Is there a Jaguar enthusiast in the US that can help me with an enquiry for the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor vehicles?
As detailed, I am the owner of 1958 Jaguar XK150 SE registration number VUY 499 which came with very little history.
There is a sticker in the window that reads: STATE OF FLORIDA Department of highway safety and motor vehicles, Certificate of right of possession A 027746. I am having difficulty getting details with enquiries from the UK.You do need a reason for obtaining details and I think populating the historical XK data base would comply?. I would like to know the dates when the car was in the states, the owner at the time and and other available details.Happy to reimburse any charges levied by FDHSM.
Many thanks, Nick Stone Burrowbridge, Somerset, UK
Since I live in Florida I’m happy to see what I can do to help. It may be that the information detailed below are things you already found out but at any rate here’s what I learned. The short version is that - due to Florida’s privacy laws - I am unfortunately unable to personally make any requests on your behalf for these records.
Apparently the Certificate of Right of Possession was created by a 1970 Florida law (since repealed) in an attempt to prevent the shipping of stolen motor vehicles from Florida to other countries. The concept was that since the motor vehicle was being exported outside of the state, a Captain or other official of a shipping company (or ship) had to get a Certificate of Possession to prove that they were legitimately in possession of that vehicle. I found some references that said that in order to get that certificate the owner had to surrender the Florida Certificate of Title. So it would appear that the Certificate was used during the process of exporting your car from Florida to the UK.
I assume you are trying to find out the name of the owner of the car at that time? If so, be aware that Florida only allows the release of that information under certain limited circumstances. Those exemptions are detailed in a section of Form 90510 entitled “Driver’s Privacy Protection Act Exemptions”. You can find that form here: https://www.flhsmv.gov/pdf/forms/90510.pdf. Instructions are also included in that form relating to how and where you would file it and also how much the search would cost. I don’t really know if “research” as you mention relating to the XK database would fall within one of these exemptions but if you feel comfortable with that position I suppose you could detail it in that form, pay the search fee, and see what happens.
Obviously, should you not fit within one of those exemptions you would not be able to have access to those records - and of course the issue remains as to whether or not the State of Florida still maintains any records of your Certificate of Possession.
Lastly, there is a procedure by which you can make a Public Records request for any and all records of your vehicle that is in the possession of the State of Florida. Specific information as to how to do that is contained here: Public Records
I would assume you would run into the same privacy law issues with this procedure as well.
So the bottomline on my end is that unfortunately it looks like I’m not able to personally assist you with any of these efforts since, due to the privacy rights of Florida laws, I would have no right to access those records.
Sorry that I could not be of more assistance to you! If you come up with additional efforts that I could assist you with please feel free to reach out to me.
Thanks for your help…Looks like this is a dead end but from what you say the car must have been in the states post 1970?..The car is a RHD British registered car so must have spent a ‘holiday’ in Florida sometime between 1970 and 1987 when I know it was in the UK with its one before last owner - Alan Scott- Barr’s
Just a thought but can the date of the cars return to the UK be determined by the window sticker number?..Perhaps someone on the forum has a similar Florida window sticker and knows the date theirs refers to?..Bit of a long shot !
Hi Nick…what is actually on this window sticker does it have any of the cars details…so was the car ever in the US…if it was then when the car came back to the UK it would have been registered with the UK DVLA…and the registration number allocated…would it have been given back its original reg number…so a line for you to investigate…Steve
Since your car has that sticker it clearly was in Florida and had a Florida title (which is apparently the only way that Florida could issue a Certificate of Right of Possession). So if you did find a legitimate way to fit within the exemptions I referred to in my earlier post clearly you would find a prior owner.
Interestingly (for me anyway), I found an appellate case that stated that - although the law providing for the Certificate to be issued was enacted in 1970 - it apparently was not implemented by the Florida Department of Safety and Motor Vehicles until November of 1979 because they didn’t provide any method of applying for or getting that Certificate until then. (Isn’t bureaucracy wonderful!?) The plaintiff in that case had his judgment reversed (against the shipping company that exported his Rolls Royce which had been stolen without first getting the Certificate required by Florida law) because it was impossible for the company to get the certificate despite the law saying it was required! (the insurance company was a party to the lawsuit so I’m sure the owner did get his damages paid from his insurance)
So based on this, the earliest that your car could have been exported from Florida would be November of 1979.
Something I have been told of cars with similar vintage is that service men either American or British would take their car overseas for an allotted amount of time and eventually would return it home. They would have special provisions to allow them to import/export cars easily and more fluently than civilians I have been told in the past.
Thanks Chet, Fantastic work!!..It seems that my XK was in the states between 1979 and 1987 …If the sticker numbering system is sequential then if someone else has a sticker and date we could close the window even further!