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General Information about Boats & Vessels

BOATS

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

Vessel registrations expire at midnight of the owner's birthday. Registration for vessels titled in a business name expire June 30th.
Vessel registration fees are based on the length of the boat.
Renewal of vessel registrations can be accomplished by mail, e-commerce or in person through any Tax Collector's Office.

OBTAINING A FLORIDA BOAT TITLE

Application with a Manufacturer's Statement of Origin The selling dealer, for all new boats, 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.

Title Application with an MSO

The selling dealer, for all new boats, 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.

Title Application with a Florida Title

To transfer a Florida title of a used boat to the new owner, form #1 and form #2 on the title must be completed. 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.

Title 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, the title and form HSMV 82040 (title application form) must be completed for processing. Also required is a pencil tracing, from the vessel, of the hull number to verify with the title and/or registration. 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 a 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
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