For nearly 20 years, Donna Garner has been the sole owner of her Ford F-350.
“It’s been registered and insured all this time,” she said.
It was for that reason she said she didn’t understand why the process of getting a copy of her title could be so complicated.
“They’re referring me to this department, that department and that’s where I’m at right now,” she said. “I don’t know what to do anymore.”
Donna said her ordeal started earlier this year, when she decided to sell her truck.
“It’s time to say goodbye,” she said.
But saying goodbye wouldn’t be easy because she didn’t get the truck’s title when she paid off the loan in 2003.
“I went to the tag agency to get a duplicate because … I realized it wasn’t in my folder,” she said, adding that it was at that time she realized there was a certificate of repossession on the title.
A VIN check with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles confirmed that status on the title. Donna said it was true her truck had been repossessed in 2001, but she said she got it back within a few days and eventually paid it off. But her title status was never updated with the state of Florida, leading her to believe it was an oversight by the finance company.
When she tried to track down the finance company, Donna learned it went out of business in 2005.
“It’s extremely frustrating,” she said. “I’ve exhausted my resources which is why I called you.”
NBC 6 Responds sent copies of the dozens of documents Donna provided, including copies of the vehicle’s Car Fax report showing it only had one owner and its vehicle registration. A little over a week later, the department was able to change the title status and put it back under Donna’s name. The change gave her the peace of mind she was hoping for and the ability to finally sell her truck.
“I can say goodbye to my truck and I know it’s going to a new person that loves trucks just as much as I do,” she said.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said once a certificate of repossession is processed, the vehicle no longer belongs to the customer – it belongs to the finance company.
If your vehicle is repossessed and you later become current on your payments or you pay off the loan, you should work with the finance company to make sure the title is transferred back to your name.
You should reach out to one of the following motor vehicle field operations offices if you’re having an issue with your title:
Region 10 (Responsible for Dade and Monroe Counties): 12601 NW 42nd Avenue, Opa Locka, Florida 33056 Telephone: (786) 804-4190 FAX: (305) 953-3160 Email: DmvRegion10@flhsmv.gov
Region 1 (Responsible for Broward County):1135 Banks Road, Margate, Florida 33063 Telephone: (954) 969-4216 FAX: (954) 969-4237 Email: DmvRegion1@flhsmv.gov
Region 9 (Responsible for Indian River, Okeechobee, Martin, Palm Beach and St. Lucie Counties): 901 Northpoint Parkway, Suites 115 & 116, West Palm Beach, Florida 33407 Telephone: (561) 640-6820 FAX: (561) 640-6835 Email: DmvRegion9@flhsmv.gov