The estimated cost to register and title a vehicle for the first time is $420.00, plus any sales tax due. The state of Florida imposes 6% sales tax on the full purchase price less trade-in. Escambia County residents pay an additional 1.5% on the first $5,000.

New Vehicle Titles

All new vehicles are required to have a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO), which must be properly completed by a licensed dealer for transfer to the buyer. To obtain a Florida title, the MCO must be filled out completely and attached to the title application, Form HSMV-82040.

The information must include the owner’s complete name and Florida address, date of birth, sex, driver license number, a complete description of the vehicle, and any lien to be recorded. Sales tax will be collected, if applicable. Proof of Florida insurance is required for registering the vehicle.

Florida Title Transfer

All applications for title must be signed with the applicant’s full name. All transfers of ownership must be completed within 30 days of the sale date on the title. Failure to do so will result in a $20.00 penalty applied at the time of transfer. When an application is made for a Florida Title Certificate, the title fee is $75.75 (or $85.75 for a vehicle with an out-of-state title). For each lien recorded, a fee of $2.00 is also charged. The purchaser’s name, selling price, date of sale, odometer reading and date read, must be completed by the seller in the “transfer of title by seller” section.

All person(s) whose name(s) will appear on the title must appear at our office and show proper identification (driver license or appropriate photo ID). If one of the persons whose name will appear on the title cannot be physically present, download a Power of Attorney (POA), which gives a person the legal right to sign on the other person’s behalf. Find out more information on how to complete a Florida title for transfer.

Additional information, forms, samples, and the latest updates are available from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Electronic transfer of titles requires both buyer and seller to be present at the tax collector’s office at the time of transfer. All liens must be satisfied and removed from the title prior to transfer.

Out-of-State Titles

An out-of-state certificate of title must be submitted as proof of ownership if that state issues titles. If a transfer of ownership is involved, it must be properly assigned to the new owner. If the vehicle has been titled in your name for less than six months, a bill of sale showing proof of sales tax paid must be provided. If sales tax paid is not equivalent to Florida sales tax, you may be subject to additional sales tax. A title fee, lien fee, if applicable, and initial registration fee must be paid. In addition, you must have proof of Florida insurance to obtain a license plate.

Please bring your vehicle so our staff can perform a vehicle identification number (VIN) verification, weather permitting, along with your current registration information and the name and address of the bank your vehicle is currently financed through, if applicable.

If your vehicle has a lien recorded in another state and our office must request the title from your bank or financial institution, there may be a delay in processing. If you have Florida insurance, and are otherwise eligible, a temporary registration may be available to you while your title is being requested.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Verification

All used motor vehicles, including trailers with a weight of 2,000 pounds or more, which are not currently titled in Florida, must have a vehicle identification number (VIN) verification when registered and titled in Florida. This process is completed using the Vehicle Identification Number and Odometer Verification (HSMV Form 82042). In most cases, our staff can perform the vehicle identification number (VIN) verification at our offices, weather permitting. There is no fee for this service. If you are unable to bring your vehicle to our offices, there are several other parties who may perform the VIN verification:

  • A law enforcement officer from any state
  • A licensed Florida state motor vehicle dealer
  • A Florida DMV Compliance Examiner/Inspector
  • A Florida Notary Public
  • Military law enforcement authority

VIN verification is NOT required on the following:

  • New motor vehicles regardless of whether purchased in Florida or out of state
  • Mobile homes
  • Trailer-type recreational vehicles (travel trailers, camp trailers, truck campers, and fifth wheel recreational trailers)
  • Trailers and semitrailers with a weight of less than 2,000 pounds
  • Vehicles currently titled in Florida

Duplicate Titles

When a Florida title has been lost, a duplicate title may be applied for using Form HSMV-82101. A duplicate or lost title may be applied for when the vehicle owner is not present, provided the vehicle owner signs a Power of Attorney, Form HSMV-82053.

Sales and Use Tax

The State of Florida has a state sales and use tax of 6% that, as an agent for the Florida Department of Revenue, the tax collector collects on transactions where applicable. Escambia County has an additional 1½% local option tax on the first $5,000, for a maximum of $75.

Sales tax is collected when a customer transfers title to a motor vehicle, vessel, or mobile home, or whenever registration in Florida occurs under conditions that subject the vehicle to sales and use tax.

NOTE: If a vehicle is traded in, sales tax is collected on the difference between the price of the vehicle and the gross trade in allowance.