In Florida, you can't sell a vehicle without the title. If you're still making payments on a car you financed, the lender maintains possession of the title until the loan is paid and the lien is released. When you own the car free and clear, you maintain the title. Whether the car title was lost, stolen, damaged or lost in the mail, you can request a duplicate title.
Where to Apply
Your local county tax collector processes replacement car titles. You can apply for a replacement title in person or by mail. You'll need to complete the Application for Duplicate or Lost in Transit/Reassignment for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home or Vessel Title Certificate.
Information and Fees
The application requires you to select whether the title was lost/stolen or lost in transit. You'll need to answer questions about yourself, such as your address and driver's license number. The application requests details about the vehicle, including the vehicle identification number, exact odometer reading, year, make and model. Select how you acquired the vehicle from the list of options and choose the vehicle's primary use. You and any co-owners must sign the application to swear the information provided is true. Along with your completed application, you'll need to submit a copy of your identification, such as a driver's license or identification card. You can return the application to the tax collector or mail it to the tax collector's office.
There is no fee for a title lost in transit. The fee for a replacement title of a previously registered vehicle is $75.25, as of 2015.
Your Mailing Address
Your replacement title is mailed to the address the county has on file. If you want to have the title sent to a different address, you'll need to provide documentation to confirm it's your new residence. Acceptable documents displaying the updated address include:
- Driver's license
- State-issued ID card
- Receipt for paid utility or phone service
- Proof of contract or service agreement to establish utility or phone service
- Proof of homestead exemption
- Rental or lease agreement
- Copy of insurance policy for the vehicle
- Current vehicle registration for the year
Processing and Delivery Time
Most replacement titles applications are processed within five days. After the application is processed, the title is mailed to you. If you need your title immediately, some county tax collectors provide expedited same day printing in the office for an additional service fee. If you're mailing a paper application, the fee for the Fast Title Service is an extra $5.
Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.