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When Do I Need a Florida Car Title?

A large majority of people put away the title of ownership for their vehicle and never think about it again until it comes time to get rid of the car. While in almost every case this is okay, it's important to never lose track of where this document is kept. Losing a car title requires that you request a new one, which incurs a fee of up to $77. Also, receiving a duplicate title takes a few weeks, so if you need it quickly, you will not be able to obtain it.

The most important time for a title of ownership is when ownership rights are changing. When you purchase a new vehicle or sell one, the title will transfer into new hands and this change must be conducted at a tag and title agency. Until the title is updated, the vehicle will belong to the owner listed on there. When you finance a new vehicle, the title remains with the dealer until the vehicle is paid off, after which the title will be mailed to you, and you are free to do what you want with the car, including selling it. When you buy or sell a used vehicle, arrange a time with the other party to conduct the title transfer. You should do this as soon as the sale is finalized and any money is transferred.

Outside of transferring a vehicle's title, this document should be kept in a safe place with other important documents. In Florida, law enforcement officers may ask you for the title of ownership to a vehicle you are in, but you are not required to have it. In fact, you should never carry a vehicle title in the vehicle. If that vehicle is stolen, the title can be manipulated, and you will have no proof of ownership. If you must, keep a photocopy of the title with your insurance and registration information.