Titling Florida Recreational Vehicles

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About 10 million households in the United States own recreational vehicles. The purpose of owning a recreational vehicle is usually to have fun or visit friends. But since the average purchase price for recreational vehicles ranges from $6,000 for a small camping trailer to $500,000 for a motorhome, the RV may end up being adding to the owner’s net worth – and to their estate. It’s important, then, to know about titling a Florida recreational vehicle and how to include it in your estate plan.

Defining Recreational Vehicles

According to Florida Statute 320.01, recreational vehicles are: “… primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use having either contained motive power or mounted on or drawn by another vehicle.”

For example, Brian has a slide-in camper and a van that has been converted to use for camping. Terry has a travel trailer she hauls behind her pickup when visiting friends and family around the state. Pam practically lives in her 40 foot motor home during the summer. Brian, Terry, and Pam all own recreational vehicles as defined by Florida statute. However, not all of those recreational vehicles must be titled.

Slide-in campers, modular homes, add-a-rooms, port-a-rooms, and utility trailers under 2,000 pounds do not have to be titled. The following recreational vehicles do need a certificate of title:

Travel trailers, camping trailer, truck camper, motor home, van conversion, park trailer, and mobile home.

Obtaining a Title

Registrations for recreational vehicles can be obtained at your county tax collector’s office. Make sure you take the following with you:

  • A registration renewal notice or a previously issued registration, title number, or vehicle identification number.
  • Proof of Florida insurance for property damage and personal injury.

As with all important papers, you’ll want to keep your certificate of title in a safe place. And, remember that your recreational vehicle is now part of your potential estate assets.

Estate Planning for a Recreational Vehicle

Owning a recreational vehicle can give the owner years of enjoyment. It’s important to understand the impact a recreational vehicle can have on your estate planning. You may choose to include it as part of your estate assets, make a specific bequest from your estate, title it jointly with right of survivorship, or even transfer ownership to a trust.  Typically, though, it is prudent to title a recreational vehicle in the name of a single owner for a variety of reasons that are beyond the scope of this article.