DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES
To: Tax Collectors and License Plate Agents
From: Carl A. Ford, Director
Advisory Date: 02/16/04
Advisory Number: T04-02
The Division of Motor Vehicles will no longer title or register motorcycles based on cubic centimeters or brake horsepower. Instead, we will go strictly by the following definitions:
Section 320.01(27), Florida Statutes: "Motorcycle" means any motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor or a moped.
Section 320.01(28), Florida Statutes: "Moped" means any vehicle with pedals to permit propulsion by human power, having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels, with a motor rated not in excess of 2 brake horsepower and not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed greater than 30 miles per hour on level ground, and with a power-drive system that functions directly or automatically without clutching or shifting gears by the operator after the drive system is engaged. If an internal combustion engine is used, the displacement may not exceed 50 cubic centimeters.
The manufacturer must provide the buyer with a certificate of origin (MCO). MCOs are not governed by the Federal Department of Transportation, but are a matter between the vehicle manufacturer and the applicable state Department of Motor Vehicles. While there are other vendors that can assist, the following American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) associate members provide MCO services:
De La Rue Security Printing (703) 450-1300 ext 248 or 223
American Bank Note (214) 823-2700
Section 319.21(1), Florida Statutes, requires manufacturers, distributors, licensed dealers, or other persons who sell or otherwise dispose of a new motor vehicle or a new mobile home to provide a manufacturer's statement to the buyer. New MSOs must be approved by the department and must meet the minimum specifications outlined by AAMVA.
The new manufacturer must submit a sample of the MSO to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Neil Kirkman Building
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Attention: Julie Comer, MS 68
Specifications for manufacturer’s certificates of origin can be located at the web address below:
In addition, the department will maintain a web site containing a listing of all newly approved manufacturers’ certificates of origin for vehicles defined in sections 320.01(27) and (28), Florida Statutes, which are not required to be sold by a licensed dealer as outlined in section 320.27(1)(b), Florida Statutes.
If the vehicle falls under the definition as outlined in the above-cited statute for a motorcycle, it will be titled and registered as such. If the vehicle falls under the definition as outlined in the above-cited statute for a moped, it will be registered only as a moped. If the manufacturer’s certificate of origin states the vehicle is a "motor scooter," the statutes should be used as a guide to determine whether a title and/or registration is required.
Manufacturers are required to:
(Foreign manufacturers only) submit a designation to NHTSA in accordance with 49 CFR 551.45, Agent for Service of Process.
(All manufacturers) submit information to NHTSA in accordance with 49 CFR 565.7(c) and (d), VIN Identification.
(All manufacturers) submit information to NHTSA in accordance with 49 CFR 566.5, Manufacturer Identification.
Ensure conformity with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), and apply a certification label to the vehicle in accordance with 49 CFR Part 567.
Provide information to consumers as required by 49 CFR 575.6(a)(2)(I).
Maintain a list of first purchasers (owners) of vehicles you manufacture as required by 49 CFR 569, 574.10 and 576.
You can access the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) web site to verify whether the manufacturer has complied with the above requirements. First go to the web site cited below:
Next, tab to the WMI field and enter the first three digits of the vehicle identification number:
Then press the "start search" pushbutton and the following page will appear. If any of the boxes below are filled with information, the manufacturer has complied with NHTSA requirements.
Be cautious when interpreting the information contained in the "Search Result" fields above. For instance, if the product type lists a truck and your vehicle is a motorcycle, do not accept the application. The manufacturer should contact NHTSA to update their web site.
As an aside, it is important to remind your customers that the vehicle’s rider/driver must be licensed when operating the vehicle on the roadways of the State of Florida.
DMV Procedures will be updated immediately and will follow this Technical Advisory. If you have any questions regarding the above information, please contact your DMV Field Support Help Desk at 1-888-529-1780.