How to register and title your boat in Florida

According to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department, all motorized vessels operating on Florida’s public waterways must be titled and registered. While there is a lot of excitement around you purchase your boat, registering your boat in Florida is an important first step that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Also read: Do you need a license to drive a boat in Florida

Fortunately, registering your boat is a simple process that doesn’t take a lot of time. Simply put, you need to apply for vessel registration with your local county tax collector or license plate agent. You’ll need a few things when applying for vessel registration in Florida, including:

  • Proof of ownership through executed bill of sale
  • Builder’s contract
  • Manufacturer’s statement of origin
  • Federal marine document or other acceptable documentation
  • Boat title

Are there fees associated with registering a boat in Florida?

The fees you’ll pay for to register your boat in Florida are relatively small, but get a little more expensive based on the size of your boat. As of 2019, fees rage from $5.50 to $189.75. If your boat is equipped with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or you possess a Personal Locator Beacon, you’ll receive a discounted rate on vessel registration fees.

You can find a detailed list of Florida’s vessel registration fees on the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.

There are some exemptions from registration. For example, if your boat is a non-motor powered vessel that is less than 16 ft. in length, it does not need to be registered. Or if you only use your boat on a private lake or pond, it wouldn’t require registration. There are a few other examples, but as a precaution, it’s best to check with the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles department.

Registering your boat in Florida is an essential step before taking your boat on the water. Fortunately, the quick, inexpensive process of registering your boat is well worth it for all the joy your boat will bring.