All commercial and private vessels operated on the waters of the State of Florida must be registered and/or numbered with the following exceptions:
- A non-motor powered vessel less than 16 feet in length
- A vessel used exclusively on private lakes and ponds
- A vessel used exclusively as a ship's lifeboat
Registering And Titling A Vessel In Florida For The First Time
A vessel that is registered with another state may be used in Florida for no more than 90 days.
An out-of-state vessel owner who does not plan to become a permanent Florida resident but plans to operate a currently registered vessel in Florida waters for more than 90 days must obtain a temporary registration from the Tax Collector's office.
Not all states require a vessel to be titled, however, Florida does require a title. See the table below for a list of states which require vessel titles, which may be used to transfer to a Florida title and registration.
North Carolina (optional)
Year 2017 or newer
Wyoming - as of
To permanently register a vessel in Florida, you must present the following information:
- Current registration for the state where the vessel is registered.
- Title document for the state where the vessel is titled (if a title state - See Table above).
- Proof of sales tax will be credited if vessel was purchased less than six months prior to registration.
- We highly recommend that you visit the Florida Vessel Title and Registration website for complete and up-to-date information.
Change of Address
In order to maintain accurate records, and to help ensure that each registered owner receives a renewal notice, all changes of address, with the appropriate FL number(s) or the vessel identification number(s), must be reported to the Tax Collector’s Office within 30 days.
In compliance with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles a change of address request must be submitted in writing by US mail, to the appropriate mailing address, or in person at any of our Tax Collector's office locations. Please use the address above to send all written requests.
- Registration Address Change Form
- An updated registration will be provided at a charge of $2.75.
Donations to the Manatee or Turtle Funds can be made for any amount. Registrants will receive a manatee and/or sea turtle decal for their vessel if a donation of $5.00 or more is made with initial registration or renewal. The donated funds are used by the Save the Manatee Fund and the Save the Turtle Fund to study and protect these Florida treasures.
A duplicate title may be obtained by completing an HSMV 82101 Application for Duplicate or Lost in Transit/Reassignment for Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home, or Vessel Title Certificate. It must be signed and submitted to the Tax Collector with the following fees:
NOTE: A copy of the applicant's Driver License must be attached.
- $9.00 to have the title printed and mailed
- $11.50 if you wish to have this processed as a fast title
If an outstanding lien exists, the lienholder must sign the application or attach a signed, original lien satisfaction. A lost in transit title may be applied for within 180 days of issuance, free of charge (fast title fees apply).
Fast Title Service
The fast title service is available for an additional fee of $5.00. Visit any one of our office locations for an original title, title transfer, or duplicate title while you wait.
If all documentation is correct, a certificate of title is printed in the office and is available upon conclusion of the transaction.
Miscellaneous Title Applications and Transfers
Contact the Tax Collector’s office for information on miscellaneous title applications and transfers such as a death of owner, court orders, change of name, repossessions, and bankruptcy. A Power of Attorney form may be required.
All new vessels must have an MCO (manufacturer's certificate of origin) or MSO (manufacturer's statement of origin) which must be signed and notarized by a licensed dealer for transfer to buyer. The MCO or MSO is attached to the HSMV 82040 VS Application for Certificate of Vessel Title or 82041, an Application for Florida Title, which must be properly completed with the owner’s complete name and Florida address, date of birth, sex, driver license number, complete description of vessel, and any lien to be recorded.
Sales Tax Information
- As required by Chapter 212 of the Florida Statutes, sales tax in Florida is 6% on the balance of the purchase price, less trade in, if any.
- Some transactions such as gifts, trade down or even trade, court order in divorce proceedings, inheritance, transfer to/from spouse, change of name only, etc., may be exempt from sales tax.
- If the motor vehicle or mobile home was purchased and used less than 6 months in another state, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, the full amount of the 6% sales or use tax, plus any local discretionary sales surtax is required to be paid before title and registration can be issued by the department. However, a credit may be allowed for a like tax paid in another state, territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, against the amount of Florida sales or use tax and local discretionary sales surtax.
- The registrant's county of residence determines whether an additional local discretionary sales surtax is collected. For additional information view the Department of Revenue’s Discretionary Sales Surtax Information.