the law of the state wherein such liens were created are not valid in this state unless filed and noted upon the certificate of title under the provisions of this section.
(5) All liens, mortgages, and encumbrances noted upon a certificate of title shall take priority according to the order of time in which the same are noted thereon by the department. However, the lien shown on the application for original certificate of title shall take priority over all liens or encumbrances filed subsequent to the date shown on such application. Exposure for sale of any motor vehicle or mobile home by the owner thereof, with the knowledge or with the knowledge and consent of the holder of any duly noted lien, mortgage, or encumbrance thereon, shall not render the same void or ineffective as against the creditors of such owner or holders of subsequent liens, mortgages, or encumbrances upon such motor vehicle or mobile home.
(6) The person described in paragraph (3)(a) and the holder of a security agreement, retain title contract, conditional bill of sale, chattel mortgage, or other similar instrument covering a motor vehicle or mobile home, upon presentation of the Florida certificate of title, together with a sworn notice of lien on a form to be provided by the department, may have such lien noted on the face of the certificate of title. The notice of lien shall provide the following information:
(a) The date of the lien if a security agreement, retain title contract, conditional bill of sale, chattel mortgage, or other similar instrument was executed prior to the filing of the notice of lien;
(b) The name and address of the registered owner;
(c) A description of the motor vehicle or mobile home, showing the make, type, and vehicle identification number; and
(d) The name and address of the lienholder.

If the original lienholder sells and assigns his or her lien to some other person and if such assignee desires to have his or her name substituted on the certificate of title as the holder of the lien, the assignee may, after delivering the original certificate of title to the department and providing a sworn statement of the assignment, have his or her name substituted as the lienholder. The owner of a motor vehicle or mobile home subject to a lien which has been assigned who has retained possession of the certificate of title shall, upon receipt of a sworn statement of the assignment, deliver the original certificate of title and the sworn statement of assignment to the department to have the assignee’s name substituted as the lienholder. Upon substitution of the assignee’s name as lienholder, the department shall deliver the certificate of title to either the assignee as the first lienholder or to the owner as indicated by the assignee.

(7) The department shall establish and administer an electronic titling program that requires the electronic recording of vehicle title information for new, transferred, and corrected certificates of title. Lienholders shall electronically transmit liens and lien satisfactions to the department in a format determined by the department. Individuals and lienholders who the department determines are not normally engaged in the business or practice of financing vehicles are exempt from the electronic titling requirement.
History.s. 8, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 6, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 10, ch. 26484, 1951; s. 7, ch. 28184, 1953; s. 1, ch. 59-340; s. 6, ch. 65-190; s. 1, ch. 65-342; s. 2, ch. 67-215; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 12, ch. 82-134; s. 9, ch. 83-218; s. 23, ch. 88-176; s. 2, ch. 89-156; s. 343, ch. 95-148; s. 23, ch. 2000-313; s. 59, ch. 2005-164; s. 18, ch. 2005-241; s. 23, ch. 2012-181.
319.271 Terminal rent adjustment clause.In the case of motor vehicles or trailers, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a transaction does not create a security interest merely because it provides that the rental price is permitted or required to be adjusted under the agreement either upward or downward by reference to the amount realized upon sale or other disposition of the motor vehicle or trailer.
History.s. 8, ch. 90-278.
319.28 Transfer of ownership by operation of law.
(1)(a) In the event of the transfer of ownership of a motor vehicle or mobile home by operation of law as upon inheritance, devise or bequest, order in bankruptcy, insolvency, replevin, attachment, execution, or other judicial sale or whenever the engine of a motor vehicle is replaced by another engine or whenever a motor vehicle is sold to satisfy storage or repair charges or repossession is had upon default in performance of the terms of a security agreement, chattel mortgage, conditional sales contract, trust receipt, or other like agreement, and upon the surrender of the prior certificate of title or, when that is not possible, presentation of satisfactory proof to the department of ownership and right of possession to such motor vehicle or mobile home, and upon payment of the fee prescribed by law and presentation of an application for certificate of title, the department may issue to the applicant a certificate of title thereto.
(b) When the application for a certificate of title is made by an heir of a previous owner who died intestate, it shall not be necessary to accompany the application with an order of a probate court if the applicant files with the department an affidavit that the estate is not indebted and the surviving spouse, if any, and the heirs, if any, have amicably agreed among themselves upon a division of the estate. If the previous owner died testate, the application shall be accompanied by a certified copy of the will, if probated, and an affidavit that the estate is solvent with sufficient assets to pay all just claims or, if the will is not being probated, by a sworn copy of the will and an affidavit that the estate is not indebted.
(c) If a surviving spouse who would be entitled to issuance of a certificate of title under paragraph (b) wishes to dispose of the vehicle rather than retaining it for his or her own use, the surviving spouse shall not be required to obtain a certificate of title in his or her own name, but may assign to the transferee the certificate of title which was issued to the decedent. An application for a certificate of title by an applicant taken through such a surviving spouse under this paragraph shall be accompanied by the same documentation as would an application by a surviving spouse under paragraph (b), which documentation shall be supplied to the transferee by the surviving spouse.
(d) A mobile home that is repossessed is exempt from registration if the mobile home is not transferred or titled for occupancy.
(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), only an affidavit by the person, or agent of the person, to whom possession of such motor vehicle or mobile home has so passed, setting forth facts entitling him or her to such possession and ownership, together with a copy of the journal entry, court order, or instrument upon which such claim of possession and ownership is founded, shall be considered satisfactory proof of ownership and right of possession.
