Boating & Watercraft Title and Registration

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Vessels- Initial Registration And Titling

Unless a vessel is exempt from titling, it must be titled at the same time it is registered. Both of these actions can be accomplished for vessels being initially registered/titled by completing Form HSMV 82040.

Along with the completed form, a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin or its equivalent must be submitted together with a registration fee based on the fee schedule. A $5.25 titling fee should also be provided with an additional fee of $1 to record each existing lien. There is an additional titling fee of $4 required for each initial certificate of title issued for a vessel previously registered outside of this state.  Proof of ownership on a used boat from a non-title state is the vessel registration.

If the sales tax on the total purchase price of the vessel has not been previously paid, the vessel owner must pay the tax along with the fees listed above. If the sales tax has already been paid, the vessel owner should furnish the county tax collector with a valid receipt indicating where the sales tax was paid and that it was paid in an amount equal to or greater than the applicable sales tax.

The registration certificate must be on board the vessel when in operation. The purchaser of a new or used vessel has 30 days to apply for registration and title. During this 30-day grace period, the owner is required to have aboard his vessel proof of date of purchase. Operation of an unregistered vessel after 30 days is a second-degree misdemeanor.

You can obtain a copy of an electronic title in our office for $5.00

A vessel that is registered in 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.

To title and register a boat in the applicant’s name, please bring the following items to the Tax Collector’s office:

  • For new boats:
    • A “manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin” completed by the selling dealer and bill of sale or dealer invoice listing the purchase price, sales tax, and trade-in allowance. Please note, additional sales tax may be due.
  • For used boats:
    • The title must be properly completed for transfer by the seller.
  • Documented Vessels:
    • In addition to the items stated above, a valid Certificate of Documentation must be provided when titling and registering your documented vessel. Additionally, you will need to bring your updated document (or a copy of it) each year when renewing. If renewing by mail, a copy of the certificate can be mailed in with your renewal notice.

Note: Every person applying for ownership on a new or used vessel must sign the title or the Application For Certificate of Title or be present in our office to sign the application and provide personal identification.

Registering an Out-of-State Vessel

Several states do not require boats to be titled, but they are registered. If you purchased a vessel from a non-title state, then the proof of ownership needed to obtain a Florida title will the the vessel registration and bill of sale from the person listed on the registration. 

If a title is available, the seller will need to sign the "transfer of title by seller" section on the title. The title can then be brought to our office for it to be transferred to the new owner's name. All registered owners must be in the office with identification unless a Power of Attorney is provided. 

If the hull ID number is less or more than 12 digits, a pencil tracing of the hull number is required for verification along with the title and/or registration unless the vessel was manufactured in 1972 or earlier. 

Non-Title States
Alabama  Colorado Hawaii Maine Pennsylvania
Alaska Connecticut Idaho Mississippi Rhode Island
Arkansas Delaware Kansas New Hampshire Tennessee
Arizona Georgia Louisiana North Dakota Wyoming


  • Sales tax must be paid unless the transaction is exempt.
  • Title application fees range from $8.25 to $14.25 depending on the type of transaction.
  • Registrations are renewed annually. Boat registrations expire annually at midnight of the owner’s birthday. If more than one owner is on the title, it is based on the birthday of the 1st owner listed on the registration. For company owned boats, the expiration date is June 30th.



If you have built a vessel under 16 feet in length, a Vessel Statement of Builder and a Title Application will need to be completed. If the vessel is 16 feet in length or greater, it will need to be inspected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC).  If the individual taking title is not the person who built it then they will also need a Bill of Sale from the individual they had build it.

Contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife for inspection:

Northwest Region
George Warthen, Regional Director
3911 Hwy. 2321
Panama City, FL 32409-1658