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Vessel Registration Basics in Florida

Everyone knows that if you have a car or bike in Florida, it needs to be registered with a title. But, did you know that you have to have a title for any vessel you own and intend to use in Florida? If you own a boat or any craft specially designed to be used on water, then you’d need to get it registered.


Vessel owners in Florida are expected to register every year or two years. However, buying a new vessel means you have exactly thirty days to register your vessel and get a title. The sanction for not registering a vehicle within this timeframe is $50 (or more, depending on the context) as the Florida motor vehicles department considers this as a 2nd-degree misdemeanor.


Got a boat? It’s time to get it registered! And you don't have to worry about where to start -we have compiled a detailed guide (based on frequently asked questions) to give you better insight into the basics of vessel registration in Florida.


Who issues vessel registration documents?

Vessel registration documents are processed and issued by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).


How do I register my vessel in Florida?

You can get your registration paperwork started by simply submitting your title application and registration fees (which differ based on the type of vessel) to your local tax collector’s office.


Alongside your title application, you are expected to tender the following documents (depending on the condition of your vessel) – Statement of builder or Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO), federal marine document, Out-of-state title (if applicable), bill of sale, documents indicating proof of ownership, and any other documents requested by the FLHSMV.


What fees am I to pay?

Depending on your vessel type, you are expected to make some payments during your vessel registration. Some of these include –

  • Every vessel owner must pay a titling fee during the process of registration. For paper titles, vessel owners are expected to pay $7.75, while for electronic titles, vessel owners are expected to pay $5.25. If you need this process to be done instantly, the titling fee usually increases to $11.

  • For out-of-state vessels that were once registered outside Florida, the vessel owner is expected to pay an extra $4.


What vessels are exempted from registration?

There are a few vessels that are allowed to be operated within Florida without registration including – U.S government-owned vessels, kayaks, rowing sculls, vessels used for marketing purposes, vessels operated and kept in private ponds, and generally, non-powered vessels less than 16 feet in length.


Come to Auto Tags of East Broward

If your vessel registration gets damaged or misplaced, you can request a duplicate vessel title from your local county tax collector’s office. To get a duplicate vessel title, you are expected to have filled out the duplicate title form. This process attracts additional costs. To prevent this, it is advisable to take good care of your registration papers.


If you need to get a car title or speed up your title transfer process in Florida, Auto Tags of East Broward offers consultation, registration, and title services that are in line with the regulations of the FLHSMV. Don’t waste your time at the LOCATION DMV when you can stop by East Broward Auto Tags. We specialize in Broward County tag renewal, Broward tag and title, and we are a premier Fort Lauderdale tag agency. Stop by or give us a call to learn how to get started. You can start your online renewal here or learn more about what we do on this page.


Learn more about the basics of Florida vessel registration by checking out these other resources below:

Resource 1 | Resource 2 | Resource 3

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