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VESSEL REGISTRATIONS AND TITLES

Boats and Vessels General Information

As an agent for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Tax Collector is responsible for providing the necessary services and record keeping procedures used in processing vessel titles and registrations. All motorized vessels, commercial and private, must be registered, titled and issued a decal before they can be used on Florida public waters. The decal must be affixed to the port side of the vessel.

Vessel registrations expire at midnight of the owner's birthday. Registrations for vessels titled in a business name expire June 30th. Vessel registration fees are based on the length of the vessel. Renewal of vessel registrations can be processed in person at any Tax Collector location or online.

Application with a Manufacture's Statement of Origin

For new vessels, the selling dealer must complete the manufacturer's statement of origin (MSO), when applicable. Proof of sales tax paid or proof of exemption must be provided, or sales tax must be collected.

Application with a Florida Title

To transfer a Florida title of a used vessel to the new owner, complete the Transfer of Title by Seller section on the face of the title. If the vessel is purchased through a dealer, the dealer reassignment also must be completed. Sales tax will be collected if applicable. In the event the title is lost, a duplicate title may be applied for using form HSMV 82101. When the vessel owner is not present, the owner can sign a Power of Attorney, form HSMV 82053, to allow the purchaser or agent to act in his behalf.

Application with an Out-of-State Title or Registration

Many states do not require boats to be titled. Proof of ownership on a used boat from a non-title state is the vessel registration. A bill of sale is required with the registration to transfer ownership. If a title is available, it and Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle (HSMV) form 82040 (title application form) must be completed for processing. Sales tax will be collected if applicable.

Sojourners

A non-resident boater with a valid out-of-state registration certificate may use his/her vessel in Florida waters for 90 days without applying for a Florida registration. This applies to pleasure boats only. If the non-resident intends to use the craft in Florida longer than 90 days, the boat must be registered with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which is processed at the Tax Collector's office.