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florida boat registration

INDEX

Register your boat
How do I register my boat?
Do I Need To Register My Boat in Florida?
Florida Boat Registration Costs
Do I need to Register My Boat Trailer in Florida?
Does the Boat Trailer Have a Florida Title Also?
Additional County Fees

Register Your Boat Today

Getting your boat registered and ready to set sail is fairly easy. Whether you’re looking for a compact boat for solo fishing trips or a larger vessel for family outings, there’s a wide range of sizes and price points to suit your needs.

If you’re considering buying a boat, Black Label Marine Group offers an impressive selection of boats to choose from. At our locations in Punta Gorda, Ocala, and Pinellas Park, our expert team can help you find the perfect boat to fit your lifestyle and budget, making your boat buying experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Visit us today to explore our diverse inventory and start your journey toward stress-free boating!

Do I need a license to operate a boat in Florida?

Maybe; it depends on when you were born. While Florida does not have a boating license, anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 is required to either have successfully completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating education course or have passed an equivalent course or temporary certificate examination. After purchasing your boat, be sure to fulfill Florida’s educational and course requirements to ensure compliance with local regulations, Register Now!

picture of a sea fox boat

Do I Need To Register My Boat in Florida ?

To operate a motorized boat or a non-motorized boat longer than 16 feet on Florida’s public waterways, registration is required. However, there are exceptions where registration is not necessary:

  • Boats used and stored only on private lakes and ponds.
  • Vessels owned by the U.S. government.
  • Lifeboats used solely for ship emergencies.
  • Non-motor-powered boats under 16 feet in length.
  • Non-motor-powered canoes, kayaks, racing shells, or rowing sculls of any length.

Additionally, if your boat is registered in another state, you can operate it in Florida waters for up to 90 days before needing to register it here.

It’s also important to remember that boat trailers weighing over 2,000 pounds must adhere to Florida’s boat trailer registration requirements.

How to Register a Boat in Florida

When you purchase a boat, it’s essential to register it within 30 days. Failing to register and operating the boat after this period is considered a second-degree misdemeanor in Florida.

Florida offers the option to register your boat for either one year or two years. The registration process is the same regardless of the duration you choose. To begin, submit your vessel registration application to the county tax collector or a licensed plate agent.

During the registration process, you must prove ownership of the boat. You can do this by providing at least 1 of the following documents:

  • A fully executed bill of sale
  • A builder’s contract
  • A manufacturer’s statement of origin
  • A federal marine document
  • Other documents recognized by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

Can I register a Boat in Florida without a Title?

No. If the boat you are registering does not have a title, you must obtain one before the registration can be completed.

How do I get a Florida Boat Title for a boat that doesn’t have one?

To obtain a Florida boat Title for a boat that doesn’t have one you need to do the following:

  1. Proof of Ownership: First, you need to provide proof of ownership. This can include a bill of sale, a builder’s contract, or any other document proving the transfer of ownership from the seller to the buyer.
  2. Application Form: Fill out the appropriate application form for titling a boat in Florida. This form is available from the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) or can sometimes be downloaded from their website.
  3. VIN Inspection: If the boat is previously untitled in Florida or if there is no record of the boat’s previous registration or title, you may need to have the vessel identification number (VIN) inspected. This inspection can be done by a law enforcement officer or a licensed Florida boat dealer.
  4. Fees: Pay the required titling fees, which may vary depending on the type and size of the boat.
  5. Submit Application: Submit the completed application form along with the proof of ownership, any inspection certificates, and the necessary fees to the FLHSMV either in person or by mail.
  6. Check for Liens: Ensure there are no outstanding liens against the boat. If there are, these will need to be settled before the title can be issued.
  7. Additional Documentation: Depending on the specifics of your situation, additional documentation may be required. For instance, if the boat was inherited, or if it was built by the owner, different forms might be necessary.

Does the Boat Trailer Need a Florida Title As Well?

Yes, in Florida, boat trailers are considered motor vehicles for titling purposes and must be registered and titled separately from the boat itself.

Here are the basic steps and requirements for registering a boat trailer in Florida:

  1. Proof of Ownership: You’ll need to provide a valid form of ownership documentation, such as a manufacturer’s certificate of origin (for new trailers) or the title from the previous owner (for used trailers).
  2. Title: Before registration, ensure your trailer is titled in your name if it weighs 2,000 pounds or more.
  3. VIN Inspection: For trailers not previously registered in Florida or lacking a title, a VIN inspection may be required. This is usually performed by a law enforcement officer.
  4. Complete an Application: Fill out the application for vehicle registration, available at any FLHSMV office or online.
  5. Pay Registration Fees: The fee for registering your trailer depends on its size and type. There may be additional fees for new registrations or if you are transferring a registration from another state.
  6. Obtain a License Plate: Once registered, your trailer will be issued a license plate and a registration sticker that must be renewed annually.
  7. Renewal: Trailer registrations in Florida are typically valid for one year and must be renewed by the birthday of the owner or, for business-owned trailers, by the renewal month designated.

Do I need to Register my Boat Trailer in Florida?

Yes, you need to register your boat trailer in Florida. Here’s some things to know about the registration process:

  1. Proof of Ownership: Provide proof of ownership such as a manufacturer’s certificate of origin for a new trailer or a title for a used trailer.
  2. Title Requirement: Trailers with a weight of 2,000 pounds or more must be titled.
  3. VIN Inspection: A VIN inspection might be required for trailers not previously registered in Florida or those that don’t have a proper title.
  4. Application: Complete the application for vehicle registration. This can typically be done at your local county tax collector’s office.
  5. Fees: Pay the appropriate registration fees, which vary based on the size and type of trailer.
  6. License Plate: Upon registration, you will receive a license plate for your trailer, which must be affixed to the trailer.
  7. Renewal: Trailer registration in Florida is generally valid for one year and must be renewed annually, typically by the owner’s birthday or the designated month for business-owned trailers.

It’s important to keep your trailer registration up to date to avoid penalties and ensure you’re legally compliant when using your trailer on public roads in Florida.

Florida Boat Registration Costs

The cost of registering a boat in Florida varies depending on the boat’s length, and whether it is equipped with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or the owner has a Personal Locator Beacon. Registering your boat at an office may qualify you for a reduced fee.

Registration fees based on boat class –

  • Class A-1 (less than 12 feet)
    • Standard fee: $5.50
    • Reduced fee: $2.95
  • Class A-2 (12 to less than 16 feet)
    • Standard fee: $16.25
    • Reduced fee: $11.00
  • Class 1 (16 to less than 26 feet)
    • Standard fee: $28.75
    • Reduced fee: $20.40
  • Class 2 (26 to less than 40 feet)
    • Standard fee: $78.25
    • Reduced fee: $57.50
  • Class 3 (40 to less than 65 feet)
    • Standard fee: $127.75
    • Reduced fee: $94.95
  • Class 4 (65 to less than 110 feet)
    • Standard fee: $152.75
    • Reduced fee: $113.40
  • Class 5 (110 feet or more)
    • Standard fee: $189.75
    • Reduced fee: $141.15

Additional County Fees

Additionally, an optional county fee may be applied, which varies by the length of the boat. This fee is retained by the county where the boat is registered and is applicable only in select counties.

Florida Counties with Additional Boat Registration Fees –

  • Broward
  • Charlotte
  • Collier
  • Dade
  • Hardee
  • Hillsborough
  • Lee
  • Manatee
  • Martin
  • Monroe
  • Palm Beach
  • Pinellas
  • Polk
  • Sarasota
  • Volusia

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