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May 26, 2016

Florida Vehicle Identification Numbers

Florida law requires that new residents of the state must have verification of a physical inspection of the vehicle identification number completed on Form HSMV 82040. Any person who is applying for a title in the state of Florida are required to have signed a completed application for title (Form HSMV 82040) and must have proof of their identity. VIN verification is required for all used motor vehicles which are currently titled in the state, including trailers that weigh 2,000 pounds or more.

VIN numbers must be physically inspected by one of the following persons or agencies:

  • A law enforcement officer from any state;
  • A licensed Florida or out of state motor vehicle dealer (If the VIN is verified by an out of state motor vehicle dealer the verification must be submitted with their business letterhead;
  • A Florida DMV Compliance Examiner/Inspector, DMV or tax collector employee;
  • A notary public commissioned by the state of Florida;
  • Provost Marshal (an officer who supervises the military police of a command) or a commissioned officer in active military service, with a rank of 2nd Lieutenant or higher or an LNC, “Legalman, Chief Petty Officer, E-7.”

**NOTE** If the out-of-state title is currently in the possession of an out-of-state lienholder the tax office in Florida will assist you with contacting the lienholder to get the title. The lien will then be recorded on the Florida title upon it’s issuance and it will be mailed to the lienholder.

In Florida, the law requires that a motor vehicle be required to be registered within thirty (30) days of the owner either becoming employed, establishing residency, or registering children in a public school. Registering your motor vehicle goes hand in hand with the titling process.

Florida Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration

Checking on VIN Numbers in Florida, is it necessary?

The state of Florida has a website which offers free VIN testing for the sole purpose of finding out if your vehicle, or parts on your vehicle are stolen. The FDLE recommends that individuals do not take any actions based on this information and the information found here should not be relied upon for any type of legal action. Finally, FDLE makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of this information. If you find through this website that your car is either stolen or contains stolen parts, you should contact your local law enforcement agency.

Another searchable database that is very useful is the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System, which is used for cars that have been in the possession of auto recyclers, junk yards, and salvage yards. These places are often easy prey for thieves to steal VIN numbers from cars which have been destroyed. Therefore, they are more heavily regulated by the government and the data to be reported is mandated, including:

  • The name, address, and contact information for the reporting entity;
  • The VIN;
  • The date the automobile was obtained;
  • The name of the person or entity from whom the automobile was obtained;
  • A statement of whether the automobile was crushed or disposed of, or offered for sale or other purposes; and
  • Whether the vehicle is to be exported out of the country.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau is another free database and they recommend VINcheck as a free way to check verify a VIN number.

There are other companies, usually private ones, which perform more detailed VIN checks. You can find these by googling and there are many; however, the state of Florida recommends CARFAX Vehicle History Reports as, according to the Florida DMV, CARFAX is the industry leader. The cost of a report ranges from $15 to $30 and typically include information including:

  • Title information;
  • Number of previous owners;
  • Service records;
  • Odometer readings;
  • Liens; and
  • State inspection results.

Although many consumers are unaware of this, if the car has a lien then the lien will become your responsibility upon the transfer of the title. Before you can get the car titled in your name the lien on the car must be paid in full.

Florida also has specific laws requiring vehicle repair shops to register with the state. The Florida Division of Consumer services tracks all vehicle repair shops and requires them to display their registration certificates. Consumers also have rights when it comes to repairs on vehicles. For example, you have a right to a written estimate which includes the const of the repairs and an estimated time of completion.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement website

National Title Motor Vehicle Information System Database

VINCheck

CARFAX Vehicle History Reports

Florida Division of Consumer Service

Lemon Law in Florida

New cars which are defective in a way which causes serious harm and/or death should meet the criteria for the Florida lemon law and the consumer does have legal recourse under Florida’s Lemon Law. These laws only apply to new cars in Florida, although in some cases it may be covered under the Federal Lemon Law – the Magnusson-Moss Law.

For a vehicle to be eligible under the Florida Lemon Law it must meet certain requirements and they must have occurred within the first 24 month following the date of delivery of the car. These defects include:

  • The vehicle defect of condition must “substantially impair the use, value, or safety” of the vehicle.
  • The vehicle must have undergone at least three (3) attempts to repair the same issue and/or the vehicle must have been out of service while the defect was being repaired for 15 days or more.

If your car meets these conditions, then you should first mail a Motor Vehicle Defect Notification (MVDN) by certified, registered, or express mail with a return receipt request. This is considered the final chance for the manufacturer to be made aware of the problems and gives them one (1) more chance to repair the vehicle. With this letter, it is helpful if you include all communications that you have had with the car dealer, repair shops, any extra expenses that you have incurred due to the defect (i.e. towing, hotel accommodations if applicable, and car rental if applicable.) You should document all dates that the vehicle was in the repair shop and document any phone conversations that you have had with the dealer, repair shop, or manufacturer including times and names of those you spoke with if possible.)

If ten (10) days have passed and you have not received either a final repair attempt or at least an inspection by the dealer you are able to seek assistance, arbitration, under Florida’s Lemon Law.

Florida is one of the states which offers state-certified arbitration for defective vehicles and if your vehicle’s manufacturer offers this program you should seek resolution there first.

If you are not satisfied with the arbitration settlement, or if there is no program with the manufacturer of your vehicle, you should then contact the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board.

  • This must be done up to 60 days after the end of your lemon law period; OR
  • Up to 30 days after the financial decision of the state-certified manufacturers informal settlement program.

If you do not receive a satisfactory resolution to your problem or if there is no such program with the manufacturer of the vehicle, you should contact the Florida New Motor Vehicle Arbitration Board. There is a time period for contacting the Florida Office of the Attorney General, and you must file your suit by the latter of either:

  • Up to 60 days after the end of your lemon law period; OR
  • Up to 30 days after the final decision of the state-certified manufacture informal settlement program.

