Florida Title and registration

Buying a car with a Florida title


Florida motor vehicle laws have specific stipulations which are different from other states. To clear up any confusion, we’re giving you a short but detailed breakdown of specific Florida regulations on vehicle titling and procedures in this article.

How do titles in Florida differ from other states?

Brand-new and salvage title vehicles are treated differently in Florida. As our online auto auction handles primarily salvage cars, the focus here is on damaged vehicles. There are 3 title types that most Florida vehicles fall under:

  • Clear
  • Rebuildable
  • Certificate of Destruction

You can read about other titles and document types in this article.

Clear Title 

The vehicle keeps a clear title when it has little or no damage. In some cases, vehicles that have been in serious accidents still have clear titles because they weren’t declared a ‘total loss’ by an insurance company. 

Rebuildable Title

A rebuildable title implies the salvage car can undergo repair and be safely used on public roads. Flood-damaged cars are often branded with rebuildable titles. If you purchase a car with this title, you can start repairing the vehicle in accordance with your state regulations. Once you finish the repairs, you can submit an application form to acquire a rebuilt title. That means that the vehicle was restored and can now be operated on roads without any legal restrictions.

Obtaining a rebuilt title requires facing some paperwork. First of all, you’ll have to take photos of the repair process and submit receipts for all substituted parts. Then complete the form titled Florida HSMV 82040 to apply for a certificate of title, as well as a written statement of the builder (Florida HSMV Form 84490). Florida sales tax (6%) should be paid in advance.

After all that, make an appointment with your DMV to complete the inspection. This is to ensure that your car is safe to use on the road. Once you’ve filled out the forms and completed the inspection, you can start the process of vehicle re-titling in Florida. Keep in mind that some salvage car auctions do not process titles for vehicles bought in Florida: they transfer it to an in-state “Tag Agency” that will collect Florida sales tax and title fees. To get more information about fees, contact your local DMV in Florida. 

Certificate of Destruction

A vehicle is given a Certificate of Destruction in cases when the damage assessed by the insurer is more than 90% of the car’s retail value, the actual cash value of the car exceeds $7,500, and the vehicle is 7 years old or newer. If the vehicle doesn’t meet these criteria, it can be branded as rebuildable. 

A Certificate of Destruction can be issued upon the insurance company’s request. In that case, the insurance provider becomes the owner of the salvaged vehicle, and it may head to a salvage car auction to recoup some costs paid by the company.

Final words from Salvagebid

Salvagebid offers thousands of salvage vehicles for sale with our inventory updated daily. Start by using our Vehicle Finder to look for an affordable salvage car and narrow down your search criteria to find the perfect vehicle for you. We handle documentation on auctions for you and you get all the necessary paperwork for registration of your car. Getting started with us is easy: just register with us, upload a government-issued ID, place your refundable security deposit and start bidding in auctions. Don’t hesitate to call  + 1 (360) 347-1300 (6:00 AM – 4:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, Monday to Friday) if you have any questions, or contact us online and we will take it from there.

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