A Florida (FL) vehicle bill of sale allows sellers to release interest in a vehicle, so the buyer can transfer the title into their own name. This legal document finalizes the transaction and is given to the buyer along with the signed title after they pay for the vehicle.
The buyer must then take the completed vehicle bill of sale to a Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) service center to transfer it into their name.
As the buyer, the bill of sale serves as your receipt for the transaction and allows you to legally own the vehicle. Sellers benefit from the bill of sale since it acts as a notice of sale and releases their liability for the car in question.
Florida Vehicle Bill of Sale Requirements
When filling out the bill of sale form in Florida, it’s important to keep the following features in mind:
- Completed Form: You must fill out an official bill of sale form in full when buying or selling a car.
- Notarization: The state of Florida doesn’t require you to notarize the bill of sale, but it is recommended.
- Witnesses: Only the buyer and seller has to sign the bill of sale since no witnesses are required.
- Language Requirements: Florida only provides a bill of sale form in English, but you can use a different language if needed.
- Number of Copies: The buyer, seller, and motor vehicle service center all need their own copies of the bill of sale.
- Writing Requirements: A Florida bill of sale is a legal document, so use either black or blue ink.
Registering a Vehicle at the Florida HSMV
Upon buying a vehicle, you must bring the vehicle bill of sale to a nearby Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (HSMV) service center to transfer it into your name. You may also register the vehicle to legally drive on public roads at that time.
- Florida HSMV Offices: Every county in Florida has one or more motor vehicle service centers you can visit.
- Days to Register at the HSMV: You have 30 days to register the vehicle at the HSMV before incurring late penalties.
- Fees: To put the car in your name, you will need to pay $75.25 for the title transfer and $225 for the registration fee. The license plate is an additional $28. You may also need to pay other fees based on the vehicle’s type and weight, ranging from $14.50 for cars under 2,499 pounds to $32.50 for trucks up to 5,000 pounds. Antique cars and trucks are an additional $7.50 to register.
- Auto/Liability Insurance: When transferring the title, you are required to show proof of automobile insurance, such as your current insurance card or other policy documents.
- Sales/Excise Tax: When transferring your title in Florida, expect to pay 6% sales tax on the purchase price of the vehicle. If you traded in a vehicle to make that purchase, you can deduct its value before calculating the sales tax, though some vehicles are exempt.
- VIN and Odometer Check: If you bought the vehicle from out of state, you will need to confirm its VIN matches the paperwork and submit the odometer reading on the Vehicle Identification Affidavit and Odometer Declaration form.
- Plate Removal: As the seller, you must remove the plates from the vehicle before the buyer takes it off the premises. You can keep the plates and use them on a different vehicle or surrender them to your local motor vehicle service center.
During the vehicle registration process, you may need the following related documents:
- A current driver’s license is needed to confirm your identity, so the FLHSMV employee can process your title transfer request. You can also change your address at that time by providing proof of residence in the form of a bank statement or utility bill.
- The Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration serves as your official request to put the vehicle in your name.
- The Vehicle Identification Affidavit and Odometer Declaration is required when registering any vehicles purchased from out of state or outside the country, though you can include the odometer reading info on the bill of sale or the VIN affidavit.
- The vehicle bill of sale also works as the seller’s notice of sale.
- Members of the military need to use the Military Forms Packet when titling and registering a vehicle. This provides military specific info about titling, an exemption from Florida sales tax, and other key benefits.
How to Write a Bill of Sale for a Car in Florida
Whether you are buying or selling a vehicle in Florida, you will need to fill out the state’s bill of sale. Follow these steps to complete the form in full.
Step 1: Download and Print a Vehicle Bill of Sale Form
Step 2: Collect Buyer and Seller Information Required for the Bill of Sale
Decide if you will have the documents notarized. If so, do not fill anything out until you meet with a notary public. Look over the form to see which sections to fill out for the buyer and seller copies. The buyer will get two copies, so they can give one to the Florida HSMV. The buyer’s copies should have all three sections filled out. For the seller copy, just fill out sections one and three.
Step 3: Complete the Bill of Sale
On all three forms, fill out section one with the vehicle description, including the year, make, body type, model, and color. Don’t forget to add the certificate of title and VIN in full as well. Below that, write in the name of the buyer along with their full address, date of sale, and selling price.
Complete section two on both buyer’s copies. For this odometer section, write in the five- or six-digit odometer reading and the current date. Then, check the applicable box to verify that the reading is the actual mileage, in excess of the mechanical limits, or not the actual mileage. Add any notes that further explain the accuracy of the current odometer reading.
Complete section three on all of the forms to certify the sale of the vehicle. The buyer and seller will need to print their name, address, and date, and then sign in the indicated box.
Step 4: Register Your Vehicle
Once these forms are complete, you can use the buyer’s copies to transfer the title at a nearby motor vehicle service center. The seller can send in the forms by mail to the one of the offices in their county or drop them off in person.