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Vessels FAQ

Vessels FAQ

What do I need to bring in to change my vessel over to Florida?

Title (if applicable), registration and a pencil tracing of the Hull Identification number. Make sure that all of the owners listed on the title bring in the paperwork along with identification.

What do I do if I purchased a new vessel

Most boat dealers will take care of the registration for you. If you wish to turn the paperwork in you will need the Manufacturer's Statement of Origin. In addition a receipt for the vessel will be needed to prove purchase price and if sales tax was paid.

How do I know if I need to register a vessel that I built?

Any vessel that is going to be used with a motor needs to be titled and registered. If the homemade vessel is 16' or longer it will also need to be inspected by the Florida Marine Patrol. A statement of builder form will need to be completed by the builder in order for the Marine Patrol to inspect the vessel.

We often bring our vessel into Florida water. Is it required to register it in Florida?

Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting vessel owners by other states for a period of 90 days.

How old do my children have to be before I can allow them to drive our wave runners?

No one under the age of 14 may operate a Personal Watercraft. Any one who knowingly allows someone under the age of 14 to operate a Personal Watercraft is guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor.

Is there any certain time that I can not operate a Personal Watercraft?

You may not operate a Personal Watercraft from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise.

Does my child need to wear a personal floatation device?

Florida law requires every child under the age of six to wear a PFD (Personal Floatation Device) while aboard any vessel less than 26' when it is underway.

How do I know if my child needs to take a boating course or take a safety exam?

Effective 10/1/96, Florida Law requires persons born after 9/30/80 to complete a NASBLA boaters education course or competency exam prior to operating a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or more. The law requires persons affected by this legislation have in their possession a boater safety I.D. card issued by the Department of Environmental Protection and photo I.D. while operating a vessel.

If my vessel is Documented through the United States Coast Guard does that mean I still need to register it in Florida?

Yes, the documentation papers on a vessel only take the place of the title not the registration. A Florida registration number will not be issued, but a decal and registration will be issued.

When I sell my Florida titled boat do I have to have my signature notarized?

No, the seller's signature does not require notarization any longer in the State of Florida.

If I lose my Florida title am I still able to sell my vessel?

Yes, Florida now allows a duplicate title and a transfer in the same transaction. The owners and the purchasers would need to go into the nearest Tax Collectors Office to do the transfer.

If I buy a boat, outboard motor and a trailer from an individual is it true that I can save money on sales tax?

Yes, if you purchase a boat, outboard motor and trailer from an individual, not a business, and you can provide us with a notarized Bill of Sale signed by the owner that separately details the cost of the boat, outboard motor and trailer (if one is purchased), you only have to pay sales tax on the boat and trailer not the outboard motor.