Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Narragansett Bay
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Re: Can a Non resident of FL. keep a boat in FL?
I’m not completely familiar with FL registration laws. Most States require registration, if your boat stays in their waters for more than a defined number of days. Usually in the neighborhood of 90, but I’ve heard of anywhere from 30 to 180.
It makes no sense that States would have this rule, but require a local State address. I know that RI will accept your actual home address to register a boat here. As there is no sales tax on boats in RI, it’s done all the time. In fact, by quick memory scan, every one of of my neighbors either lives in Massachusetts or Connecticut, with one in Canada. Their boats are full time in RI and registered here.
If you feel you must have a FL address for some reason, look into St Brendan’s Isle mail forwarding service. Cruisers use it all the time. It’s based in FL, you get a FL address and whatever mail goes there can be forwarded anywhere you like in the world, even by scanned email.
As for residency, this has only one criteria. Where are you physically. It makes no difference what address you use for things. Most States define that as being within their boarders for 6 months plus one day, but others are a bit more aggressive, referring to where your keepsakes are kept or your job is located. This is relevant to where you will owe taxes and at what amount. Taxing agencies like checking cell phone and credit card records to see if they can catch you evading taxes. I understand, from your posts, this is not your motivation. Just prepare for some confusion and keep good records. When the State whose address is on the USCG documentation matches those records with their sales tax collections, and they all do, they’ll probably send a bill. However, if your boat has never been in that State, they can't tax it. You just send marina invoices, bill of sale, etc. It will likely take them a couple of years to catch up, so keep these.
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