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Old 07-31-2010, 12:42 PM   #1
mark1305 OP
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Question for You Wheeler Dealer Vehicle Traders

I have a lead on a cheap project Jeep that checks out OK. My only concern is that the seller has the title signed over by the person he bought from. Nothing else is filled in but the original seller's name spelled out and signature. Clear FL title; no liens; just as if I was buying it from the first seller.

Based on my dim recollection of all the title transfers I've done in FL since 1979, I should be able to take it down to the tax collector's office, transfer title, pay taxes, get tag, & be happy.

Anyone see any pitfalls? I may need to pull the trigger on this fast because of the low price and good running condition.

TIA
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:20 PM   #2
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I think you're okay. I've done several deals where the person I bought it from never transferred the title. All you do is fill in your part, & as far as the DMV is concerned, that's who you bought it from. I've never had a question about it.
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Old 07-31-2010, 08:57 PM   #3
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Mark, make sure the selling price on title is $100

"It was a gift, really!"

Agreed-- our DMV only wants to see some ink squiggles on the title and cash in their flunkies' hands.

It used to be 10-12 bucks to x-fer title here. I haven't done a x-fer in 3 years but i'm waiting for it to double/triple like registration renewals have. But we have no income tax!! Yay!!


Something seriously wrong in Denmark, FL when a 500# utility trailer used 4x a year costs nearly $50 for a tag decal
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:22 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I got the same answer from a friend up the street who sold cars from a big dealership for about 20 years. I should close the deal tomorrow afternoon. If my DMV wants to stick me up for a Bill of Sale as well, the seller says he can get one from the original owner on the title, no problem.
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Old 08-01-2010, 02:27 PM   #5
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Post some pics of said vehicle...
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Old 08-01-2010, 08:02 PM   #6
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I don't have any yet, but will if the deal goes through.

Just imagine a 94 Wrangler Sahara in dark green with a good bit of rust.
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark1305
I don't have any yet, but will if the deal goes through.

Just imagine a 94 Wrangler Sahara in dark green with a good bit of rust.

Ghetto cruiser...

Just don't put $10K rims on a $ 500,= car....
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:55 AM   #8
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Somebody already did that to it.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:54 PM   #9
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Bummer. The seller had to pull it back off the market to keep as his own driver because the transmission in his nice big new looking truck started acting up over the weekend.

Oh well, another will come along although this one looked like a viable project - a good runner with lots of recent new parts on the motor; good transmission and transfer case; good tires on the big alloy rims; decent soft top and doors; just rusty body and the usual rusted area around one of the rear spring hangers. For $1500.

But I did confirm with my local tag office that all that is needed for a clear FL title transfer is the title filled out and signed correctly. Seller need not be present.
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Old 08-03-2010, 05:35 AM   #10
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Well, the deal didn't go down, but:

'Open" titles -- those where the seller has executed the title but failed to fill in the other blanks on the title -- are illegal in Fla. If you show up at the tax collector's office (who serve as agents of the DMV) with an open title, they will mark your title as open, and make an entry in the DMV data base that your title is open, which will show up on every DMV agent's computer screen in the state, including the privately-operated ones.

From that point forward, anyone who applies for a title for that vehicle must produce a notarized bill of sale from the seller whose name appears as the current owner. Moreover, the bill of sale, like the title, must indicate the current odometer reading and the exchange price.

If you receive an 'open title' your taking a huge chance that you will be required to track down the 'owner' who is reflected on the title certificate.

Here's why Fla is so interested in open titles: when 'guy B' transfers a vehicle to 'guy C' with 'guy A' reflected as the owner, the State of Fla never gets the sales tax that is due on the A-to-B transfer. When the mantra of the ruling party is NO NEW TAXES, it creates a considerable vector to collect already existing taxes.

That you've managed to do it in the past is nice, but doesn't take into consideration that not only has the law changed several times, and recently, but the level of communications between DMV agents is much improved with technology.

Fill your title certificate out completely before you approach the Tax Collector's window, and remember that the alteration of a document for a fraudulent purpose is a felony called forgery.

Lastly, the DMV procedures manual is available on line these days.
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halmc screwed with this post 08-03-2010 at 05:43 AM
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Old 08-03-2010, 11:24 AM   #11
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Interestingly, a clerk at the tag office told me yesterday morning that all I needed was the title filled out properly. No bill of sale and no seller present required. That doesn't negate any applicable statutes, but it is interesting because my local tax office is usually a stickler for everything. Had it all gone to crap, the original seller shown on the title is supposedly available down in Palm Bay for a BoS if needed.

But I know the state's interest in those unpaid taxes - got bitten on that once years ago on a boat title transfer.

The current seller may have to go ahead and register it in his name now to tag it so he can drive it while repairing his good truck - unless he's dumb enough to use the tag off his truck on the Jeep. I don't think he is, though.
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Old 08-03-2010, 01:11 PM   #12
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you could just always buy my 97 Cherokee lifted with 33's on it, with little to no rust (maybe a tiny spot somewhere), cold a/c and a clean tittle for $2500 more
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:39 PM   #13
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I was just asked for a bill of sale along with the title because it wasn't notarized when the seller printed and signed it. Fortunately I had it.

Also on another car I have to either A)tow my non running car up to the DMV or B)call a police officer out to the car to fill out a form saying the title matches the car in my garage because its an out of state title. That I didn't understand as it only matters because its an out of state title.
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