(b) In case of repossession of a motor vehicle or mobile home pursuant to the terms of a security agreement or similar instrument, an affidavit by the party to whom possession has passed stating that the vehicle or mobile home was repossessed upon default in the terms of the security agreement or other instrument shall be considered satisfactory proof of ownership and right of possession. At least 5 days prior to selling the repossessed vehicle, any subsequent lienholder named in the last issued certificate of title shall be sent notice of the repossession by certified mail, on a form prescribed by the department. If such notice is given and no written protest to the department is presented by a subsequent lienholder within 15 days after the date on which the notice was mailed, the certificate of title shall be issued showing no liens. If the former owner or any subsequent lienholder files a written protest under oath within such 15-day period, the department shall not issue the certificate of title for 10 days thereafter. If within the 10-day period no injunction or other order of a court of competent jurisdiction has been served on the department commanding it not to deliver the certificate of title, the department shall deliver the certificate of title to the applicant or as may otherwise be directed in the application showing no other liens than those shown in the application. Any lienholder who has repossessed a vehicle in this state in compliance with the provisions of this section must apply to a tax collector’s office in this state or to the department for a certificate of title pursuant to s. 319.323. Proof of the required notice to subsequent lienholders shall be submitted together with regular title fees. Any person found guilty of violating any requirements of this paragraph shall be guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c) If the applicant for a certificate of title under this section cannot produce satisfactory proof of ownership and right of possession, he or she may submit such evidence as he or she may have, and the department may thereupon, if it finds the evidence sufficient, issue a certificate of title.
(3) A dealer of industrial equipment who conducts a repossession, as defined in s. 493.6101(22), of such equipment is not subject to licensure as a recovery agent or recovery agency if the dealer is regularly engaged in the sale of the equipment for a particular manufacturer, the lender is affiliated with that manufacturer, and the dealer uses his or her own employees to make such repossessions.
History.s. 9, ch. 23658, 1947; ss. 1, 2, ch. 23723, 1947; s. 7, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 8, ch. 28184, 1953; s. 1, ch. 61-446; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 13, ch. 82-134; s. 10, ch. 83-218; s. 344, ch. 95-148; s. 9, ch. 95-333; s. 15, ch. 96-413; s. 257, ch. 99-248; s. 113, ch. 2002-20; s. 14, ch. 2010-223; s. 24, ch. 2012-181; s. 24, ch. 2013-160.
319.29 Lost or destroyed certificates.
(1) If a certificate of title is lost or destroyed, application for a duplicate copy thereof shall be made to the department by the owner of the motor vehicle or mobile home or the holder of a lien thereon upon a form prescribed by the department and accompanied by the fee prescribed in this chapter. The application shall be signed and sworn to by the applicant. Thereupon the department shall issue a duplicate copy of the certificate of title to the person entitled to receive the certificate of title under the provisions of this chapter. The duplicate copy and all subsequent certificates of title issued in the chain of title originated by such duplicate copy shall be plainly marked across their faces “duplicate copy,” and any subsequent purchaser of the motor vehicle or mobile home in the chain of title originating through such duplicate copy shall acquire only such rights in the motor vehicle or mobile home as the original holder of the duplicate copy himself or herself had.
(2) Any purchaser of such motor vehicle or mobile home may at the time of purchase require the seller to indemnify him or her and all subsequent purchasers of the motor vehicle or mobile home against any loss which he, she, or they may suffer by reason of any claim or claims presented upon the original certificate. If the original certificate of title is recovered by the owner, he or she shall forthwith surrender the original certificate to the department for cancellation.
(3) If, following the issuance of an original, duplicate, or corrected certificate of title by the department, the certificate is lost in transit and is not delivered to the addressee, the owner of the motor vehicle or mobile home, or the holder of a lien thereon, may, within 180 days of the date of issuance of the title, apply to the department for reissuance of the certificate of title. No additional fee shall be charged for reissuance under this subsection.
(4) The department shall implement a system to verify that the application is signed by a person authorized to receive a duplicate title certificate under this section if the address shown on the application is different from the address shown for the applicant on the records of the department.
History.s. 10, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 8, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 14, ch. 82-134; s. 13, ch. 89-333; s. 345, ch. 95-148; s. 27, ch. 97-300.
319.30 Definitions; dismantling, destruction, change of identity of motor vehicle or mobile home; salvage.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Certificate of destruction” means the certificate issued pursuant to s. 713.78(11) or s. 713.785(7)(a).
(b) “Certificate of registration number” means the certificate of registration number issued by the Department of Revenue of the State of Florida pursuant to s. 538.25.
(c) “Certificate of title” means a record that serves as evidence of ownership of a vehicle, whether such record is a paper certificate authorized by the department or by a motor vehicle department authorized to issue titles in another state or a certificate consisting of information stored in electronic form in the department’s database.
(d) “Derelict” means any material which is or may have been a motor vehicle or mobile home, which is not a major part or major component part, which is inoperable, and which is in such condition that its highest or primary value is in its sale or transfer as scrap metal.
(e) “Derelict motor vehicle” means:
1. Any motor vehicle as defined in s. 320.01(1) or mobile home as defined in s. 320.01(2), with or without all parts, major parts, or major component parts, which is valued under $1,000, is at least 10 model years old, beginning with the model year of the vehicle as year one, and is in such condition that its highest or primary value is for sale, transport, or delivery to a licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer or registered secondary metals recycler for dismantling its component parts or conversion to scrap metal; or
2. Any trailer as defined in s. 320.01(1), with or without all parts, major parts, or major component parts, which is valued under $5,000, is at least 10 model years old, beginning with the model year of the vehicle as year one, and is in such condition that its highest or primary value is for sale, transport, or delivery to a licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer or registered secondary metals recycler for conversion to scrap metal.
(f) “Derelict motor vehicle certificate” means a certificate issued by the department which serves as evidence that a derelict motor vehicle will be dismantled or converted to scrap metal. This certificate may be obtained by completing a derelict motor vehicle certificate application authorized by the department. A derelict motor vehicle certificate may be reassigned only one time if the derelict motor vehicle certificate was completed by a licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer and the derelict motor vehicle was sold to another licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer or a secondary metals recycler.
(g) “Independent entity” means a business or entity that may temporarily store damaged or dismantled motor vehicles pursuant to an agreement with an insurance company and is engaged in the sale or resale of damaged or dismantled motor vehicles. The term does not include a wrecker operator, a towing company, or a repair facility.
