DMS (DMV) Record Retention Requirements

NOTICE:  The information below was obtained directly from the Division of Motorist Services website. Links are provided so you may access the content on the DMS website.

FAST FACTS  

All Division of Motorist Services (also known as DMV) records (paperwork):

  1. Must be kept for a period of at least five (5) years, and
  2. May be in paper or electronic form.

Section 320.27(6), Florida Statutes, reads:

(6) RECORDS TO BE KEPT BY LICENSEE.Every licensee shall keep a book or record in either paper or electronic form as prescribed or approved by the department for a period of 5 years, in which the licensee shall keep a record of the purchase, sale, or exchange, or receipt for the purpose of sale, of any motor vehicle, the date upon which any temporary tag was issued, the date of title transfer, and a description of such motor vehicle together with the name and address of the seller, the purchaser, and the alleged owner or other person from whom such motor vehicle was purchased or received or to whom it was sold or delivered, as the case may be. Such description shall include the identification or engine number, maker’s number, if any, chassis number, if any, and such other numbers or identification marks as may be thereon and shall also include a statement that a number has been obliterated, defaced, or changed, if such is the fact. When a licensee chooses to maintain electronic records, the original paper documents may be destroyed after the licensee successfully transfers title and registration to the purchaser as required by chapter 319 for any purchaser who titles and registers the motor vehicle in this state. In the case of a sale to a purchaser who will title and register the motor vehicle in another state or country, the licensee may destroy the original paper documents after successfully delivering a lawfully reassigned title or manufacturer’s certificate or statement of origin to the purchaser and after producing electronic images of all documents related to the sale.

References: Section 320.27, Florida Statutes

Electronic Filing System Records Retention

Guidelines may also be found in the 17th EDITION 2015 FLORIDA MOTOR VEHICLE, MOBILE HOME AND RECREATIONAL VEHICLE DEALERS’ HANDBOOK, page 85. Click here to access this Manual.

PART V
Dealer Operations

A. RECORDS KEEPING

1. REQUIREMENTS
319.35, 319.23(3)(2)(b), 320.27(3), 320.27(6), 320.27(7), 320.27(9)(b)5, F.S.

Florida Statutes require an applicant for any dealer license to certify that the location where the business is to be conducted provides an adequately equipped office space where the applicant can, in good faith, carry on such business and keep and maintain books, records, and files necessary to conduct such business. The law also requires records to be available at all reasonable hours to inspection by the Department, any of its Compliance Examiner, or other employees.

Section 320.27, Florida Statutes, provides for the regulation and licensing of motor vehicle dealers. Section 320.77, Florida Statutes, provides for the regulation and licensing of mobile home dealers. Section 320.771, Florida Statutes, provides for the regulation and licensing of recreational vehicle dealers.

Sections 320.27(3), 320.771(3)(h) and 320.77(3)(h), Florida Statutes, require that an applicant for a license certify that the business location of his business provides an adequately equipped office where the applicant can in good faith carry on such business and keep and maintain books, records and files necessary to conduct such business, which will be available at all
reasonable hours for inspection by the Department, any of its Compliance Examiner, or other employees. These statutes require dealers to maintain records. These statutes also create the authority for inspection of records by members of this agency. However, these subsections do not specify what records are to be kept.

a. Sections 320.27(6), 320.771(9) and 320.77(8), Florida Statutes, require dealers to keep information regarding motor vehicle, mobile home, or recreational vehicle transactions. These laws provide that every licensee shall keep a book or record in either paper or electronic form prescribed or approved by the Department for a period of 5 years, in which the licensee shall keep a record of:

1. The purchase, sale or exchange, or receipt for purpose of sale, of any motor vehicle, mobile home or recreational vehicle.
2. The date a temporary tag was issued.
3. The date of title transfer.
4. The name and address of the purchaser.
5. The alleged owner or the person from whom such motor vehicle, mobile home, or recreational vehicle was purchased or received.
6. The name and address of the person to whom the motor vehicle, mobile home, or recreational vehicle was sold or delivered.
7. The vehicle description, identification number or engine number, maker’s number, if any, chassis number, if any, and such other numbers or identification marks as may be thereon, and will also include a statement that a number has been obliterated, defaced,
or changed, if such is the fact.
8. The statutes which require dealers to maintain records also provide that the Department will prescribe or approve the form in which the records are to be maintained. The Department has chosen to specify the data elements that must be maintained but will only suggest rather than mandate a specific form or format for records maintenance.

