In Florida, a mobile home/modular home/manufactured home is titled and registered much like a vehicle or boat. Each mobile home will have a title(s) and registration(s) - two titles if it is a "double-wide" and three titles if it is a "triple-wide".
What is required to title and register a mobile home in Florida?
Registration fees for mobile homes are set by the Florida legislature and are based on length. The longer the mobile home, the higher the registration cost. Depending on you unique circumstance, you will purchase either a Real Property (RP) or an Annual decal:
Real property (RP) registration decal(s) & registration(s):
RP decals (on black backings) are issued to an individual who owns both the mobile home and land on which it is permanently affixed. These decals do not expire and are not required to be renewed. Instead, real property mobile homes receive an annual real estate tax bill.
The RP decal is permanent and transferable to a new owner when the land and mobile home are sold as unit. If your mobile home is not RP now but you want to make your mobile home RP, the current owner must take the 1) deed to the land and the 2) mobile home title(s)/registration(s) to the Manatee County Property Appraiser's Office. An MH-402 form will be completed by the Property Appraiser's Office, which declares the mobile home to be Real Property. Once completed, you will bring the MH-402 form to a tax collector's office to purchase an RP decal, which is valid for as long as you own both the mobile home and the land.
Annual decal(s) & registration(s):
This decal expires and is renewed every year or every two years, if registered biannually, on December 31st. Renewal notices are mailed as a courtesy. Double-wide mobile home fees are twice the single-wide fee, since two decals are required due to each side of the mobile home having a separate title and identification number. Likewise, triple-wide mobile homes are triple, since three decals are required. When issued, all decals may be affixed to one colored backing (color of backing rotates based on expiration year) to facilitate compliance audits. Whether or not you receive a renewal notice - beginning October 1st - ,mobile homes can be quickly and easily renewed online at www.taxcollector.com.
Note: Fifth wheels, motor homes, travel trailers, and park models - even if permanently affixed to the ground with a license plate, expire on the first registered owner's birthday each year.
Paying sales tax on your mobile home purchase
Mobile homes located on rental property are taxable based on the purchase price.
New mobile homes are taxable based on the purchase price. They cannot be classified as real property until after the purchase is completed.
When collecting sales tax on a mobile home, travel trailer, or park model that resides on rental property, a properly completed Itemized Invoice Affidavit (with notary or perjury clause) may reduce the amount of sales tax collected. This affidavit, however, is not applicable for licensed dealer, broker, or real estate agent-assisted sales, as these types of transactions are subject to sales tax on the full selling price.
Note: It is the customer's responsibility to complete this affidavit. If an error is discovered by the Florida Department of Revenue, the liability is on the customer, not on our office.
When is a transaction exempt from sales tax?
When a mobile home is given to you for no consideration in return (i.e., no money exchanges hands).
When you trade mobile homes with someone else and no additional consideration is exchanged.
When you inherit a mobile home from someone who is deceased.
When you purchase the mobile home and the land and it was previously assessed as "real property" by the property appraiser.
Other situations that may qualify for a full or partial sales tax exemption.
Do I have to pay taxes on my mobile home's carport and screened porch?
It depends - if your mobile home has a carport, screened porch, or anything that is considered an attachment, you may also be subject to tangible personal property tax, which is determined by the Manatee County Property Appraiser. However, effective 2008 with the passage of Amendment 1, the gross tax due will typically fall under $15.00 and would therefore be considered minimum tax, or MINTAX. With MINTAX, the Manatee County Tax Collector does not bill tangible personal property taxes for amounts under $15 - and taxes are not due. If you have any concerns on the value of your attachment, carport, or porch, contact the Manatee County Property Appraiser at 941.748.8208.
Notifying the property appraiser when you purchase a mobile home
The Manatee County Property Appraiser's Office must be notified when you purchase a mobile home so that its records are updated. Failure to do so may result in additional taxes being owed. For questions, visit the Property Appraiser's office in person at 915 4th Avenue West, Bradenton, FL 34205, access the Manatee County Property Appraiser website, or call 941.748.8208.
Property tax exemptions for mobile home owners
You could be eligible for homestead exemption and/or other exemptions; however, the Manatee County Tax Collector does not process exemption applications. To apply for exemptions, visit the Manatee County Property Appraiser's office in person at 915 4th Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205. For questions, visit the Manatee County Property Appraiser website, call 941.748.8208, or read their exemptions FAQ.
Replacing a lost mobile home title
Bring in your valid (unexpired) state-issued license/ID or valid (unexpired) passport along with the plate number, title number, or vehicle identification number for the mobile home. For additional details and requirements, read our duplicate Florida title publication.
I just bought a mobile home, but the seller lost the title. I want to transfer the title into my name and get a decal. What do I need to do?
The quickest way to get the title in your name is to contact the seller and arrange for them to meet you at our office. Both of you will need to present your valid (unexpired) state-issued license / ID card or valid (unexpired) passport. (This includes any co-sellers and/or co-purchasers.)
The seller will apply for a duplicate title at the same time it is transferred into your name, and at that time you will be issued a registration and plate/decal. Note: Double fees will apply, as there is one fee for the seller and one for the buyer.
Any owner or co-owner who has transferred or sold a mobile home is required to notify the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) within 30 days after the sale or transfer to satisfy the requirement for limitation of liability. This can be done with a Notice of Sale form or by detaching and completing the top third of the Florida title, above the perforation, and mailing it to the DHSMV at the address listed on the form. For additional requirements, read our Vehicle, Boat, and Mobile Home Sale publication.
Completing a mobile home title transfer by mail
If you are completing a title transfer by mail, we require you to use our title by mail service. Due to the difficult nature of these transactions, we suggest, whenever possible, titling mobile homes in person or using the power of attorney form to appoint someone to act on your behalf.