(h) “Junk” means any material which is or may have been a motor vehicle or mobile home, with or without all component parts, which is inoperable and which material is in such condition that its highest or primary value is either in its sale or transfer as scrap metal or for its component parts, or a combination of the two, except when sold or delivered to or when purchased, possessed, or received by a secondary metals recycler or salvage motor vehicle dealer.
(i) “Late model vehicle” means a motor vehicle that has a manufacturer’s model year of 7 years or newer.
(j) “Major component parts” means:
1. For motor vehicles other than motorcycles, any fender, hood, bumper, cowl assembly, rear quarter panel, trunk lid, door, decklid, floor pan, engine, frame, transmission, catalytic converter, or airbag.
2. For trucks, in addition to those parts listed in subparagraph 1., any truck bed, including dump, wrecker, crane, mixer, cargo box, or any bed which mounts to a truck frame.
3. For motorcycles, the body assembly, frame, fenders, gas tanks, engine, cylinder block, heads, engine case, crank case, transmission, drive train, front fork assembly, and wheels.
4. For mobile homes, the frame.
(k) “Major part” means the front-end assembly, cowl assembly, or rear body section.
(l) “Materials” means motor vehicles, derelicts, and major parts that are not prepared materials.
(m) “Mobile home” means mobile home as defined in s. 320.01(2).
(n) “Motor vehicle” means motor vehicle as defined in s. 320.01(1).
(o) “National Motor Vehicle Title Information System” means the national mandated vehicle history database maintained by the United States Department of Justice to link the states’ motor vehicle title records, including Florida’s Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ title records, and ensure that states, law enforcement agencies, and consumers have access to vehicle titling, branding, and other information that enables them to verify the accuracy and legality of a motor vehicle title before purchase or title transfer of the vehicle occurs.
(p) “Parts” means parts of motor vehicles or combinations thereof that do not constitute materials or prepared materials.
(q) “Prepared materials” means motor vehicles, mobile homes, derelict motor vehicles, major parts, or parts that have been processed by mechanically flattening or crushing, or otherwise processed such that they are not the motor vehicle or mobile home described in the certificate of title, or their only value is as scrap metal.
(r) “Processing” means the business of performing the manufacturing process by which ferrous metals or nonferrous metals are converted into raw material products consisting of prepared grades and having an existing or potential economic value, or the purchase of materials, prepared materials, or parts therefor.
(s) “Recreational vehicle” means a motor vehicle as defined in s. 320.01(1).
(t) “Salvage” means a motor vehicle or mobile home which is a total loss as defined in paragraph (3)(a).
(u) “Salvage certificate of title” means a salvage certificate of title issued by the department or by another motor vehicle department authorized to issue titles in another state.
(v) “Salvage motor vehicle dealer” means salvage motor vehicle dealer as defined in s. 320.27(1)(c)5.
(w) “Secondary metals recycler” means secondary metals recycler as defined in s. 538.18.
(x) “Seller” means the owner of record or a person who has physical possession and responsibility for a derelict motor vehicle and attests that possession of the vehicle was obtained through lawful means along with all ownership rights. A seller does not include a towing company, repair shop, or landlord unless the towing company, repair shop, or landlord has obtained title, salvage title, or a certificate of destruction in the name of the towing company, repair shop, or landlord.
(2)(a) Each person mentioned as owner in the last issued certificate of title, when such motor vehicle or mobile home is dismantled, destroyed, or changed in such manner that it is not the motor vehicle or mobile home described in the certificate of title, shall surrender his or her certificate of title to the department, and thereupon the department shall, with the consent of any lienholders noted thereon, enter a cancellation upon its records. Upon cancellation of a certificate of title in the manner prescribed by this section, the department may cancel and destroy all certificates in that chain of title. Any person who knowingly violates this paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b)1. When a motor vehicle, recreational vehicle, or mobile home is sold, transported, delivered to, or received by a salvage motor vehicle dealer, the purchaser shall make the required notification to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and it shall be accompanied by:
a. A valid certificate of title issued in the name of the seller or properly endorsed, as required in s. 319.22, over to the seller;
b. A valid salvage certificate of title issued in the name of the seller or properly endorsed, as required in s. 319.22, over to the seller; or
c. A valid certificate of destruction issued in the name of the seller or properly endorsed over to the seller.
2. Any person who knowingly violates this paragraph by selling, transporting, delivering, purchasing, or receiving a motor vehicle, recreational vehicle, or mobile home without obtaining a properly endorsed certificate of title, salvage certificate of title, or certificate of destruction from the owner or does not make the required notification to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(c)1. When a derelict motor vehicle is sold, transported, or delivered to a licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer, the purchaser shall make the required notification of the derelict motor vehicle to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and record the date of purchase and the name, address, and valid Florida driver license number or valid Florida identification card number, or a valid driver license number or identification card number issued by another state, of the person selling the derelict motor vehicle, and it shall be accompanied by:
a. A valid certificate of title issued in the name of the seller or properly endorsed over to the seller;
b. A valid salvage certificate of title issued in the name of the seller or properly endorsed over to the seller; or
c. A valid certificate of destruction issued in the name of the seller or properly endorsed over to the seller.
