Buying and Selling a Motorcycle in Florida
With over 600,000 registered motorcycles, the Sunshine State is a paradise for two-wheel enthusiasts. Thanks to the year-round subtropical climate, there is no riding off-season.
Buying and selling a motorcycle in Florida can be a thrilling experience.
Know that every state has unique regulations concerning the transfer of motorcycle ownership. It’s helpful to know the procedure and the documents needed beforehand for a smooth transaction.
Here’s our guide to navigating this process in the sun-kissed state of Florida.
Notice of Sale
A Notice of Sale is required when buying and selling a motorcycle in Florida.
Also referred to as a Bill of Sale, Florida law requires all sellers of vehicles to file one since July of 2009. Many states do not have a strict template or require one to be filed at all. Florida does, and they have their own official form (HSMV 82050).
Traditionally, the seller brings the Notice of Sale to the transaction. It’s wise to make a copy for the buyer.
The Notice of Sale should contain the motorcycle’s year, make, model, color, mileage and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). It will list the names and addresses of both the buyer and seller, with room for their signatures. Record the final sales price in the section provided.
It is extremely important to accurately disclose the mileage on the notice when selling your motorcycle in Florida. Per HSMV 82050, failure to do so may result in fines or imprisonment.
After the seller has filled out the form, the buyer should verify that all of the information on the Notice of Sale is correct before signing and dating it.
Once the seller has filed the Notice of Sale with the state, their registration with the motorcycle is removed. The seller is no longer liable for any actions associated with the motorcycle moving forward.
Although not legally required, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) recommends having the Notice of Sale notarized.
The Certificate of Title is a legal document that formally establishes vehicle ownership. After the Notice of Sale is finalized and the seller has been paid, the seller signs over the title. This effectively transfers the motorcycle’s ownership to the buyer.
As the seller, complete the Transfer of Title by Seller section and provide the buyer with a correctly assigned title. Confirm that all the information, including the VIN, matches the motorcycle. Take a photo of the title after you’ve filled out and signed it, prior to handing it over to the buyer.
If the title is paper and is missing, the seller must complete an Application for Duplicate or Lost in Transit/Reassignment for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home or Vessel Title Certificate (Form HSMV 82101). Some counties offer “fast title” expedited service for a $10 fee in addition to the standard title fee.
The buyer must complete an Application for Certificate of Motor Vehicle Title (Form HSMV 82040). It then needs to be attached to the signed title and submitted to the DMV or service center along with any fees. This must be done within 30 days of the date of sale to avoid penalties. The service center will process the application and issue a new title in the buyer’s name.
Some titles in Florida are held electronically. If this is the case, both the buyer and seller need to visit a Florida motor vehicle service center to proceed. The buyer and seller will disclose the odometer reading and complete a secure title reassignment (Form HSMV 82994 or HSMV 82092). Both parties must provide photo identification and be present during the reassignment.
In Florida, it is illegal to sell a vehicle with an existing lien in a private sale. However, sellers can trade in motorcycles with liens to licensed dealers. The dealership then has 10 days to satisfy the lien before selling it to another customer.
Following the title transfer’s approval, it’s time to register your motorcycle. As the buyer, you will need the following documents at the DMV or service center for motorcycle registration, per the FLHSMV website:
- Your Florida Certificate of Title (or the name and address of the lienholder, if applicable).
- A valid Florida motorcycle endorsement or motorcycle only license.
- Payment for fees.
Florida requires all vehicles with four or more wheels to carry certain levels of insurance coverage. This means that motorcycles and trikes are exempt from insurance requirements. However, it is strongly recommended to always carry insurance on all motor vehicles you own and operate.
There are some general fees associated with registering your motorcycle. The amounts may vary based on your situation, but this is what you can expect:
- Initial registration fee
- Base motorcycle tax
- License plate fee
- Statutory fee
The initial registration fee is $225. This must be paid if the buyer does not have an existing Florida license plate that can be transferred to the newly acquired motorcycle. The license plate fee is a one-time fee unless the plate is lost, stolen, or damaged.
The base motorcycle tax in Florida is $10 for standard motorcycles and $7.50 for antique motorcycles. Your motorcycle’s weight and body type can cause registration fees to vary. The FLHSMV website states that other statutory fees may apply.
Off-highway motorcycles used exclusively off public roads must be titled, but are exempt from registration and insurance requirements.
With these tips, we hope the process of buying or selling a motorcycle in Florida becomes more manageable. For specific personalized assistance, contact your local DMV.
When buying a motorcycle from a private sale, it’s critical to protect yourself. Research the motorcycle you’re interested in. Florida does not enforce a lemon law on used vehicles.
As the seller, simply be honest and transparent about what you’re selling. It pays off in the long run.
So, what kind of motorcycle are you contemplating buying or selling? Let us know! For a more comprehensive look through the entire process, check out our detailed guides on how to sell a motorcycle and how to buy a motorcycle!