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What Do I Need To Register My Boat In Florida

Can I Register My Boat Online In Florida

The Boating Guy – Do I need to register my boat?

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The proof of ownership must include a complete description of the vessel, including manufacturer’s name, year, type, hull material, propulsion, fuel, use of vessel, hull identification number and length. Used vessel currently titled in FL â Florida title accurately completed for transfer to purchaser.

Secondly, do I have to register my boat in Florida? Vessels must be registered and numbered within 30 days of purchase. If your vessel has a current and valid registration or certificate of number from another U.S. state or territory, you may operate it in Florida for 90 days before you are required to register it in Florida.

Also to know, can I register my boat online?

Register Your Boat OnlineRequirements vary from state to state, and depending on the size and type of your boat, registration numbers and validation stickers may need to be displayed. Click on your state to find out how to register your boat, requirements, regulations and to get more information.

Can I renew my boat registration online in Florida?

Renew OnlineFLHSMV offers a quick, convenient way to renew a vehicle or vessel registration online at The following motor vehicle services are offered through GoRenew: One or two-year registration renewals for motor vehicles. One or two-year registration renewals for vessels.

Knowledge Of Vessels Exempt From Florida Titling And Registration

The Florida government has a set of rules exempting boats from its titling and registration requirements. It would be wise to access this information before contacting your countys tax collector or an authorized license plate agent.

For example, vessels used exclusively on private bodies of water, such as lakes and ponds, do not require titling and registration.

Non-motorized watercraft shorter than 16 feet are also exempt from titling and registration. Hence, if you have a 12-foot boat without any form of motor or engine, you will not need to worry about having it titled and registered.

Federally documented boats are also exempt from registration and titling requirements.

Fl Boat Registration Renewals And Replacements

The registration renewal period for your boat depends on its type of ownership:

  • Privately owned vessel: During the birth month of the owner.
  • Vessels owned by a corporation or dealer: From June 1 to June 30.

You can renew your boat registration with the FL Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for either 1 year OR 2 years by submitting the necessary information about your vessel ANDrenewal fees:

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Vessel & Watercraft Titles & Registration Information

The Tax Collector of Indian River County serves as an agent for the State of Floridaâs Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and must follow the procedures set forth in the Florida State Statutes and Administrative Rules. In order to assist the public, the Tax Collectorâs office is providing general information regarding vessels & watercrafts. For more specific or detailed information, please access the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website or contact the Indian Tax Collectorâs office.

Florida law requires that all motorized vessels & watercrafts used in Floridaâs waterways must be titled and/or registered.

Forms may be obtained from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles form website or by contacting the Tax Collectorâs office.

Vessel & Watercraft Titles

To title and registera vessel or watercraft in the applicant’s name, please bring in the following items to the Tax Collectorâs office:

  • NEW Vessel or Watercraft: the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin completed by the selling dealer.
  • USED Vessel or Watercraft: the title properly completed for transfer by the seller, the registration in the name of the seller, and a bill of sale from seller to purchaser.

Every person applying for ownership on a new or used vessel or watercraft must complete one of the following:

Title application fees range from $8.25 and up.$8.25

Do Uscg Documented Vessels Need State Registration Or Decals

How do I sell my boat?

There’s a lot of confusion over whether – and when – a Coast Guard Documented vessel needs to be registered with the state. The short answer is that UCSG Documented boats never need to be titled with the state, but may need to be registered with the state depending on how long the boat is on the state’s waters.

First, as to the titling of the vessel, a vessel may either be state titled or federally documented, but not both. Think of USCG documentation like your title – that’s really what it is, even though it has another name. In fact, federal law under 46 U.S.C. § 12106 actually prohibits a USCG Documented vessel from being state titled, and a state cannot require a USCG Documented vessel to display numbers.

However, states may still require registration of USCG Documented vessels for tax and other purposes. What’s the difference between the title and the registration? The title is a formal, colored document used to prove and transfer ownership. The registration typically consists of a registration card and an annual state decal which must affixed to the boat. So while the Coast Guard Documentation is your boat’s title, you may have to also register with a state.

  • Copy of executed bill of sale to document amount of sales tax due

  • Proof of payment of sales tax or proof of tax exemption

  • Registration fees

  • $50 non-resident commercial vessel fee, if applicable

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Boat Registration Numbers And Stickers Placement

Boat registration numbers must be:

  • Displayed on the forward half of your vessel well above the waterline
  • Painted or applied as a decal, where law enforcement officials can read it.
  • Letters and numbers in BLOCK style, at least 3 inches in height, and must contrast in color with the hull.
  • Letters and number that read from left to right and have a space or hyphen to separate letters and numbers.

