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Vessel Registration and Titles

Where do I apply for a title on my recently purchased vessel?

Applications for vessel registration and title certificates (original or duplicate) are to be filed by the vessel owner with the county tax collector's office in the county where the vessel is located or in the county where the vessel owner resides.


How many days does an owner have to register a new vessel?

The purchaser of a new vessel has 30 days in which to apply for registration and title through the county tax collector's office. During this 30-day grace period, the owner is required to have aboard his vessel a bill of sale with proof of the date of purchase.


Are military personnel exempt from registering their vessels in Florida?

Out-of-state registration certificates and numbers for vessels owned by military personnel on active duty in Florida are valid in Florida until their expiration date. Then they must be registered and titled in Florida in order to be operated on state waters.


I only use a small trolling motor when I use my 12 foot vessel in the canal behind my house. Do I have to register my vessel?

Yes, all vessels used on public waterways with any kind of motor must be titled and registered.


What is included in the price of a vessel and therefore subject to sales tax? ?

If a dealer makes the sale, then tax is due on the cost of the trailer, motor (outboard and inboard), vessel, and accessories. If a non-dealer makes the sale, then the outboard motor, equipment, devices, and accessories included with the vessel are not subject to tax when the outboard motor, equipment, devices, or accessories are separately itemized and separately priced on the invoice.


I will be vacationing in Florida this summer. Do I need to register my vessel there?

Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use his vessel in Florida longer than 90 days must register it with a county tax collector. However, he may retain the out-of-state registration number if he plans to return to his home state within a reasonable period of time.


I need to apply for an expedited duplicate vessel title. What should I do?

The owner of the vessel must properly complete an application for duplicate title, and submit it and a fee of $11 to your local tax collector's office.

The application will be processed and the duplicate title mailed within 5 working days from receipt of the application.


Is a non-powered vessel required to be registered and titled?

If the non-motor powered vessel is less than 16 feet in length, it is not required to be registered or titled. However, if the vessel is 16 feet or more in length, it is required to be registered and titled.


When a vessel has been sold and the owner is no longer available to provide proof of ownership, how do I, as the purchaser, get information to contact the titled owner in order to obtain the certificate of title?

Notify your local tax collector or license plate agency in writing stating the problem and provide the vessel's Florida registration number. The local tax collector or license plate agency may provide the name and address of the titled owner with the necessary instructions for transferring the ownership of the vessel into your name. However, some agencies do not provide ownership information for vessels to the public. Instead, as stated in DMV Procedure TL-07, they may provide the titled owner (by writing directly to the owner of record) with the purchaser's released contact information (name and address) and any necessary instructions. The owner then has the option to contact the purchaser to assist them. You may also contact the department to obtain ownership information for the vessel owner by completing a form HSMV 85054, Motor Vehicle/Vessel Records Request. The department's mailing address is shown at the top of this form.


What should the purchaser of a vessel do if the titled owner does not assist in obtaining the certificate of title or an executed bill of sale?

A Florida court order would be required to issue a certificate of title in the purchaser’s name.

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