TECHNICAL ADVISORY

DIVISION OF MOTOR VEHICLES

 

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To:  DMV Regional Offices

From:  Carl A. Ford, Director

Subject:  Recreational Vehicle/Motor Vehicle/Mobile Home Licensing Requirements

Advisory Date:  06/09/06                               Implementation Date:  Immediately

Advisory Number:     BFO06-04

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Section 320.771, Florida Statues, covers the requirement of a license to sell recreational vehicles.  Section 320.01(1)(b) provides the following definition for recreational vehicle:

 

“A recreational vehicle-type unit primarily designed as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use, which either has its own motive power or is mounted on or drawn by another vehicle. Recreational vehicle-type units, when traveling on the public roadways of this state, must comply with the length and width provisions of s. 316.515, as that section may hereafter be amended. As defined below, the basic entities are:

1.  The "travel trailer," which is a vehicular portable unit, mounted on wheels, of such a size or weight as not to require special highway movement permits when drawn by a motorized vehicle. It is primarily designed and constructed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use. It has a body width of no more than 81/2 feet and an overall body length of no more than 40 feet when factory-equipped for the road.

3.  The "truck camper," which is a truck equipped with a portable unit designed to be loaded onto, or affixed to, the bed or chassis of the truck and constructed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use.

4.  The "motor home," which is a vehicular unit which does not exceed the length, height, and width limitations provided in s. 316.515, is a self-propelled motor vehicle, and is primarily designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use.

5.  The "private motor coach," which is a vehicular unit which does not exceed the length, width, and height limitations provided in s. 316.515(9), is built on a self-propelled bus type chassis having no fewer than three load-bearing axles, and is primarily designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use.

6.  The "van conversion," which is a vehicular unit which does not exceed the length and width limitations provided in s. 316.515, is built on a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis, and is designed for recreation, camping, and travel use.

7.  The "park trailer," which is a transportable unit which has a body width not exceeding 14 feet and which is built on a single chassis and is designed to provide seasonal or temporary living quarters when connected to utilities necessary for operation of installed fixtures and appliances. The total area of the unit in a setup mode, when measured from the exterior surface of the exterior stud walls at the level of maximum dimensions, not including any bay window, does not exceed 400 square feet when constructed to ANSI A-119.5 standards, and 500 square feet when constructed to United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Standards. The length of a park trailer means the distance from the exterior of the front of the body (nearest to the drawbar and coupling mechanism) to the exterior of the rear of the body (at the opposite end of the body), including any protrusions.

8.  The "fifth-wheel trailer," which is a vehicular unit mounted on wheels, designed to provide temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, or travel use, of such size or weight as not to require a special highway movement permit, of gross trailer area not to exceed 400 square feet in the setup mode, and designed to be towed by a motorized vehicle that contains a towing mechanism that is mounted above or forward of the tow vehicle's rear axle.”

 

It is important to note that travel trailers, truck campers, park trailers and fifth-wheel trailers are not motorized.  It is also worth noting that motor homes, private motor coaches and van conversions are motorized.  Section 320.771(1)(c), Florida Statutes specifically states that “For the purposes of this section, the term "recreational vehicle" does not include any camping trailer, as defined in s. 320.01(1)(b)2,” therefore we omitted that definition from this technical advisory.

A recreational vehicle dealer is only allowed to buy, sell or deal in recreational vehicles as listed above.  However, this doesn’t stop the recreational dealer from taking a motor vehicle in on trade.  If a recreational dealer takes a motor vehicle in on trade, that vehicle may be sold without a franchise or independent license, because the acquisition is incidental to the principal business of being a recreational vehicle dealer.

Section 320.771(1)(a) reads, “A licensed dealer may transact business in recreational vehicles with a motor vehicle auction as defined in s. 320.27(1)(c)4.”

 

Section 320.27(1)(c)4, reads,  "Motor vehicle auction" means any person offering motor vehicles or recreational vehicles for sale to the highest bidder where buyers are licensed motor vehicle dealers. Such person shall not sell a vehicle to anyone other than a licensed motor vehicle dealer.

If a dealer is licensed as a recreational vehicle dealer, they can only buy, sell and deal in recreational vehicles at auction.  In order to buy, sell or deal in motor vehicles at auction, the dealer must also be licensed as a franchise or independent dealer. 

Franchise or independent dealers are not required to obtain a recreational vehicle dealer license to sell motor vehicles as defined in s. 320.01(1)(b)4., 5., and 6.  Those statutes cover a motor home that is self-propelled, a private motor coach on a self propelled bus type chassis and a van conversion on a self-propelled chassis.  However, if a franchise or independent motor vehicle dealer wishes to sell travel trailers, truck campers, park trailers or fifth-wheel trailers, he or she must obtain a recreational vehicle license.

Licensed mobile home dealers may sell recreational vehicles according to section 320.771(8), Florida Statutes.  However, they must file an application for a recreational vehicle dealer license and must meet all licensing provisions outlined in section 320.771, Florida Statutes, which includes the requirement for garage liability insurance policy at a minimum of $25,000 combined single-limit liability coverage, including bodily injury and property damage protection, and $10,000 personal injury protection. Any person who buys, sells, or deals in both mobile homes and recreational vehicles must provide the same surety bond required of dealers who buy, sell, or deal in mobile homes only.

 

If you have any questions or need further clarification, please contact your Help Desk Representative.

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