Vessel / Boat Registration
Owners must register a boat and/or trailer within 30 days of purchasing a new or used vessel. Remember to keep your boat registration in the boat when in use. Trailer registration must be on hand when the trailer is in use. Sojourner registrations are issued to vessel owners who remain in Florida for more than 90 days, but intend to return to their home state and take the vessel with them.
Do I Need to Come In?
You can renew your vessel registration or obtain a replacement registration online. You will need to provide personal identifying information of the vessel’s owner to log in and complete the transaction. If you renew online, you will receive your registration in the mail within 7-10 business days. You can also request an emailed confirmation receipt that can be used until the registration arrives in the mail. When paying by credit / debit card keep in mind that a 2.4% convenience fee applies (min. $2.00). Convenience fees are collected by the credit / debit card vendor and are not retained by our office.
Renew by mail
When you renew your registration by mail, you will receive your registration within 10-15 business days.
Renew using our secure drop box
Want to cut down a little on the payment processing time? Then drop your payment off using our secure drop box which is located inside each of our service centers, no reservation needed. Just keep in mind that you need to drop your payment off during regular business hours. We do not provide 24/7 access to our drop boxes.
Registration Dates and Deadlines
|Private Owned||Midnight of the first registered owner’s birthday|
|Business Owned||Midnight, June 30|
How Fees are Determined
Hull length and use determines boat registration fee. Trailer weight determines trailer registration fee. Florida requires all trailers to be registered. Boat trailers weighing 2,000 lbs. or more require a registration certificate and title. Homemade boat trailers require a certified weight slip. A portion of the registration fee helps the state protect its water resources and boating amenities. Florida Statute provides for reduced vessel registration fees for a recreational vessel that is equipped with an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), or for a recreational vessel when the owner possesses a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB). To qualify for reduced registration fees, a recreational vessel owner must provide documentation that the vessel is equipped with an EPIRB, or documentation that the vessel owner owns a PLB.
Florida boat registration numbers are permanent. The numbers remain with the vessel as long as it’s operated or stored in Florida, even if the ownership changes.
Boat titles are required and serve as proof of ownership in Florida. Title and registration fees are separate charges. A Florida Title Transfer is needed when a vessel currently titled in Florida changes/transfers ownership to a different Florida owner.
If you have sold your boat, submit Form 82050 – Notice of Sale and/or Bill of Sale to our office within 30 days. This will limit civil liability for operation of the sold vessel or boat. Submitting this form will allow our office to update the DMV database to reflect the title record as “SOLD.” Please note: The ownership status is not changed until the purchaser applies for and is issued a new Certificate of Title in their name.
Common Title Exemptions
- Non-motor-powered boats less than 16 feet
- Boats used exclusively on private lakes and ponds
- Federally documented boats
- Boats owned by non-Florida residents temporarily in Florida waters for less than 90 days
Note: For a full list of title exemptions, please visit www.flhsmv.gov.
Obtaining a Certificate of Title
Make a reservation to visit a service center, or mail in 82040 VS: Application for Certificate of Vessel Title. Ownership documentation is required for processing. See checklist below for required documents.
Boat Title Checklist
|Out-of-State Title||Florida Title Transfer||Brand New Title|
|Out-of-state title certificate or the last boat registration (if previous state did not issue titles to boats)||•||—||—|
|Completed and signed application for Certificate of Title (82040 VS: Application for Certificate of Vessel Title)||•||•||•|
|Bill of sale that shows purchase of the boat and/or trailer||•||•||•|
|Valid passport or U.S. driver license/ID card||•||•||•|
|Florida Certificate of Title with the “Transfer of Title by Seller” (section accurately completed)||—||•||—|
|Original Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) for the boat and/or boat trailer properly assigned to purchaser||—||—||•|
|Certified weight slip for the boat trailer (if the registration does not list the weight of the trailer)||•||•||—|