State and local laws ensure Orlandoians have plenty to do when selling their used cars. Florida has several state-specific (and some down-right peculiar) regulations for private sellers. Don't freak out, though. We'll prepare you for all the possibilities you may encounter when selling your car in Orlando.
What Does Orlando Require You to Do?
Here are the do's (and don'ts) of selling your car in Orlando.
Pay off liens before selling.
Florida law prohibits the sale of cars with active liens. Since vehicles with liens legally belong to the lienholder, only the issuing company can transfer the title. You won't be issued a paper or e-title until the lender submits a lien release with the FLHSMV.
Apply for a demonstration-only temporary tag
If you've already turned in or transferred your personal tag, you'll need to pay for a demonstration tag for prospective buyers to test drive the car legally.
Transfer the title to the new owner
Fill out the transfer section on the front of your paper title and hand it over to the new owner. That's it! FLHSMV recommends sellers complete the transfer at one of their offices to make sure the process is done correctly.
Find private property to park the car.
In Florida, it's illegal to park a car for advertisement purposes on public property, roadways, or private property without prior authorization. This practice, known as "curb stoning," may result in your car being towed and the issuance of hefty parking tickets.
Have a dealer's license if you advertise more than 3 cars a year
Florida law allows a maximum of 3 vehicle sales per year by private sellers. According to the FLHSMV, "Florida law presumes any person, firm, partnership or corporation that buys, sells, offers for sale, displays for sale or deals in three or more motor vehicles in any 12-month period to be a motor vehicle dealer and must have an appropriate license issued by the state."
Complete a Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification form
Vehicles without a state-issued title are required to have a Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification form before they can be transferred. This document must be verified and signed by a notary public, police officer, FLHSMV officer, or a state-licensed car dealer.
Report the vehicle mileage
Every title has an odometer reading section where sellers must write the exact mileage at the time of sale—do NOT skip this section! Federal law mandates that sellers disclose the mileage when selling a vehicle unless the odometer is after-market or broken. The buyer should acknowledge that the mileage provided is correct for the car.
Submit a Notice of Sale
A Notice of Sale (Form HSMV 82050) is what other states refer to as a notice of transfer and release of liability. This document certifies that you've relinquished ownership of the vehicle and are no longer responsible for anything that happens with the automobile. In some states, this form is suggested, not mandatory. Florida law, however, requires the submission of this document any time a car changes hands.
Transfer or turn over your tag
The seller must remove the license plate before giving the car to its new owner. From there, the seller has two options: pay a fee to have the plate transferred to another vehicle or return the tag to the FLHSMV.
How Can I Sell My Car in Orlando?
Here are a few of the most popular outlets for selling used cars in Orlando:
Cargurus is one of the best new sites to advertise personal vehicles. What's unique about Cargurus is it has a built-in payment feature to ensure secure payment. It costs $30 to list your car for 60 days, but you can extend your listing for as long as you'd like.
Many find that selling to Carmax is more efficient and cost-effective than selling to a private party or dealership. For starters, you don't have to worry about advertisement fees or low-ball offers from dealerships. Carmax probably won't offer you as much as a private buyer, but for many, the price difference is worth the convenience.
Carvana markets itself as the "car buying experience of the future" with its hands-off approach to car buying and trade-ins. Simply enter your vehicle information into their database to get an instant estimate.
From there, you can schedule an appraisal appointment to have one of their team members evaluate your car to make sure the quote is accurate. If the price is right and your car passes the test, they'll cut you a check on the spot.
If you're on a time crunch, look into selling or trading your car to TrueCar. Their appraisal tool will give you a quote in minutes—all you need is your tag and VIN.
Steps to Sell My Car in Orlando
Selling your car in the Sunshine State is easy with these simple steps:
Get your paperwork in order
You'll need a paper title to sell your car in Orlando, even if you have an e-title. Most Florida dealerships have made the switch to e-titles for their customers, which is a convenient system--until it's time to resell the car.
There are a few ways to transfer your e-title. If you have a bank card, you can submit an online application for a copy of a certified title and have it mailed directly to you for a small fee.
Alternatively, you can accomplish the same thing at your county tax office for just $2.50. Some county tax offices have a same-day title-printing program for an additional charge. The DHSMV can also transfer an e-title, but it must be done in-office with both parties present.
Take care of any vehicle debt
Those who still owe on their vehicle must have the lienholder removed from the title before they can resell it. To do this, contact the lender and tell them you want to pay off your debt. Once you're paid-up, the lienholder can submit a lien release form, and the DMV will either issue you a paper by mail or update your e-title in the database.
Complete a demo-only temporary tag application
If the vehicle you're selling doesn't have a license plate, you'll need to apply for a demo-only temporary tag before any prospective buyers can test drive it. This form requires the vehicle description, applicant's driver's license information, and the buyer and issuing agent's signatures.
You must dispose of the temporary license plate by its expiry date or before you hand over the car--whichever comes first. The buyer must apply for a separate temporary tag to hold them over until their permanent plate arrives. Failure to comply with these regulations is a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida.
Have a VIN inspection (if required)
If your title isn't state-issued, you'll need to submit a VIN and odometer verification form to your local tax collector. Once you've completed the vehicle and owner information sections, you'll need to have the document certified by a state-licensed notary, law enforcement officer, tax collector employee, or a representative from the Florida Division of Motorist Services.
Complete the seller and milage sections of the title
At the bottom of your paper title, you'll notice a section labeled "Transfer of Title by Seller" you need to fill this out before handing it over. This section will ask for the buyer's information, the seller's name(s), vehicle mileage, sales price, amount of tax collected, and the dealer's license number (if the seller is licensed).
The buyer will need to read over the title to make sure all the information's accurate, then both parties must sign and date.
File a notice of sale
Florida requires a notice of sale (Form HSMV 82050) for any motor vehicles, mobile homes, and vessels sold in the state. The nifty thing about this document is it also serves as a bill of sale, which means less paperwork for you. The first section is dedicated to vehicle information. You'll need to write in the VIN, title number, vehicle description, sales price, date of sale, and the buyer's information.
The next section is the odometer disclosure portion. You'll check a box indicating whether the car has a 5 or 6-digit odometer, write in the mileage, and the date. Then you'll check one of three boxes:
- Reflects actual mileage (used for functioning odometers)
- In excess of mechanical limits (for odometers which have started renumbering)
- Not the actual mileage (for replacement odometers)
Transfer or return the license plate
Lastly, don't forget to transfer or return your tag. Florida allows sellers 30 days to turn-in their license plate or transfer it to another automobile. Florida drivers can either surrender their plate in-person or mail it to any FHSMV location with a letter stating they wish to cancel the tag.
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