2. If a valid certificate of title, salvage certificate of title, or certificate of destruction is not available, a derelict motor vehicle certificate application shall be completed by the seller or owner of the motor vehicle or mobile home, the seller’s or owner’s authorized transporter, and the licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer at the time of sale, transport, or delivery to the licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer. The derelict motor vehicle certificate application shall be used by the seller or owner, the seller’s or owner’s authorized transporter, and the licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer to obtain a derelict motor vehicle certificate from the department. The derelict motor vehicle certificate application must be accompanied by a legible copy of the seller’s or owner’s valid Florida driver license or Florida identification card, or a valid driver license or identification card issued by another state. If the seller is not the owner of record of the vehicle being sold, the dealer shall, at the time of sale, ensure that a smudge-free right thumbprint, or other digit if the seller has no right thumb, of the seller is imprinted upon the derelict motor vehicle certificate application and that a legible copy of the seller’s driver license or identification card is affixed to the application and transmitted to the department. The licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer shall make the required notification of the derelict motor vehicle to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and secure the derelict motor vehicle for 3 full business days, excluding weekends and holidays, if there is no active lien or a lien of 3 years or more on the department’s records before destroying or dismantling the derelict motor vehicle and shall follow all reporting procedures established by the department, including electronic notification to the department or delivery of the original derelict motor vehicle certificate application to an agent of the department within 24 hours after receiving the derelict motor vehicle. If there is an active lien of less than 3 years on the derelict motor vehicle, the licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer shall secure the derelict motor vehicle for 10 days. The department shall notify the lienholder that a derelict motor vehicle certificate has been issued and shall notify the lienholder of its intention to remove the lien. Ten days after receipt of the motor vehicle derelict certificate application, the department may remove the lien from its records if a written statement protesting removal of the lien is not received by the department from the lienholder within the 10-day period. However, if the lienholder files with the department and the licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer within the 10-day period a written statement that the lien is still outstanding, the department shall not remove the lien and shall place an administrative hold on the record for 30 days to allow the lienholder to apply for title to the vehicle or a repossession certificate under s. 319.28. The licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer must secure the derelict motor vehicle until the department’s administrative stop is removed, the lienholder submits a lien satisfaction, or the lienholder takes possession of the vehicle.
3. Any person who knowingly violates this paragraph by selling, transporting, delivering, purchasing, or receiving a derelict motor vehicle without obtaining a certificate of title, salvage certificate of title, certificate of destruction, or derelict motor vehicle certificate application; enters false or fictitious information on a derelict motor vehicle certificate application; does not complete the derelict motor vehicle certificate application as required; does not obtain a legible copy of the seller’s or owner’s valid driver license or identification card when required; does not make the required notification to the department; does not make the required notification to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System; or destroys or dismantles a derelict motor vehicle without waiting the required time as set forth in subparagraph 2. commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3)(a)1. As used in this section, a motor vehicle or mobile home is a “total loss”:
a. When an insurance company pays the vehicle owner to replace the wrecked or damaged vehicle with one of like kind and quality or when an insurance company pays the owner upon the theft of the motor vehicle or mobile home; or
b. When an uninsured motor vehicle or mobile home is wrecked or damaged and the cost, at the time of loss, of repairing or rebuilding the vehicle is 80 percent or more of the cost to the owner of replacing the wrecked or damaged motor vehicle or mobile home with one of like kind and quality.
2. A motor vehicle or mobile home shall not be considered a “total loss” if the insurance company and owner of a motor vehicle or mobile home agree to repair, rather than to replace, the motor vehicle or mobile home. However, if the actual cost to repair the motor vehicle or mobile home to the insurance company exceeds 100 percent of the cost of replacing the wrecked or damaged motor vehicle or mobile home with one of like kind and quality, the owner shall forward to the department, within 72 hours after the agreement, a request to brand the certificate of title with the words “Total Loss Vehicle.” Such a brand shall become a part of the vehicle’s title history.
(b) The owner, including persons who are self-insured, of a motor vehicle or mobile home that is considered to be salvage shall, within 72 hours after the motor vehicle or mobile home becomes salvage, forward the title to the motor vehicle or mobile home to the department for processing. However, an insurance company that pays money as compensation for the total loss of a motor vehicle or mobile home shall obtain the certificate of title for the motor vehicle or mobile home, make the required notification to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, and, within 72 hours after receiving such certificate of title, forward such title to the department for processing. The owner or insurance company, as applicable, may not dispose of a vehicle or mobile home that is a total loss before it obtains a salvage certificate of title or certificate of destruction from the department. When applying for a salvage certificate of title or certificate of destruction, the owner or insurance company must provide the department with an estimate of the costs of repairing the physical and mechanical damage suffered by the vehicle for which a salvage certificate of title or certificate of destruction is sought. If the estimated costs of repairing the physical and mechanical damage to the mobile home are equal to 80 percent or more of the current retail cost of the mobile home, as established in any official used mobile home guide, the department shall declare the mobile home unrebuildable and print a certificate of destruction, which authorizes the dismantling or destruction of the mobile home. For a late model vehicle with a current retail cost of at least $7,500 just prior to sustaining the damage that resulted in the total loss, as established in any official used car guide or valuation service, if the owner or insurance company determines that the estimated costs of repairing the physical and mechanical damage to the vehicle are equal to 90 percent or more of the current retail cost of the vehicle, as established in any official used motor vehicle guide or valuation service, the department shall declare the vehicle unrebuildable and print a certificate of destruction, which authorizes the dismantling or destruction of the motor vehicle. However, if the damaged motor vehicle is equipped with custom-lowered floors for wheelchair access or a wheelchair lift, the insurance company may, upon determining that the vehicle is repairable to a condition that is safe for operation on public roads, submit the certificate of title to the department for reissuance as a salvage rebuildable title and the addition of a title brand of “insurance-declared total loss.” The certificate of destruction shall be reassignable a maximum of two times before dismantling or destruction of the vehicle is required, and shall accompany the motor vehicle or mobile home for which it is issued, when such motor vehicle or mobile home is sold for such purposes, in lieu of a certificate of title. The department may not issue a certificate of title for that vehicle. This subsection is not applicable if a mobile home is worth less than $1,500 retail just prior to sustaining the damage that resulted in the total loss in any official used mobile home guide or when a stolen motor vehicle or mobile home is recovered in substantially intact condition and is readily resalable without extensive repairs to or replacement of the frame or engine. If a motor vehicle has a current retail cost of less than $7,500 just prior to sustaining the damage that resulted in the total loss, as established in any official used motor vehicle guide or valuation service, or if the vehicle is not a late model vehicle, the owner or insurance company that pays money as compensation for the total loss of the motor vehicle shall obtain a certificate of destruction, if the motor vehicle is damaged, wrecked, or burned to the extent that the only residual value of the motor vehicle is as a source of parts or scrap metal, or if the motor vehicle comes into this state under a title or other ownership document that indicates that the motor vehicle is not repairable, is junked, or is for parts or dismantling only. A person who knowingly violates this paragraph or falsifies documentation to avoid the requirements of this paragraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(4) It is unlawful for any person to have in his or her possession any motor vehicle or mobile home when the manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plate or serial plate has been removed therefrom.