Boat egistration stickers must be:

  • Renewed upon expiration.
  • Within 6 inches of, either in front of or behind, the registration number, on the port side of the watercraft
  • Displayed in line with the numbers
  • Show the expiration date

Where Do I Register My Boat

A good place to start is right here on Discover Boatingjust visit our Boat Registration page, which allows you to start the registration process online. In most states, you can also register a boat with the Department of Motor Vehicles. In some cases it may be with the Department of Fish and Game, the Department of Licensing, or the Department of Natural Resources . A boat can be officially registered in only one state.

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Boater Safety Courses In Florida

After obtaining documented vessel registration in Florida, operators must focus on safely using their boats at all times. Boaters with valid boat registrations who are convicted of two non-criminal vessel safety violations within a one-year period are required to complete a boater education course that is approved by the state of Florida and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators .

Courses are available online and in person, and proof of course completion must be sent to the FL Commissions Boating and Waterways Section. Additionally, vessel operators convicted of a criminal boating infraction or a violation that caused a boating accident must complete the standard boater education class along with a four-hour violator course.

Note: Boating safety education courses and exams are also required for first-time boaters who wish to obtain licensure.

Registering Home Built Vessels

Do I need to register my boat? –

If you have built a vessel under 16 feet in length, a Vessel Statement of Builder and a Title Application will need to be completed. If the vessel is 16 feet in length or greater, it will need to be inspected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife . If the individual taking title is not the person who built it then they will also need a Bill of Sale from the individual they had build it.

Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife for inspection:

P.O. Box 2285, Panama City, FL 32402Physical Mailing Address: 850 W. 11th Street, Panama City, FL 32401

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Boat Titles & Registration

Florida Statutes

Florida statutes 327 and 328 regulate the administration and enforcement of vessel registration and titling laws, as well as boating safety. All motor vessels, operated on state waters must be numbered and titled in Florida, except those used exclusively on private lakes. A non-resident vessel which is already registered by another state can be operated in Florida waters for 90 days before Florida registration is required.

What is the time period for boat registration?

Registration carries with it the payment of a fee, and the issuance of a Florida registration number and decal that must be affixed to the vessel. All boats are registered starting at midnight of your birthday and expire at midnight of your birthday the following year. Fees are based on the length of the vessel with the exception of canoes and non-motorized vessels less than 12 feet in length. Click here for a Vessel Fee Schedule

Do I have to register my canoe?

Pursuant to section 327.25 Florida Statute, only canoes which are propelled by motors must be registered.

When must my vessel be titled in the State of Florida?

What must be done if I have a documented vessel?

All federally documented vessels which are relocated to this state and are domiciled here for greater than 90 days must obtain a Florida registration. Documented vessels are not required to be titled in the State of Florida.

More Information

For more information, please contact the St. Johns County Tax Collector Office at or .

Vessels And Vessel Trailers

Vessels and vessel trailers are titled and registered independently of each other. Please see the trailer section for information on obtaining ownership and registration for a trailer.

Vessel Titling and Registrations

A vessel, not exempt from titling, must be titled at the same time it is registered.

Vessels required to be titled:

  • All motorized vessels
  • Non-motorized vessels that are 16 feet or more
  • Canoes 16 feet or more

Vessels required to be registered and have a decal affixed to the port side of the vessel:

  • All motorized vessels

Vessels that are not required to be registered:

  • Non-motorized vessels under 16 feet
  • Non-motorized canoes, kayaks, racing shells, or rowing scull

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How To Register An Untitled Trailer In Florida

Florida’s Department of Motor Vehicles determines what kind of vehicles need to be registered, which ones need to be titled and which ones need both. Fortunately, the process of registering and titling vehicles even a previously untitled trailer is a simple one, handled through your local county tax collector’s office.

Find out how much your trailer weighs. If it’s less than 2,000 pounds, it doesn’t require a title for registration in Florida. If it’s more than 2,000 pounds, you’ll need to apply for a new title at the time you register it. Read More:How to Register a Boat Trailer in Florida

Take proof of ownership for the trailer and proof of insurance to your county tax collector’s office, which issues Florida tags and titles.

Complete and sign Florida’s title application form and pay the title fee to the tax collector if your trailer weighs 2,000 pounds or more. Title fees cost $77.25 for new vehicles, $75.25 for used Florida vehicles and $85.25 for vehicles from outside the state.

Purchase or transfer your trailer’s Florida tag by paying the appropriate tag fees and registration costs.



Boat Information And Application Fees

Florida boat license

Florida law requires that all motorized vessels be titled and registered.

To process an application for Florida Title, you must bring the following to any of our offices:

  • Proof of ownership

For new boats, a notarized Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin properly completed by the selling dealer.

