Miami, FL asked in Contracts for Alabama

Q: Can I sign the title to a vehicle that my parents have given me "with express permission?"

The truck is in Mississippi, my parents are in Dothan, AL living w/ my daughter. We intend to get the truck and bring to our home here in Ellijay, GA. Mom is willing to sign the title and has even mentioned just signing for her to avoid driving to Dothan with it in hand. Can I sign with "p.p" beside her name?

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2 Lawyer Answers

A: What does this have to do with Florida law? And what would "p.p" mean? Depending on the state in which the truck is titled, it might be possible for Mom to give you a power of attorney. Mom seems to be under the impression that she cannot allow someone else possession of the truck without first signing over the title; I'm not sure why she believes this would be a bad idea.

Charles M. Baron agrees with this answer

A: I agree with Mr. Thorgaard. First, because you are writing from a location said to be "Miami, FL", probably only Fla. attorneys will read your post, and the issue you present is an issue of State law. So transferring title in your case would be a matter of Alabama law. I can tell you what the answer is under Florida law ONLY, and that would be NO, in Fla., you would not be able to sign your mother's name on the title unless she were to execute a valid power of attorney giving you the power to sign on her behalf, at least for that conveyance. So if Alabama law happens to be the same (which I have no idea about), you either have your mom execute a power of attorney or simply send the title to her (for example, by FedEx, UPS, or USPS express mail) and have her send it back to you. As Mr. Thorgaard said, your mother could also give you permission to drive her vehicle with herself still being the owner, without signing anything (if Alabama law allows it, which is likely). However, if you go that route, she could be held liable for an accident, so good insurance coverage protecting both you and her would be advisable.

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