When a licensee chooses to maintain electronic records, the original paper documents may be destroyed after the licensee successfully transfers title and registration to the purchaser as required by chapter 319 for any purchaser who titles and registers the motor vehicle in this state. In the case of a sale to a purchaser who will title and register the motor vehicle in another state or country, the licensee may destroy the original paper documents after successfully delivering a lawfully reassigned title or manufacturer’s certificate or statement of origin to the purchaser and after producing electronic images of all documents related to the sale.

b. Although authority exists for the Department to prescribe or approve the form in which records are maintained by dealers, the Department has chosen to specify the data elements that must be maintained but to only suggest, rather than mandate, a specific form or format for records maintenance with the exception of a numerical temporary tag log form HSMV 84016, Temporary Tag Record). Form HSMV 84016 can be accessed at http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/forms/BFO/84016.pdf.

c. Section 320.27(7), Florida Statutes, provides that, “for each used motor vehicle in the possession of a licensee and offered for sale by him or her, the licensee either shall have in his or her possession or control a duly assigned certificate of title from the owner in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 319, F.S., from the time when the motor vehicle is delivered to the licensee and offered for sale by him or her until it has been disposed of by the licensee, or shall have reasonable indicia of ownership or right of possession, or shall have made proper application for a certificate of title or duplicate certificate of title in accordance with the
provisions of Chapter 319, F.S. A motor vehicle dealer may not sell or offer for sale a vehicle in his or her possession unless the dealer satisfies the requirements of this subsection. Reasonable indicia of ownership shall include a duly assigned certificate of title; in the case of a new motor vehicle, a manufacturer’s certificate of origin issued to or reassigned to the dealer; a consignment contract between the owner and the dealer along with a secure power of attorney from the owner to the dealer authorizing the dealer to apply for a duplicate certificate of title and assign the title on behalf of the owner; a court order awarding title to the vehicle to the dealer; a salvage certificate of title; a photocopy of a duly assigned certificate of title being held by a financial institution as collateral for a business loan of money to the dealer (“floor plan”); a copy of a canceled check or other documentation evidencing that an outstanding lien on a vehicle taken in trade by a licensed dealer has been satisfied and that the certificate of title will be, but has not yet been, received by the dealer; a vehicle purchase order or installment contract for a specific vehicle identifying that vehicle as a trade-in on a replacement vehicle; or a duly executed odometer disclosure statement as required by Title IV of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act of 1972 (Pub. L. No. 92-513, as amended by Pub. L. No. 94-364
and Pub. L. No. 100-561) and by 49 C.F.R. part 580 bearing the signatures of the titled owners of a traded-in vehicle.”

Section 320.77(10), Florida Statutes, provides that, “The licensee shall also have in their possession for each new mobile home a manufacturer’s invoice or statement of origin, and for each used mobile home a properly assigned certificate of title or registration certificate if the used mobile home was previously registered in a nontitle state, from the time the mobile home is delivered to the licensee until it has been disposed of by them.”

Section 320.771(10), Florida Statutes, provides that, “(a) the licensee shall also have in their possession for each new recreational vehicle a manufacturer’s invoice or statement of origin.

For each used recreational vehicle in the possession of a licensee and offered for sale, the licensee either shall have in their possession or control a duly assigned certificate of title from the owner in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 319, Florida Statutes, or a registration certificate if the used recreational vehicle was previously registered in a nontitle state, from the time when the vehicle is delivered to the licensee and offered for sale by them until it has been disposed of by the licensee, or shall have reasonable indicia of ownership or right of possession, or shall have made proper application for a certificate of title or duplicate certificate of title in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 319, Florida Statutes. A dealer may not sell or offer for sale a vehicle in their possession unless the dealer satisfies the requirements of this subsection. Reasonable indicia of ownership shall include a duly assigned certificate of title; in the case of a new vehicle, a manufacturer’s certificate of origin issued to or reassigned to the
dealer; a consignment contract between the owner and the dealer along with a secure power of attorney from the owner to the dealer authorizing the dealer to apply for a duplicate certificate of title and assign the title on behalf of the owner; a court order awarding title to the vehicle to the dealer; a salvage certificate of title; a photocopy of a duly assigned certificate of title being
held by a financial institution as collateral for a business loan of money to the dealer (“floor plan”); a copy of a canceled check or other documentation evidencing that an outstanding lien on a vehicle taken in trade by a licensed dealer has been satisfied and that the certificate of title will be, but has not yet been, received by the dealer; a vehicle purchase order or installment contract for a specific vehicle identifying that vehicle as a trade-in on a replacement vehicle; or a duly executed odometer disclosure statement as required by Title IV of the Motor Vehicle Information and Cost Savings Act of 1972 (Pub. L. No. 92-513, as amended by Pub. L. No. 94-364 and Pub. L. No. 100-561) and by 49 C.F.R. part 580 bearing the signatures ofthe titled owners of a traded-in vehicle.