(a) Nothing in this subsection shall be applicable when a vehicle defined in this section as a derelict or salvage was purchased or acquired from a foreign state requiring such vehicle’s identification number plate to be surrendered to such state, provided the person shall have an affidavit from the seller describing the vehicle by manufacturer’s serial number and the state to which such vehicle’s identification number plate was surrendered.
(b) Nothing in this subsection shall be applicable if a certificate of destruction has been obtained for the vehicle.
(5)(a) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, sell, or exchange, offer to sell or exchange, or give away any certificate of title or manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plate or serial plate of any motor vehicle, mobile home, or derelict that has been sold as salvage contrary to the provisions of this section, and it is unlawful for any person to authorize, direct, aid in, or consent to the possession, sale, or exchange or to offer to sell, exchange, or give away such certificate of title or manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plate or serial plate.
(b) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, sell, or exchange, offer to sell or exchange, or give away any manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plate or serial plate of any motor vehicle or mobile home that has been removed from the motor vehicle or mobile home for which it was manufactured, and it is unlawful for any person to authorize, direct, aid in, or consent to the possession, sale, or exchange or to offer to sell, exchange, or give away such manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plate or serial plate.
(c) This chapter does not apply to anyone who removes, possesses, or replaces a manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plate, in the course of performing repairs on a vehicle, that require such removal or replacement. If the repair requires replacement of a vehicle part that contains the manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plate, the manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plate that is assigned to the vehicle being repaired will be installed on the replacement part. The manufacturer’s or state-assigned identification number plate that was removed from this replacement part will be installed on the part that was removed from the vehicle being repaired.
(6)(a) In the event of a purchase by a salvage motor vehicle dealer of materials or major component parts for any reason, the purchaser shall:
1. For each item of materials or major component parts purchased, the salvage motor vehicle dealer shall record the date of purchase and the name, address, and personal identification card number of the person selling such items, as well as the vehicle identification number, if available.
2. With respect to each item of materials or major component parts purchased, obtain such documentation as may be required by subsection (2).
(b) Any person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(7)(a) In the event of a purchase by a secondary metals recycler, that has been issued a certificate of registration number, of:
1. Materials, prepared materials, or parts from any seller for purposes other than the processing of such materials, prepared materials, or parts, the purchaser shall obtain such documentation as may be required by this section and shall record the seller’s name and address, date of purchase, and the personal identification card number of the person delivering such items.
2. Parts or prepared materials from any seller for purposes of the processing of such parts or prepared materials, the purchaser shall record the seller’s name and address and date of purchase and, in the event of a purchase transaction consisting primarily of parts or prepared materials, the personal identification card number of the person delivering such items.
3. Materials from another secondary metals recycler for purposes of the processing of such materials, the purchaser shall record the seller’s name and address and date of purchase.
4.a. Motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, or derelict motor vehicles from other than a secondary metals recycler for purposes of the processing of such motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, mobile homes, or derelict motor vehicles, the purchaser shall make the required notification to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and record the date of purchase and the name, address, and personal identification card number of the person selling such items and shall obtain the following documentation from the seller with respect to each item purchased:
(I) A valid certificate of title issued in the name of the seller or properly endorsed, as required in s. 319.22, over to the seller;
(II) A valid salvage certificate of title issued in the name of the seller or properly endorsed, as required in s. 319.22, over to the seller;
(III) A valid certificate of destruction issued in the name of the seller or properly endorsed over to the seller; or
(IV) A valid derelict motor vehicle certificate obtained from the department by a licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer and properly reassigned to the secondary metals recycler.
b. If a valid certificate of title, salvage certificate of title, certificate of destruction, or derelict motor vehicle certificate is not available and the motor vehicle or mobile home is a derelict motor vehicle, a derelict motor vehicle certificate application shall be completed by the seller or owner of the motor vehicle or mobile home, the seller’s or owner’s authorized transporter, and the registered secondary metals recycler at the time of sale, transport, or delivery to the registered secondary metals recycler to obtain a derelict motor vehicle certificate from the department. The derelict motor vehicle certificate application must be accompanied by a legible copy of the seller’s or owner’s valid Florida driver license or Florida identification card, or a valid driver license or identification card from another state. If the seller is not the owner of record of the vehicle being sold, the recycler shall, at the time of sale, ensure that a smudge-free right thumbprint, or other digit if the seller has no right thumb, of the seller is imprinted upon the derelict motor vehicle certificate application and that the legible copy of the seller’s driver license or identification card is affixed to the application and transmitted to the department. The derelict motor vehicle certificate shall be used by the owner, the owner’s authorized transporter, and the registered secondary metals recycler. The registered secondary metals recycler shall make the required notification of the derelict motor vehicle to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and shall secure the derelict motor vehicle for 3 full business days, excluding weekends and holidays, if there is no active lien or a lien of 3 years or more on the department’s records before destroying or dismantling the derelict motor vehicle and shall follow all reporting procedures established by the department, including electronic notification to the department or delivery of the original derelict motor vehicle certificate application to an agent of the department within 24 hours after receiving the derelict motor vehicle. If there is an active lien of less than 3 years on the derelict motor vehicle, the registered secondary metals recycler shall secure the derelict motor vehicle for 10 days. The department shall notify the lienholder of the application for a derelict motor vehicle certificate and shall notify the lienholder of its intention to remove the lien. Ten days after receipt of the motor vehicle derelict application, the department may remove the lien from its records if a written statement protesting removal of the lien is not received by the department from the lienholder within the 10-day period. However, if the lienholder files with the department and the registered secondary metals recycler within the 10-day period a written statement that the lien is still outstanding, the department shall not remove the lien and shall place an administrative hold on the record for 30 days to allow the lienholder to apply for title to the vehicle or a repossession certificate under s. 319.28. The registered secondary metals recycler must secure the derelict motor vehicle until the department’s administrative stop is removed, the lienholder submits a lien satisfaction, or the lienholder takes possession of the vehicle.
