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Florida Boat Registration Summary

          Florida boat registration summary presents an overview of boat titling, registration, loan perfection, and operational requirements for the State of Florida. Additional boat registration and titling resources can be found by visiting our Registration page as shown in the above menu selections. Boat registration services, supplemental forms, and historical research data  are also available from our Services, Forms, and Database pages.

The information presented here is subject to change and should be confirmed with the respective state agency.
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Boat Registration Agency Florida Boat RegistrationState of Florida
Division of Motor Vehicles

Boat Registration Web Site
Boat Registration Statistics There are approximately 870,749 boats registered in the State of Florida. This accounts for 7.2% of all nationwide registrations.
Boat Registration Numbering The boat registration number prefix for Florida is "FL".
Boat Registration Requirements All boats must be registered in Florida except those under 16' without motors.  Military personnel are exempt from boat registration until their out of state registration expires. Registration is required on Coast Guard documented vessels. Boat registrations are issued on an annual basis. Florida residents must register a newly acquired boat at the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within 30 days.
Boat Title Requirements Boat titles are issued on all registered boats in Florida except those which are Coast Guard documented.
Abandoned Boats  In the State of Florida there are no "Vessel Salvage Rights". In order to claim title to an abandoned vessel you must follow the Statutes for Found Property.
Conditional Boat Titling Florida does not have provisions for conditional or bonded boat titling.  A court order is required where proof of ownership can not be otherwise established.
Electronic Boat Titling Florida has an electronic titling program in lieu of paper certificates.
Boat Taxes Sales or use tax is levied on all first time registrations and ownership transfers in Florida. Tax rates vary by county. A documentary stamp tax is also required for boat loan contracts which are executed within the State of Florida.
Boat Loan Perfection Security interests on non-documented boats which are state titled must be recorded on the state title records. On Coast Guard documented vessels, a preferred mortgage must be recorded on the vessel's abstract of title. A UCC financing statement must be filed if the boat is neither titled or documented.
Boat Registration Records Boat registration records in Florida are maintained by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Public access to boat ownership information in Florida is restricted by privacy laws. Record printouts must be requested in writing with sufficient cause for needing the information. Boat registration records in Florida are maintained for 10 years
Boat Ownership Designations Co-owners are recognized by "and" or "or" designations. Other types of joint tenancy are also recognized.
Boat Residency Requirements A boat must be located in Florida to qualify for registration and titling, but owner residency is not required.
Boat Reporting Requirements The sale, abandonment, theft, or destruction of a Florida registered boat must be reported to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles within 30 days.
Boat Hull Inspections Hull identification numbers must be inspected by a Florida law enforcement official if there is a discrepancy.
Outboard Boat Motors Florida does not require registration and titling on outboard motors.
Boat Trailers Boat trailers are registered in Florida. Titles are required on boat trailers weighing over 2,000 lbs.
Notary Public An embossing seal or inked stamp must be employed by notaries in this state.

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