How to Register a Boat or Water Craft in Florida
Most new boats must be registered through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHS&MV) before they can be sailed.
VESSELS THAT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- Any powerboat using public waters
- Non-powered boats longer than sixteen feet
VESSELS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE REGISTRATION
- Boats registered in another state and not being used in Florida for more than 90 days
- Boats registered in another country temporarily plying in Florida waters (with a temporary permit and for not more than 90 days)
- A sailboat without a motor
- A ship's lifeboat
- Any boat less than sixteen feet long that is propelled only by oars or paddles
- Boats owned by the US government
- Boats owned by the state
- Boats sailed on private waters
TO REGISTER IN PERSON
- You can register a boat in person by visiting your local Tax Collector's office.
- You must bring a completed boat registration application and proof of ownership such as a bill of sale, invoice, bill of lading, certificate of origin, or out-of-state title.
Boat registration fees range from $7.25 to $126.25, depending on the size of the boat. See here for a more detailed breakdown of the registration fees, and see here for information on the classes of vessels based on size. In addition, sales tax may be applicable at the time of purchase and a surcharge may apply in some counties.