Take Control Blog

Vehicle Title Transfers and Divorce

A very common situation in most divorce proceedings is the need to transfer vehicles as part of the final settlement of assets.

Recently, a client’s long-term marriage, where five automobiles and a boat were jointly owned, came to an end.  Not even a thought during the divorce proceeding, the topic of sales tax and transfer fees on the vehicles became a major concern to our client, as she had to transfer title on three of the automobiles and the boat.

A transfer of ownership on a Florida Certificate of Title occurs by operation of law as provided by section 319.28 of the Florida Statutes. Examples of which are: inheritance, devise or bequest, order in bankruptcy, insolvency, attachment, execution, divorce decree, or other judicial sale or whenever a motor vehicle is sold to satisfy storage or repair charges or repossession, trust receipt, or other like agreements.

In the State of Florida, the following situations are exempt from sales tax:

  • Even trade of another motor vehicle, mobile home or vessel
  • Trade down
  • Divorce
  • Inheritance
  • Gift

In the case of divorce, a copy of the divorce decree must be submitted with the application for certificate of title.  Not only does this waive any sales tax but this also saves the transferee the initial $225 registration fee.