Florida Administrative Code, Rule 15C-7.002, requires each dealer to have either made application for a certificate of title or a duplicate certificate of title as required in Chapter 319, Florida Statutes, or shall have in their possession one of the following indicia of ownership or proof of right of possession for each vehicle from the time they acquire each vehicle until the time they dispose of each vehicle:

1. A duly assigned certificate of title.
2. In the case of a new vehicle, a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin issued to or reassigned to the dealer.
3. A consignment contract between the owner and the dealer along with a power of attorney from the owner to the dealer authorizing the dealer to apply for duplicate certificate of title and assign the title on behalf of the owner.

A licensed dealer must have a certificate of title duly assigned by the owner to the dealer for each vehicle offered for sale by the dealer in accordance with section 320.27(7), Florida Statutes. If a dealer has made proper application for a certificate of title or duplicate certificate of title, in accordance with statutory requirements of Chapter 319, Florida Statutes; possession of the title is satisfied.

A duly assigned certificate of title must have the following information entered in the appropriate spaces where provisions are made for such information on the title form:

1) Name of the dealer or purchaser;
2) The selling price, if sold to anyone other than a licensed dealer;
3) The odometer reading;
4) The date the odometer was read;

5) An indication if the odometer reading is not the actual mileage or if the mileage exceeds mechanical limits of the odometer;

6) The signature and printed names of the transferee and the transferor; and

7) The seller’s address;

d. A motor vehicle dealer is also required to provide a customer or purchaser with a written odometer disclosure statement. All dealers must provide their customers with a copy of any bona fide written, executed sales contract or agreement of purchase connected with the purchase of a motor vehicle. These requirements include the following types of documentation:

1) An odometer disclosure statement. The dealer must maintain copies of odometer statements for five (5) years. Section 319.225(4), F.S., exempt vehicles with GVW more than 16,000, and 10 years old or older, or not self-propelled;
2) A sales contract;
3) A purchase agreement;
4) A finance contract;
5) An insurance contract;
6) A warranty agreement;
7) Buyer’s guide;
8) Copy of certification of pollution control devices or systems; and
9) Any other agreement relevant to the motor vehicle transaction.

EFS Record Retention

GENERAL INFORMATION:

A. Florida law requires licensed Motor Vehicle Dealers to keep a record of the purchase, sale, or exchange, or receipt for sale, for 5 years.

B. Licensed Motor Vehicle Dealers may choose to maintain electronic records as required by Chapter 319 for any purchaser who will title and register the motor vehicle in this state.

C. EFS Agents are required to scan the following documents (as applicable) into ORION EFS and submit them to the Tax Collector or License Plate Agent:

1. HSMV Form 82040 (Application for Title)

2. Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO)/Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO)

3. Customer identification, other than a Florida driver license or Florida identification card

4. Florida Certificate of Title (HSMV Form 82250) or out of state title

5. HSMV Form 82994 (Application for Motor Vehicle Dealer Title Reassignment Supplement)

6. HSMV Form 82995 (Application for Motor Vehicle Power of Attorney/Odometer Disclosure)

D. After submission of the scanned documents and approval by the Tax Collector or License Plate Agent, EFS Agents must destroy or otherwise render these documents invalid. This must be done within five (5) business days of approval of the transaction by the Tax Collector or License Plate Agent. If destroyed, the documents should be shredded and disposed of properly, to protect confidential information. If the EFS Agent retains the paper documents, the EFS Agent must stamp or otherwise mark the face of the document to render the document VOID or INVALID.

E. Compliance with this procedure will be verified by the department’s Compliance Examiners during their dealer visits.

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