Did you recently purchase a vehicle, boat, or mobile home that is titled in Florida?
Follow these 6 easy steps!
1. Appointments required / office locations
Appointments are required for all transactions! Visit taxcollector.com to schedule an appointment for your Florida title transfer. We only serve Manatee County residents and businesses. Limit four transactions per appointment. We have three convenient offices to serve you: our DeSoto office (located closest to the Island and to West and Central Bradenton), our Lakewood Ranch office (located closest to Lakewood Ranch and East Manatee County), and our North River office (located closest to Palmetto, Ellenton, and Parrish).
2. Bring your original title
Bring the original certificate of title – not the registration, and not a photocopy of the title. If you have misplaced the title or it is unavailable (for example, it's lost or in storage), you will not be able to complete your transaction. We need the title to proceed.
Both buyer and seller must properly complete the “Transfer of Title by Seller” section on the front of the title. It must include printed names and signatures of buyer(s) and seller(s), odometer reading and date read, selling price, and date of sale. Check out our YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHS_SxE6CJQ) that walks you through filling out the title for your new car! (See examples of accurately completed Florida titles below.)
Title transactions involving a boat require an HSMV 82040 VS Application for Certification of Title to be completed and submitted with all original and transfers of title.
Any alterations, cross-outs, white-out, or erasures may void the title and require you to submit a notarized or perjury clause bill of sale form (https://www.powerdms.com/public/MCTC/documents/1470934) signed by the seller.
3. All new purchasers present with valid legal identification
All new purchasers (see below* for businesses) must be present with one of the following valid (unexpired) documents:
Driver license or ID card from any US state (includes US territories)
Passport from any country
Canadian driver license or ID card
If a purchaser cannot be present, consider using a power of attorney form (https://www.powerdms.com/public/MCTC/documents/1474142). You will be required to submit a copy of the absent individual’s valid identification along with the completed form. The form must contain original signatures.
Note: It is not mandatory for buyer and seller to visit our office together, but it may expedite the process.
* Businesses must submit documentation showing they are a valid business. This can be done with a printout from one of the following:
SunBiz (https://dos.myflorida.com/sunbiz/) for a Florida business
The printout must show an “active” status. If the individual acting on behalf of the business is not listed on the printout, they must also submit, on letterhead, a letter that authorizes them to act on behalf of the business.
4. Bring proof of your Florida insurance on the vehicle you are titling and registering
Not providing proofof Florida insurance is one of the most common reasons this transaction cannot be completed. Florida insurance card/binder/policy requirements:
Must state that it is a Florida policy – if it doesn’t say Florida on the card, we won’t be able to take it.
Cannot be expired or post-dated.
Must list at least one owner’s name that will be recorded on the Florida title.
Must list the specific information (i.e., VIN, year, make, model) for the vehicle you are titling and registering.
Must list the five-digit Florida Insurance Company Code Number.
Note: If you are titling a truck that weighs more than 5,000 pounds, additional insurance requirements may apply. For details, read our heavy truck FAQ (http://www.taxcollector.com/contactapp/question_detail.cfm?question=1559&category=3#xy).
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles does not require our office to view proof of insurance for motorcycles, trailers, boats, mobile homes, or off-highway vehicles.
5. Pay Florida sales tax based on purchase price
You will be required to pay sales tax, if applicable. The sales tax rate in Manatee County is 7%. With all registration/title transfer transactions, the amount of sales tax paid by the customer, the reported purchase price, and the fair market value claimed by the customer are subject to investigation and audit by the Florida Department of Revenue in Tallahassee.
6. Acceptable methods of payment and estimated fees
We accept cash, check, debit cards, and credit cards. A $2.50 processing fee for debit cards and a 2.5% processing fee (with a minimum of $2.50) for credit cards will apply. Our office does not retain any portion of this fee.
The estimated cost to title and register a vehicle for the first time is $380.00 to $410.00. Estimate does not include sales tax, if applicable. (This estimate includes transfer costs, the title, and a one-year registration.)
Titles must be transferred within 30 days of the purchase date to avoid a late fee of up to $20.
Fees may be reduced if you currently have, or previously had, a license plate in your name in Florida. Other exceptions may apply – ask an associate during your visit for details.
Active duty members of the US military who are legal Florida residents may be exempt from some fees – ask an associate during your visit for details.
Death Scenario Transactions
Due to the many variables that may be involved with a death scenario transaction, the Manatee County Tax Collector's Office has created the Death Scenario Assistance Chart (taxcollector.jotform.com/221954883649977) - or scan the QR code to access the chart - to walk you through determining the requirements.
You may also refer to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' procedure, TL-18 (flhsmv.gov/pdf/proc/tl/tl-18.pdf), for details and instructions on processing your transaction. Exhibits and charts are located at the bottom of the procedure to assist with determining the requirements.
First Manatee South County Tag Agency – extended hours and Saturday Hours
The First Manatee South County Tag Agency processes registration and title transactions for vehicles, boats, and mobile homes, as well as parking permits. This office does not offer driver license, hunting and fishing, or property tax services.
It offers extended hours (9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday) and Saturday hours (9 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Appointments are available but are not required. To schedule an appointment, visit the auto tag agency website (autotagagency.net). It is located in Southwood Shoppes at 5756 14th Street West, Bradenton, FL 34207. Their phone number is (941) 782-6050.
This office accepts cash, check, and debit. A 3.5% fee will be charged on all check transactions to guarantee funds and on all debit transactions as a processing fee. An additional $20 fast title fee applies to titles printed on-site.
The First Manatee South County Tag Agency is a privately owned office operating under the authority granted by the Manatee County Tax Collector’s office.
Non-Manatee County residents
Not a Manatee County resident? Out-of-county residents can only be served at First Manatee South County Tag Agency. See the section above for more details regarding the First Manatee South County Tag Agency. Otherwise, you will need to visit your home county tax collector’s office.