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  #11  
Old 01-25-2011
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I, too, have heard lots of stories and have had only one encounter of my own regarding Florida boat registration. However, these are not just sea-stories. The law regarding the mandatory registration of documented vessels was passed into law recently (within two years). The out-of-state reciprocity law has been around (and enforced) for many years. Please note the last two paragraphs.

The following is straight from the FWC web site.

VESSEL REGISTRATION

All vessels operating with mechanical propulsion devices (such as gas or electric outboards) are required to be registered.
Vessels must be registered and numbered within thirty (30) days of purchase.

Registration numbers must be displayed on the forward half of the vessel on both sides above the waterline. The numbers must be bold block letters at least 3" high in a color contrasting to the hull.

The vessel registration decal must be renewed annually and is to be displayed within six (6) inches of, either before or after, the registration numbers on the port (left) side.

Documented vessels without a state registration in full force and effect, must also obtain a Florida registration and display the validation decal on the port side of the vessel when using Florida waters.

Out-Of-State Reciprocity:
Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting vessel owners by other states for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use his vessel in Florida longer than 90 days must register it with a county tax collector. However, he may retain the out-of-state registration number if he plans to return to his home state within a reasonable period of time [he must still register the boat in Florida, however].
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Old 01-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadranger View Post
...................Out-Of-State Reciprocity:
Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting vessel owners by other states for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use his vessel in Florida longer than 90 days must register it with a county tax collector. However, he may retain the out-of-state registration number if he plans to return to his home state within a reasonable period of time [he must still register the boat in Florida, however].
Regulations similar to these are typical in most states and apply to car license plates as well. Among most all states with these regulations there is not personnel staffed to record these vessels or cars and note the dates of their presence within the state. I have heard of ocassional scans made through employee parking lots for out of state auto plates. Once again, there is nothing specifically unique about Florida having regulations that require boats or automobiles remaining in the state to have a state registration. Very rarely, is a seasonal cruisers ever confronted with this issue. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-25-2011
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Please note that this does not, and in fact can not, require a federally documented boat to DISPLAY a state REGISTRATION NUMBER....while the sticker may be required, NO STATE CAN REQUIRE A USCG DOCUMENTED BOAT to display registration numbers. And it was not the registration sticker but the numbers that vega had been cited for.



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Originally Posted by roadranger View Post
I, too, have heard lots of stories and have had only one encounter of my own regarding Florida boat registration. However, these are not just sea-stories. The law regarding the mandatory registration of documented vessels was passed into law recently (within two years). The out-of-state reciprocity law has been around (and enforced) for many years. Please note the last two paragraphs.

The following is straight from the FWC web site.

VESSEL REGISTRATION

All vessels operating with mechanical propulsion devices (such as gas or electric outboards) are required to be registered.
Vessels must be registered and numbered within thirty (30) days of purchase.

Registration numbers must be displayed on the forward half of the vessel on both sides above the waterline. The numbers must be bold block letters at least 3" high in a color contrasting to the hull.

The vessel registration decal must be renewed annually and is to be displayed within six (6) inches of, either before or after, the registration numbers on the port (left) side.

Documented vessels without a state registration in full force and effect, must also obtain a Florida registration and display the validation decal on the port side of the vessel when using Florida waters.

Out-Of-State Reciprocity:
Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting vessel owners by other states for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use his vessel in Florida longer than 90 days must register it with a county tax collector. However, he may retain the out-of-state registration number if he plans to return to his home state within a reasonable period of time [he must still register the boat in Florida, however].
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—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 01-25-2011
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"Please note that this does not, and in fact can not, require a federally documented boat to DISPLAY a state REGISTRATION NUMBER....while the sticker may be required,..."-- SailingDog

No argument, here, Dog. My point was, simply, that Florida law mandates that documented vessels be registered in Florida and the local constabulary really does check for it. They are not just sea stories.

If you ask me (and no-one did) having to pay a few hundred dollars to register your already documented vessel, just to pass through Florida waters, is (choose your adjective).


"Don't take life too seriously - Nobody gets out alive"
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Old 01-26-2011
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Originally Posted by roadranger View Post
..........If you ask me (and no-one did) having to pay a few hundred dollars to register your already documented vessel, just to pass through Florida waters, is (choose your adjective).