For used boats, the title properly completed by both the buyer and seller. Purchasers name and selling price must be entered.

  • Each applicant, or their appointed power of attorney, must be present to sign a new Application for Title. Personal identification, such as a valid Florida Driver License or state issued Identification Card is required. If applicant does not hold a Florida Driver License or Identification Card, a valid out of state license or United States passport is required.
  • Any alterations on the Title may require additional documentation.
  • The registration expires on midnight of the first registered owner’s birthday.
  • On new vessels, copy of bill of sale required.

For a list of Vessel Registration fees visit Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website at:

A documented or commercial vessel may be registered in any of our offices. Federal documentation papers must be presented at the time of application. First-time registrations require proof of the manufacturer’s serial number. Proof of sales tax paid must be submitted, or sales tax must be paid.

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What The Fwc Saltwater Charter License Authorizes:

A Charter Captain or Boat License is required to carry paying customers for the purpose of taking, attempting to take, or possessing saltwater fish or organisms.

To be a saltwater fishing guide in Florida, you must comply with U.S. Coast Guard requirements. The U.S. Coast Guard requires all operators of for-hire vessels to have a Captain license/Merchant Mariner Credential.

Charter, headboat and saltwater fishing guide operations must have an FWC charter captain or boat license to cover their passengers, who are not required to hold a recreational saltwater fishing license. Customers authorized to fish under the vessel license are not required to hold a recreational saltwater fishing license.

Dive charters: Scuba divers engaged in fishing or lobstering must have an individual saltwater fishing license and all necessary permits if the vessel they are on does not have the necessary vessel license.

  • Charter Captain – 4 or fewer customers $201.50
  • Charter Captain – 10 or fewer customers $401.50
  • Charter Captain – 11 or more customers $801.50
  • Charter Snook Permit $10.00

*Issued to Coast Guard inspected vessels only.

What Boats Are Exempt From Boat Registration In Florida

The following boats and vessels are exempt from boat registration in Florida:

  • Vessels stored and used solely on private lakes/ponds
  • Non-motorized vessels less than 16 feet in length
  • Federally documented vessels and vessels owned by the United States government, the State of Florida or any of its political subdivisions
  • Vessels used exclusively as a ships lifeboat
  • Non-motorized canoes, kayaks, racing shells/sculls regardless of length

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Requirements For Boater Registration In Florida

The process for registering a boat has numerous requirements. Boaters must complete a new boat registration application and submit it to a license plate office or a local county tax collector. During the vessel registration process, applicants must also submit proof of ownership, such as a bill of sale, a manufacturers statement of origin, a contract from the builder or a federal marine document.

Additionally, decals and the registration certificate are only available after a vessel is titled. Boat owners must title and register all vessels within 30 days, with proof of purchase onboard throughout this period.

Applying For Duplicate Certificates

How to Register a Kayak in FLORIDA easy

If a valid Florida vessel registration is lost or destroyed, a duplicate can be obtained from a county tax collector or license plate agent by submitting Form HSMV 87015. If a Florida certificate of title is lost or destroyed, the titled owner can get a duplicate by submitting a completed Form HSMV 82101 and a $6 fee to a county tax collector or license plate agent. The application will be processed and the duplicate title mailed within five working days from receipt of the application. For those counties issuing expedited duplicates and FLHSMV offices, a fee of $11 is assessed.


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Are There Fees Associated With Registering A Boat In Florida

The fees youll pay for to register your boat in Florida are relatively small, but get a little more expensive based on the size of your boat. As of 2019, fees rage from $5.50 to $189.75. If your boat is equipped with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or you possess a Personal Locator Beacon, youll receive a discounted rate on vessel registration fees.

Do I Need A Whistle To Kayak In Florida

The quick answer is yes. Kayakers are required to carry a sound-making device that can be heard for at least one-half nautical mile when the kayak is in use.

The best sounding device for kayakers and canoes is a whistle attached to your PFD in a place thats easy and quick to reach.

Heres what we consider to be the best whistle for kayaking.

VDS Visual Distress Signaling Devices

Vessels less than 16 feet must carry at least 3 nighttime visual distress signals when on coastal waters from sunset to sunrise.

Vessels 16 feet or longer must carry at least 3 daytime and 3 nighttime VDS at all times when on coastal waters.

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Documents That Prove Boat Ownership

Titling and registering any vessel requires proof of ownership, including official sales receipts and other vital information. Other documents you must prepare include a Manufacturers Certificate of Origin, an executed bill of sale, a federal marine document, and a builders statement.

It is essential that the document has a detailed description of your boat, including the manufacturer or builders complete name, the year of build, boat type, propulsion system, hull material, hull identification number, type of fuel, boat length, and intended vessel use.

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