All motorized vessels in Florida must be registered through the local County Tax Collector's Office. After you register the vessel you will receive a valid Certificate of Registration, a Certificate of Ownership and registration decals. Vessels can be registered for a period of either one or two years, at the choice of the owner.
The following vessels are exempt from registration:
All other vessels must be registered and numbered within 30 days of purchase.
New vessels may use the Bill of Sale for up to 30 days if it contains the following: make of vessel, length of vessel, type of propulsion, Hull ID number, statement that FL is principal state used, name of purchaser, address of purchaser, purchaser signature, name of seller, seller signature, date of vessel sale, notice that purchaser’s authority to use vessel on Florida waters expires after 30 days of sale of vessel.
All vessels that are registered must also be titled in Florida.
The registration documents must be kept on board the boat at all times while underway. We recommend that you keep your Certificate of Registration in a sealable plastic bag in a dry place.
The certificate must be readily available on board in a safe place for inspection by a law enforcement officer.
On the reverse side of the Certificate you will find the application for transfer of ownership. The transfer or sale of a Florida boat without title is a 2nd degree Misdemeanor for the seller. You must not buy a vessel unless you have acquired the title. Call Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or your local Tax Collectors Office for more information.
Registration decals must:
US Coast Guard-documented vessels must also obtain a Florida registration and display the validation decal in an easily visible location on the port side of the vessel when on Florida waters. Documented vessels do not display the FL registration number.