"Don't take life too seriously - Nobody gets out alive"
You may wish to review the Florida regulations. The state is not requiring you to register your "already documented" vessel, or a vessel undocumented, but registered in another state when passing through Florida. Three months is allowed and then, in addition, there is very little monitoring. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-26-2011
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Full-time RVers are often in the same situation where they live full-time on their RV and don't rent or own a home in any State. South Dakota is one of their favorite places to become domiciled. SD actually encourages it as a way of gaining much needed revenue principally from vehicle registrations. It's just a matter of traveling to SD to apply for drivers license, voter registration, signing up with a mail forwarding service, and if applicable registering vehicle(s). Of course, to be certain that it sticks, one must break ties with other States. I wonder if the factors that make SD such a good domicile for RVers would apply to full-time liveaboard cruisers?

You can see here that the issue of domicile is alive and well in the full-time RVing world:
Rumblings from South Dakota could affect some fulltime RV folk - Escapees Discussion Forum
Pete

Last edited by prroots; 01-26-2011 at 08:09 AM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainForce View Post
You may wish to review the Florida regulations. The state is not requiring you to register your "already documented" vessel, or a vessel undocumented, but registered in another state when passing through Florida. Three months is allowed and then, in addition, there is very little monitoring. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
If your vessel is registered in another state then you have 90 days in FLorida (probably a lot more unless you are unlucky or scrupulously honest) before you have to get it registered in this state, however, if your vessel is only documented, then the new law requires that you get it registered with the state in order to use FLorida waters. There is no 90-day grace period for that. Please check with my friends at FWC before you smash me down. I work with them often, and they are very helpful... on the phone, anyway.

In my first-hand, personal experience, the FWC, and the local Charlotte county and Lee County sheriffs have always notified the vessel owners of the new law and given them a written warning. I have only heard (from FWC officers) that they have issued fines to some boaters. It may be that those boaters 'talked their way into a ticket.' I have seen that happen a few times to belligerent captains (but for other issues).
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2011
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I doubt they can force you to register a USCG documented boat that is from another state just because you've brought it into the state's waters, unless you've been there over 90 days... My boat is USCG documented, but not state registered, since Massachusetts doesn't require you to state register a documented boat.

From the Massachusetts state website:

Quote:
Boats exempt from registration requirements include those that do not use motors, and documented vessels (large boats that are issued a marine document and registration through the U.S. Coast Guard). Vessels used solely by a city, county, state, or federal agency will be issued a certificate of registration and number at no charge.
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Originally Posted by roadranger View Post
If your vessel is registered in another state then you have 90 days in FLorida (probably a lot more unless you are unlucky or scrupulously honest) before you have to get it registered in this state, however, if your vessel is only documented, then the new law requires that you get it registered with the state in order to use FLorida waters. There is no 90-day grace period for that. Please check with my friends at FWC before you smash me down. I work with them often, and they are very helpful... on the phone, anyway.

In my first-hand, personal experience, the FWC, and the local Charlotte county and Lee County sheriffs have always notified the vessel owners of the new law and given them a written warning. I have only heard (from FWC officers) that they have issued fines to some boaters. It may be that those boaters 'talked their way into a ticket.' I have seen that happen a few times to belligerent captains (but for other issues).
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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  #19  
Old 01-26-2011
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Quote:
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I doubt they can force you to register a USCG documented boat that is from another state just because you've brought it into the state's waters, unless you've been there over 90 days... My boat is USCG documented, but not state registered, since Massachusetts doesn't require you to state register a documented boat.....
But Mass does have use taxes, which may be why they don't bother with the nickle and dime registration fees. Let's face it, registration is simply about collecting a fee for the state. I was told that Mass marinas are required to report all vessel on their moorings or slips for two or more weeks. Is that true?

I did not have to pay sales tax in RI, since they have none on boats. I do pay $300 per year in registration fees instead. Of course, it will be roughly 100 years before that breaks even.
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Don't know about the reporting, but my excise/use tax on my boat is less than you're paying in registration fees.

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But Mass does have use taxes, which may be why they don't bother with the nickle and dime registration fees. Let's face it, registration is simply about collecting a fee for the state. I was told that Mass marinas are required to report all vessel on their moorings or slips for two or more weeks. Is that true?

I did not have to pay sales tax in RI, since they have none on boats. I do pay $300 per year in registration fees instead. Of course, it will be roughly 100 years before that breaks even.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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