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Matt Kesler
Matt Kesler, Researcher/Law Student
Category: Legal
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Experience:  A year away from my J.D. and I've handled my own legal issues involving the business I own for years
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In Florida, what rights of access does a co-signer have to ...

Customer Question

In Florida, what rights of access does a co-signer have to a vehicle, where the co-signer's name is XXXXX XXXXX on the registration.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Matt Kesler replied 9 years ago.

By Florida law the co-signer (in this case) would have equal right to access of the car as long as he/she is listed as a co-owner on the registration of the car.

If the co-signer is listed as a lien holder on the registration (or title) to the vehicle this same right to access would not exist. A name on a title as lien holder only guarantees the right of that person to approve any sale of the vehicle. A lien holder wouldn't have the same access rights as an owner.

Basically, if this co-signer is listed as co-owner on the registration he/she has equal access rights as the other owner. If this co-signer is listed as a lienholder on the title (not a co-owner) then he/she does not have access rights to the vehicle like the owner does.
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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Matt Kesler's Post: I'm not sure what you mean by lien holder.
Expert:  Matt Kesler replied 9 years ago.
A lien holder is given the right to be listed on a title to a vehicle because funds are owed him/her and the vehicle is used as collateral. Usually, this is the lender of the loan for the vehicle.

Having themselves on the title as a lien holder means that they must sign off before the vehicle can be sold to prevent the owner of the vehicle from selling it before paying off the debt.

Here is a copy of the Title Application in Florida. As you can see, there is a spot on top for owner and co-owner (who have full access rights to the vehicle) and a lower spot for a lien holder (who has no access rights only the right to block a sale):

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