Florida Procedures for Obtaining Title for Mobile Homes
Jones Foster was recently engaged by a client to obtain title for a permanently situated mobile home in the small coastal community of Briny Breezes, Florida. This article outlines the procedures mobile home owners may undertake if title is lost or is not properly obtained at the time of purchase.
When title to real property is clouded, a property owner may file a lawsuit to quiet title. Through the quiet title process, a property owner can clear up and/or remove clouded title. What recourse do mobile home owners have?
In Florida, title to mobile homes is governed by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (“FDHSMV”). The FDHSMV is an agency of the State of Florida with duly constituted, statutory authority for the issuance of license tags, identification numbers, plates, and title certificates for mobile homes as well as motor vehicles.
Is there a uniform procedure?
The State of Florida requires a mobile home owner to obtain a court order directing the FDHSMV to issue a certificate of title for any lost title. Although there is no uniform procedure delineating how to obtain a court order, certain counties in Florida have outlined the procedure. See Hernando County’s procedures and Administrative Order 2021-13-Civ/2021-14-CO of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida. In these declaratory actions, the mobile home owner will need to name the last known owner of the mobile home and the FDHSM as defendants in the lawsuit.
What will you need?
At a minimum, mobile home owners will need:
- A complaint for declaratory relief;
- A bill of sale for the mobile home;
- The VIN number of the mobile home; and
- An affidavit of diligent search for the mobile home’s prior owner.
After you have filed a lawsuit for declaratory judgment with the required paperwork, the Court may issue an order directing the FDHSMV to issue the plaintiff a certificate of title for the mobile home. Once the order is issued, the mobile home owner should present the FDHSMV with the order, any additional applications required by the FDHSMV, and all associated costs and fees. Upon the submittal of the required documents and fees, the FDHSMV will issue the mobile home a certificate of title.
For additional information or questions regarding mobile homeownership or procedures for obtaining title, we urge you to contact the authors of this article or a representative of Jones Foster here.
About Brett T. Lashley
Brett Lashley is a member of Jones Foster's Litigation & Dispute Resolution team. He focuses his practice in the areas of complex civil litigation and general commercial litigation with an emphasis on employment, real estate, and contractual disputes. Brett represents individuals and businesses in matters involving alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, confidentiality agreements, the enforcement of noncompete agreements, specific performance involving real property and commercial contracts.
Brett earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Florida Levin College of Law where he was the Vice Chair of The Florida Moot Court Team and was awarded Best Brief in the Appellate Lawyers Association competition in Chicago. While at the University of Florida, Brett gained valuable experience as a teaching assistant for Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy, as a judicial intern for the Honorable Mark W. Klingensmith, Fourth District Court of Appeal, West Palm Beach, and as a Summer Associate at Jones Foster.
About Stanley D. Klett, Jr.
Stan Klett is a Florida Bar Board Certified Business Litigation specialist with more than 30 years of broad-based litigation experience. He practices in the areas of commercial litigation, trusts and estates litigation, arbitration and mediation, property rights, administrative litigation matters, and employment litigation.
Stan has represented banking and lending institutions, Fortune 500 companies, real estate brokers, agents, and owners, as well as contractors and subcontractors. He counsels clients in a wide variety of transactional disputes and litigation matters related to real estate, construction, foreclosures, lien law, collections, and landlord/tenant.
Stan has been recognized on several legal industry peer-review lists including Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and Florida Trend Magazine's “Legal Elite,” and has received Martindale Hubbell’s AV Preeminent® rating, the highest peer rating standard. He has held numerous leadership positions in industry and nonprofit organizations, including his current role as Chair Emeritus for the Lighthouse for the Blind of the Palm Beaches and Chair of the Board of Directors for Gulfstream Goodwill Industries. Stan has served as past president of the Palm Beach County Bar Association and the PBCBA North County Section.
About Jones Foster
Jones Foster is a commercial and private client law firm headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida. Established in 1924, the Firm has served as an integral part of South Florida’s growth and prosperity for nearly a century. Through a relentless pursuit of excellence, Jones Foster delivers original legal solutions that help clients, colleagues, and the community to move forward. The Firm’s attorneys focus their practice in Real Estate, Litigation & Dispute Resolution, Private Wealth, Trusts & Estates, Corporate & Tax, and Land Use & Governmental. For more information, please visit www.jonesfoster.com.
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- May 16, 2023
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