You should call the state’s Lemon Law Hotline at:

  • 800-321-5366, or 850-414-3500; OR
  • Download a “Request for Arbitration” (Form DLA/LL-005) package

Motor Vehicle Defect Notification

Florida Attorney General’s Office Regarding State-Certified Dispute Settlement Programs

Request for Arbitration

When is it time to hire a Lemon Law Attorney?

Although the lemon laws are clear, they can get confusing and when you are dealing with corporations and manufacturers it may be to your benefit to have an attorney on your side. You are dealing with professional negotiators and many find it helpful to have an attorney or a professional on your side. Lemon Law lawyers are also helpful because:

  • Knowledge of the law – Experienced lemon law lawyers not only know they law, but they can also make educated decisions about your case;
  • Negotiating Power – Although it sounds unfair, even just bringing at attorney will give you additional leverage and make you appear more professional; and
  • Trusted Advice – your attorney can provide you with advice and can help make sure that you do not say or do anything that would damage your case.

To search for an attorney in Florida you can always search the Florida Bar Directory for a reputable attorney to handle your case.

Florida State Bar

Dmv
Department of Motor Vehicles
4111 Land O’ Lakes Blvd
(813) 235-6020
Open until 6:00 PM

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
1448 S Krome Ave
(305) 229-6333
Open until 5:00 PM

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
15739 Pines Blvd
(954) 497-1570
Open until 5:30 PM

Driver License & Motor Vehicle
Driver’s License Office
1114 FL-20
(386) 684-4649

Florida State- Department of Motor Vehicle
Department of Motor Vehicles
4101 Clarcona Ocoee Rd
(407) 445-7400
Open until 5:00 PM

Motor Vehicle Service Center
Driver’s License Office
5701 E Hillsborough Ave #2228
(813) 612-7110
Open until 5:00 PM

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
7439 Wilson Blvd
(904) 777-2136
Open until 5:00 PM

Pinellas County Drivers License
Driver’s License Office
1800 66th St N
(727) 464-7777
Open until 5:00 PM

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
1135 Banks Rd
(954) 497-1570
Open until 5:00 PM

Seminole County Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
845 Primera Blvd
(407) 665-1000
Open until 5:00 PM

State Of Florida Driver License Office
Department of Motor Vehicles
4100 W Dr M.L.K. Jr Blvd
(813) 635-5200
Open until 5:00 PM

Florida DMV
Department of Motor Vehicles
1664 SE Walton Rd
(772) 337-5650
Open until 5:00 PM

Clay County Driver Licenses
County Government Office
477 Houston St
(904) 284-6320
Open until 5:00 PM

Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
323 10th Ave W #200
(941) 723-4551
Open until 5:00 PM

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
310 Jean St
(386) 238-3140
Open until 5:00 PM

Hernando County Drivers License
Driver’s License Office
7489 Forest Oaks Blvd
(352) 754-4180
Open until 4:45 PM

Levy County Drivers License
Driver’s License Office
Levy County Courthouse
355 S Court St
(352) 486-5172

Marion County Tax Collector
Local Government Office
6154 FL-200
(352) 368-8200
Open until 4:30 PM

DMV
Driver’s License Office
101463 Overseas Hwy
(305) 853-3562
Open until 4:00 PM

Department of Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
James L Redman Pkwy
(813) 635-5200
Open until 5:00 PM

Collier County Driver License
(11) · Driver’s License Office
725 Airport Pulling Rd S
(239) 434-4600

Flagler County Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
Old Kings Commons
7 Old Kings Rd N #12
(386) 313-4160

DMV
Department of Motor Vehicles
1605 N Courtenay Pkwy
(321) 455-1412
Open until 5:00 PM

State of Florida: Driver License Offices
Driver’s License Office
501 S Congress Ave
(561) 355-2264
Open until 3:30 PM

Martin County Tax Collector
Tax Collector’s Office
3001 SW Martin Downs Blvd
(772) 288-5600

Department of Motor Vehicles
25987 S Tamiami Trail
(239) 533-6000
Open until 5:00 PM

Driver License Office
Driver’s License Office
2300 Virginia Ave
(772) 462-1650

Driver License Division
Driver’s License Office
1515 Sarno Rd
(321) 255-4410

DMV Orange Park
Department of Motor Vehicles
1518 Park Ave
(904) 269-1400
Open until 5:00 PM

Driver License Offices
Department of Motor Vehicles
1931 NW 9th Ave
(954) 497-1570
Open until 5:00 PM

Vero Beach Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
1860 82nd Ave #102
(850) 617-2000
Open until 5:00 PM

Florida Highway Patrol
State Police Department
14190 W State Rd 84
(954) 837-4000

Broward County Vehicle License
Department of Motor Vehicles
1299 Florida 7
(954) 765-4697
Open until 5:00 PM

Sarasota County Tax Collector, Driver’s License Office
Driver’s License Office
601 S Pompano Ave
(941) 861-8300
Open until 5:00 PM

Naples DMV
Driver’s License Office
2335 Orange Blossom Dr
(239) 434-4600
Open until 6:00 PM

Marion County: Department of Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
503 SE 25th Ave
(352) 368-8200
Open until 5:00 PM

Sumter County – Driver’s License
Department of Motor Vehicles
220 E McCollum Ave
(352) 569-6740
Open until 5:00 PM

Bradford County Driver License
Driver’s License Office
4150 FL-21 #105
(904) 368-3950

Florida Department of Motor Vehicles
Department of Motor Vehicles
118 SW Wilson Springs Rd
(386) 497-2456

Driver’s License Office
Driver’s License Office
15201 N Cleveland Ave
(239) 533-6000
Open until 5:00 PM

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