Vessel Information

Onward Motorist Services

Boats & Vessels General Information

Boats

As an agent for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Tax Collector is responsible for providing the necessary service and record keeping procedures used in processing vessel (boat) titles and registrations. All motorized vessels, commercial and private, must be registered, titled and issued a decal before they can be used in Florida waters. The decal must be affixed to the port side of the boat.

Vessel registrations expire at midnight of the owner’s birthday. Registration for vessels titled in a business name expire June 30th.

Vessel registration fees are based on the length of the boat.

Renewal of vessel registrations can be accomplished in person at any Tax Collector’s office or online.

To renew online click here. An additional fee will be charged for these services.

Obtaining a Florida Boat Title

Application with a Manufacture’s Statement of Origin

The selling dealer, for all new boats, must complete the manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO), when applicable. Proof of sales tax paid or proof of exemption must be provided, or sales tax must be collected.

Application with a Florida Title

To transfer a Florida title of a used boat to the new owner, the reassignment of the title must be completed by the buyer and seller. If the vessel is purchased through a dealer, the dealer reassignment also must be completed. Sales tax will be collected if applicable. In the event the title is lost, a duplicate title may be applied for using form  HSMV 82101. When the vessel owner is not present, the owner can sign a Power of Attorney, form HSMV 82053, to allow the purchaser or agent to act in his behalf.

Application with a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin

The selling dealer, for all new boats, must complete the manufacturer’s statement of origin (MSO), when applicable. Proof of sales tax paid or proof of exemption must be provided, or sales tax must be collected.

Application with an Out-of-State Title or Registration

Many states do not require boats to be titled. Proof of ownership on a used boat from a non-title state is the vessel registration. A notarized bill of sale is required with the registration to transfer ownership. If a title is available, it and Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicle HSMV 82040 (title application form) must be completed for processing.

HIN verification is not required each time a vessel is brought into Florida. However, if the vessel was built after 1972 and has only a partial HIN (less than 12 properly formatted characters) on the out of state title/registration, a pencil tracing should be submitted for verification of the HIN.

Sales tax will be collected if applicable.

Sojourners

A non-resident boater with a valid out-of-state registration certificate may use his/her vessel in Florida waters for 90 days without applying for a Florida registration. This applies to pleasure boats only. If the non-resident intends to use the craft in Florida longer than 90 days, the boat must be registered with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, which is processed at the Tax Collector’s office.