c. Any person who knowingly violates this subparagraph by selling, transporting, delivering, purchasing, or receiving a motor vehicle, recreational motor vehicle, mobile home, or derelict motor vehicle without obtaining a certificate of title, salvage certificate of title, certificate of destruction, or derelict motor vehicle certificate; enters false or fictitious information on a derelict motor vehicle certificate application; does not complete the derelict motor vehicle certificate application as required or does not make the required notification to the department; does not make the required notification to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System; does not obtain a legible copy of the seller’s or owner’s driver license or identification card when required; or destroys or dismantles a derelict motor vehicle without waiting the required time as set forth in sub-subparagraph b. commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
5. Major parts from other than a secondary metals recycler for purposes of the processing of such major parts, the purchaser shall record the seller’s name, address, date of purchase, and the personal identification card number of the person delivering such items, as well as the vehicle identification number, if available, of each major part purchased.
(b) Any person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(8)(a) Secondary metals recyclers and salvage motor vehicle dealers shall return to the department on a monthly basis all certificates of title and salvage certificates of title that are required by this section to be obtained. Secondary metals recyclers and salvage motor vehicle dealers may elect to notify the department electronically through procedures established by the department when they receive each motor vehicle or mobile home, salvage motor vehicle or mobile home, or derelict motor vehicle with a certificate of title or salvage certificate of title through procedures established by the department.
(b) Secondary metals recyclers and salvage motor vehicle dealers shall keep originals, or a copy in the event the original was returned to the department, of all certificates of title, salvage certificates of title, certificates of destruction, derelict motor vehicle certificates, and all other information required by this section to be recorded or obtained, on file in the offices of such secondary metals recyclers or salvage motor vehicle dealers for a period of 3 years after the date of purchase of the items reflected in such certificates of title, salvage certificates of title, certificates of destruction, or derelict motor vehicle certificates. These records shall be maintained in chronological order.
(c) For the purpose of enforcement of this section, the department or its agents and employees have the same right of inspection as law enforcement officers as provided in s. 812.055.
(d) Whenever the department, its agent or employee, or any law enforcement officer has reason to believe that a stolen or fraudulently titled motor vehicle, mobile home, recreational vehicle, salvage motor vehicle, or derelict motor vehicle is in the possession of a salvage motor vehicle dealer or secondary metals recycler, the department, its agent or employee, or the law enforcement officer may issue an extended hold notice, not to exceed 5 additional business days, excluding weekends and holidays, to the salvage motor vehicle dealer or registered secondary metals recycler.
(e) Whenever a salvage motor vehicle dealer or registered secondary metals recycler is notified by the department, its agent or employee, or any law enforcement officer to hold a motor vehicle, mobile home, recreational vehicle, salvage motor vehicle, or derelict motor vehicle that is believed to be stolen or fraudulently titled, the salvage motor vehicle dealer or registered secondary metals recycler shall hold the motor vehicle, mobile home, recreational vehicle, salvage motor vehicle, or derelict motor vehicle and may not dismantle or destroy the motor vehicle, mobile home, recreational vehicle, salvage motor vehicle, or derelict motor vehicle until it is recovered by a law enforcement officer, the hold is released by the department or the law enforcement officer placing the hold, or the 5 additional business days have passed since being notified of the hold.
(f) This section does not authorize any person who is engaged in the business of recovering, towing, or storing vehicles pursuant to s. 713.78, and who is claiming a lien for performing labor or services on a motor vehicle or mobile home pursuant to s. 713.58, or is claiming that a motor vehicle or mobile home has remained on any premises after tenancy has terminated pursuant to s. 715.104, to use a derelict motor vehicle certificate application for the purpose of transporting, selling, disposing of, or delivering a motor vehicle to a salvage motor vehicle dealer or secondary metals recycler without obtaining the title or certificate of destruction required under s. 713.58, s. 713.78, or s. 715.104.
(g) The department shall accept all properly endorsed and completed derelict motor vehicle certificate applications and shall issue a derelict motor vehicle certificate having an effective date that authorizes when a derelict motor vehicle is eligible for dismantling or destruction. The electronic information obtained from the derelict motor vehicle certificate application shall be stored electronically and shall be made available to authorized persons after issuance of the derelict motor vehicle certificate in the Florida Real Time Vehicle Information System.
(h) The department is authorized to adopt rules pursuant to ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 establishing policies and procedures to administer and enforce this section.
(i) The department shall charge a fee of $3 for each derelict motor vehicle certificate delivered to the department or one of its agents for processing and shall mark the title record canceled. A service charge may be collected under s. 320.04.
(j) The licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer or registered secondary metals recycler shall make all payments for the purchase of any derelict motor vehicle that is sold by a seller who is not the owner of record on file with the department by check or money order made payable to the seller and may not make payment to the authorized transporter. The licensed salvage motor vehicle dealer or registered secondary metals recycler may not cash the check that such dealer or recycler issued to the seller.
(9)(a) An insurance company may notify an independent entity that obtains possession of a damaged or dismantled motor vehicle to release the vehicle to the owner. The insurance company shall provide the independent entity a release statement on a form prescribed by the department authorizing the independent entity to release the vehicle to the owner. The form shall, at a minimum, contain the following:
1. The policy and claim number.
2. The name and address of the insured.
3. The vehicle identification number.
4. The signature of an authorized representative of the insurance company.
(b) The independent entity in possession of a motor vehicle must send a notice to the owner that the vehicle is available for pick up when it receives a release statement from the insurance company. The notice shall be sent by certified mail to the owner at the owner’s address reflected in the department’s records. The notice must inform the owner that the owner has 30 days after receipt of the notice to pick up the vehicle from the independent entity. If the motor vehicle is not claimed within 30 days after the owner receives the notice, the independent entity may apply for a certificate of destruction or a certificate of title.
(c) The independent entity shall make the required notification to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System before releasing any damaged or dismantled motor vehicle to the owner or before applying for a certificate of destruction or salvage certificate of title.
(d) Upon applying for a certificate of destruction or salvage certificate of title, the independent entity shall provide a copy of the release statement from the insurance company to the independent entity, proof of providing the 30-day notice to the owner, proof of notification to the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, and applicable fees.
(e) The independent entity may not charge an owner of the vehicle storage fees or apply for a title under s. 713.585 or s. 713.78.
(10) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any person who violates this section commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
History.s. 11, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 9, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 1, ch. 59-341; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 1, ch. 69-373; s. 189, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 72-94; s. 3, ch. 78-412; s. 2, ch. 79-32; s. 1, ch. 79-56; s. 197, ch. 81-259; s. 15, ch. 82-134; s. 11, ch. 83-218; s. 5, ch. 88-130; s. 17, ch. 89-333; s. 25, ch. 90-119; s. 3, ch. 90-270; s. 4, ch. 90-283; s. 2, ch. 91-66; s. 25, ch. 95-143; s. 346, ch. 95-148; s. 12, ch. 98-324; ss. 13, 14, ch. 99-248; s. 24, ch. 2000-313; s. 127, ch. 2002-20; s. 10, ch. 2002-235; s. 1, ch. 2005-137; s. 13, ch. 2005-164; s. 1, ch. 2008-170; s. 9, ch. 2010-198; s. 15, ch. 2010-223; s. 17, ch. 2011-4; s. 4, ch. 2012-179; s. 25, ch. 2012-181; s. 25, ch. 2013-160; s. 57, ch. 2014-17; s. 1, ch. 2014-21; s. 3, ch. 2014-181.
319.32 Fees; service charges; disposition.
(1) The department shall charge a fee of $70 for each original certificate of title, except for a certificate of title for a motor vehicle for hire registered under s. 320.08(6) for which the title fee shall be $49; $70 for each duplicate copy of a certificate of title, except for a certificate of title for a motor vehicle for hire registered under s. 320.08(6) for which the title fee shall be $49; $2 for each salvage certificate of title; and $3 for each assignment by a lienholder. The department shall also charge a fee of $2 for noting a lien on a title certificate, which fee includes the services for the subsequent issuance of a corrected certificate or cancellation of lien when that lien is satisfied. If an application for a certificate of title is for a vehicle that is required by s. 319.14(1)(b) to have a physical examination, the department shall charge an additional fee of $40 for the initial examination and $20 for each subsequent examination. The initial examination fee shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund, and each subsequent examination fee shall be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. The physical examination of the vehicle includes, but is not limited to, verification of the vehicle identification number and verification of the bill of sale or title for major components. In addition to all other fees charged, a sum of $1 shall be paid for the issuance of an original or duplicate certificate of title to cover the cost of materials used for security purposes. A service fee of $2.50, to be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund, shall be charged for shipping and handling for each paper title mailed by the department.
(2)(a) There shall be a service charge of $4.25 for each application that is handled in connection with the issuance, duplication, or transfer of any certificate of title. There shall be a service charge of $1.25 for each application that is handled in connection with the recordation or notation of a lien on a motor vehicle or mobile home which is not in connection with the purchase of such vehicle.
(b) The service charges specified in paragraph (a) shall be collected by the department on any application handled directly from its office. Otherwise, these service charges shall be collected and retained by the tax collector who handles the application.
(3) The department shall charge a fee of $10 in addition to that charged in subsection (1) for each original certificate of title issued for a vehicle previously registered outside this state.
(4) The department shall charge a fee of $7 for each lien placed on a motor vehicle by the state child support enforcement program pursuant to s. 319.24.
(5)(a) Forty-seven dollars of each fee collected, except for fees charged on a certificate of title for a motor vehicle for hire registered under s. 320.08(6), for each applicable original certificate of title and each applicable duplicate copy of a certificate of title, after deducting the service charges imposed by s. 215.20, shall be deposited into the State Transportation Trust Fund. Deposits to the State Transportation Trust Fund pursuant to this paragraph may not exceed $200 million in any fiscal year, and any collections in excess of that amount during the fiscal year shall be paid into the General Revenue Fund.
(b) All fees collected pursuant to subsection (3) shall be paid into the Nongame Wildlife Trust Fund. Twenty-one dollars of each fee, except for fees charged on a certificate of title for a motor vehicle for hire registered under s. 320.08(6), for each applicable original certificate of title and each applicable duplicate copy of a certificate of title, after deducting the service charges imposed by s. 215.20, shall be deposited into the State Transportation Trust Fund. All other fees collected by the department under this chapter shall be paid into the General Revenue Fund.
(6) Notwithstanding chapter 116, each county officer within this state authorized to collect funds provided for in this chapter shall pay all sums officially received by the officer into the State Treasury no later than 5 working days after the close of the business day in which the officer received the funds. Payment by county officers to the state shall be made by means of electronic funds transfer.
History.s. 13, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 42, ch. 26869, 1951; s. 6, ch. 65-190; s. 3, ch. 67-215; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 2, ch. 79-399; s. 16, ch. 82-134; s. 2, ch. 84-194; s. 1, ch. 85-324; ss. 7, 18, ch. 89-333; s. 110, ch. 90-136; s. 116, ch. 91-112; s. 14, ch. 98-397; s. 11, ch. 2002-235; s. 7, ch. 2009-71; s. 4, ch. 2009-86; s. 11, ch. 2012-128.
319.323 Expedited service; applications; fees.The department shall establish a separate title office which may be used by private citizens and licensed motor vehicle dealers to receive expedited service on title transfers, title issuances, duplicate titles, and recordation of liens. A fee of $10 shall be charged for this service, which fee is in addition to the fees imposed by s. 319.32. The fee, after deducting the amount referenced by s. 319.324 and $3.50 to be retained by the processing agency, shall be deposited into the General Revenue Fund. Application for expedited service may be made by mail or in person. The department shall issue each title applied for under this section within 5 working days after receipt of the application except for an application for a duplicate title certificate covered by s. 319.23(4), in which case the title must be issued within 5 working days after compliance with the department’s verification requirements.
History.s. 1, ch. 79-399; s. 17, ch. 82-134; s. 8, ch. 89-333; s. 16, ch. 96-413; s. 8, ch. 2009-71; s. 26, ch. 2013-160.
319.324 Odometer fraud prevention and detection; funding.
(1) Moneys received by the department pursuant to s. 319.32(1) in the amount of $1 for each original certificate of title, each duplicate copy of a certificate of title, and each assignment by a lienholder shall be deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund. There shall also be deposited into the fund moneys received by the department pursuant to s. 319.323 in the amount of $5 for each expedited service performed by the department for which a fee is assessed.
(2) Moneys deposited into the Highway Safety Operating Trust Fund under this section shall be used to implement and maintain efforts by the department to prevent and detect odometer fraud, including the prompt investigation of alleged instances of odometer mileage discrepancies reported by licensed motor vehicle dealers, auctions, or purchasers of motor vehicles. In addition, moneys deposited into the fund may be used by the department for general operations.
History.s. 14, ch. 89-333; s. 1, ch. 92-119; s. 62, ch. 93-120; s. 9, ch. 2009-71; s. 79, ch. 2010-102.
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.
319.34 Transfer without delivery of certificate; operation or use without certificate; failure to surrender; other violations.Whoever, except as otherwise provided for in this chapter, purports to sell or transfer a motor vehicle or mobile home without delivering to the purchaser or transferee thereof a certificate of title thereto duly assigned to such purchaser as provided in this chapter or operates or uses in this state a motor vehicle or mobile home for which a certificate of title is required without such certificate having been obtained in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, or upon which the certificate of title has been canceled; whoever fails to surrender any certificate of title, certificate of registration, license plate, or sticker upon cancellation of the same by the department and notice thereof as prescribed in this chapter; whoever fails to surrender the certificate of title to the department as provided in this chapter in case of the destruction or dismantling or change of a motor vehicle or mobile home in such respect that it is not the motor vehicle or mobile home described in the certificate of title; or whoever violates any of the other provisions of this chapter, or any lawful rule adopted pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both, for each offense.
History.s. 15, ch. 23658, 1947; s. 12, ch. 25150, 1949; s. 6, ch. 65-190; ss. 24, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 19, ch. 82-134.
319.35 Unlawful acts in connection with motor vehicle odometer readings; penalties.
(1)(a) It is unlawful for any person knowingly to tamper with, adjust, alter, set back, disconnect, or fail to connect an odometer of a motor vehicle, or to cause any of the foregoing to occur to an odometer of a motor vehicle, so as to reflect a lower mileage than the motor vehicle has actually been driven, or to supply any written odometer statement knowing such statement to be false or based on mileage figures reflected by an odometer that has been tampered with or altered, except as hereinafter provided. It is unlawful for any person to knowingly bring into this state a motor vehicle which has an odometer that has been illegally altered.
(b) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly provide false information on the odometer readings required pursuant to ss. 319.23(3) and 320.02(2)(b).
(c) It is unlawful for any person to knowingly possess, sell, or offer for sale, conceal, or dispose of in this state a motor vehicle with an odometer that has been tampered with so as to reflect a lower mileage than the motor vehicle has actually been driven, except as provided in paragraph (2)(a) and subsection (3).
(2)(a) This section does not prevent the service, repair, or replacement of an odometer if the mileage indicated thereon remains the same as before the service, repair, or replacement. If the odometer is incapable of registering the same mileage as before such service, repair, or replacement, the odometer must be adjusted to read zero and a notice in writing must be attached to the door frame of the vehicle by the owner or his or her agent specifying the mileage prior to repair or replacement of the odometer and the date on which it was repaired or replaced.
(b) A person may not fail to adjust an odometer or affix a notice regarding such adjustment as required by paragraph (a).
(c) A person may not, with intent to defraud, remove or alter any notice affixed to a motor vehicle under paragraph (a).
(3) Any motor vehicle with an odometer that has been tampered with so as to reflect a lower mileage than the motor vehicle has actually been driven may not be knowingly operated on the streets and highways of the state in such condition unless the certificate of title and registration certificate of the vehicle have been conspicuously stamped so as to indicate the displayed mileage is inaccurate and written notice has been placed on the vehicle as described in paragraph (2)(a).
(4) If any person, with intent to defraud, possesses, sells, or offers to sell any motor vehicle with an odometer that has been illegally adjusted, altered, set back, or tampered with so as to reflect a lower mileage than the vehicle has actually been driven, such motor vehicle is contraband and is subject to seizure and forfeiture by a law enforcement agency or the department pursuant to ss. 932.701-932.704.
(5) Any person who intentionally violates the provisions 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.
History.ss. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, ch. 70-233; s. 2, ch. 71-242; s. 191, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 78-183; s. 20, ch. 82-134; s. 3, ch. 83-91; s. 1, ch. 84-155; s. 1, ch. 91-138; s. 26, ch. 95-143; s. 348, ch. 95-148.
319.40 Transactions by electronic or telephonic means.
(1) The department may accept any application provided for under this chapter by electronic or telephonic means.
(2) The department may issue an electronic certificate of title in lieu of printing a paper title.
(3) The department may collect electronic mail addresses and use electronic mail in lieu of the United States Postal Service as a method of notification. However, any notice regarding the potential forfeiture or foreclosure of an interest in property must be sent via the United States Postal Service.
History.s. 18, ch. 97-300; s. 26, ch. 2012-181.
319.41 Title history database.The department shall make available on the Internet a database of title transactions searchable by vehicle identification number. In the Internet database, the department shall only provide access to information relating to the year, make, model, and mileage of the vehicle, along with the date of sales and any brands or outstanding liens on the title.
History.s. 128, ch. 2002-20.