Vessels and Boating

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Boat Title & Registration

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Vessel Registration

Please note, by clicking the link below you are leaving the Constitutional Tax Collector’s Office’s website and will be re-routed to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) website to complete your transaction.

Place the link here. http://www.flhsmv.gov/

For problems contact the DHSMV Customer Service Center at (850) 617-2000.

Vessels/Boats

The Constitutional Tax Collector of Putnam County serves as an agent to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Our office is responsible for the titling and registering of all motorized vessels both commercial and private.

Important Information about Vessel Registration:

  • All vessels must be titled and registered before they can be used in Florida waters.
  • Titling and registration fees are separate charges.
  • Vessel trailers must be registered.
  • Vessel registration fees are determined by hull length.
  • The registration is valid until midnight on the owner’s birthday and renewed annually.
  • Putnam County uses a portion of the fee to improve water quality in local fisheries.

Florida Title Transfer for a Vessel

A Florida Title Transfer is needed when a vessel currently titled in Florida changes/transfers ownership to a different Florida owner.

The Florida Certificate of Title with the “transfer of title by seller” section must be completed.

Please refer to the Title Transfer Vessel Packet for further required documents.

Title and Registration Fees

Title and registration fees are determined by several factors (hull length, length of registration period, etc.).

Vessel Registration Fees http://www3.flhsmv.gov/DMV/Proc/Fees/Fees-04.PDF

Vessel Registration Fee Chart

Effective September 1, 2014

FEES TO REGISTER VESSELS(RECREATIONAL OR COMMERCIAL) AMOUNT OPTIONAL COUNTY FEE
CLASS A-1 All vessels less than 12 feet in length, and motorized canoes $10.25 $2.75
CLASS A-2 12 feet or more and less than 16 feet in length $21.00 $8.13
CLASS 1 16 feet or more and less than 26 feet in length $33.50 $14.38
CLASS 2 26 feet or more and less than 40 feet in length $83.00 $39.13
CLASS 3 40 feet or more and less than 65 feet in length $132.50 $63.88
CLASS 4 65 feet or more and less than 110 feet in length $157.50 $76.38
CLASS 5 110 feet or more in length $194.50 $94.88
Dealer Classification $30.25

The above fees include a $2.25 service fee, $.50 FRVIS fee, $1.00 Decal on Demand fee and $1.00 LERSTF fee.

COMMERCIAL FEES:

An additional $50 commercial vessel license fee is required of all non-residents or aliens unless specifically exempted by statute.

NOTE: The Optional County Fee is retained by the county where the vessel is registered. Counties that charge the Optional County Fee are: Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Dade, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and Volusia.

(REV. 08-14)

Expedited Title Service

For an extra cost, Expedited Title Service is available at our Service Centers.

Florida Title for a Vessel Previously Titled Out-of-State

The information in the following section applies to vessels that were titled out-of-state and the following situation exists:

  • the vessel owner moves to Florida, or
  • the vessel titled out-of-state transfers ownership to a Florida resident.

You must have the out-of-state title certificate in your possession.

Please refer to the Title Transfer Vessel Packet for further required documents.

Expedited Title Service

For an extra cost, Expedited Title Service is available at our Service Centers.

Manufacturer’s Certificate/Statement of Origin for a Vessel

A title for a vessel with a Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin refers to a brand new vessel purchased out-of-state that has not yet been titled.

You must provide an original Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO), properly assigned to purchaser.

Please refer to the Title Transfer Vessel Packet for further required documents.

Title and Registration Fees

Title and registration fees are determined by several factors (hull length, length of registration period, etc.).

You may complete your title transaction at any Constitutional Tax Collector’s office. The new Certificate of Title will be created in Tallahassee and returned to you in one to two weeks.

If you have not received your new Certificate of Title in 6 weeks, please visit one of our offices or click here to download Duplicate or Lost in Transit/Reassignment Title HSMV 82101. http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/forms/BTR/82101.pdf

Expedited Title Service

For an extra cost, Expedited Title Service is available at our Service Centers.

For an extra cost, Expedited Title Service is available at our Service Centers.  Expedited titles are issued the same day for an additional $5.00 fee.  This service is available during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m. Acceptable payments in person include cash, check, money order, debit, or credit.  Make payment to Putnam County Tax Collector.

If the requester of the title is not the owner of the vessel, the requester must have Power of Attorney or an Authorization Affidavit from the vehicle owner.

Regular titles are mailed from Tallahassee within one to two weeks after the transaction is completed in our offices.

Federally Documented Vessels

Vessels are documented by the Federal Government (United States Coast Guard).  Vessels are not titled and numbered by individual states. All vessels, five net tons or more, meeting the criteria of a commercial vessel as defined by the United States Coast Guard must be federally documented.

Use the following contact information for the United States Coast Guard Documentation Center:

United States Coast Guard

National Vessel Documentation Center

792 T. J. Jackson Drive

Falling Waters, West Virginia  25419

Email:  nvdc.w.webmaster@uscg.mil

Phone:  (800) 799 – 8362

Website:  http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/CoastGuard/index.html

Title and Registration Fees

Vessel title and registration fees are determined by several factors (hull length, registration period, etc). The fee to apply for an electronic vessel title is $5.25. If you prefer to have a paper title printed the fee is $7.75. There is a $1.00 fee to record a lien on the title and sales tax will be collected at time of transfer. The purchaser shall be charged an additional $10 fee (penality) if the application for transfer of title is not properly filed within 30 days after the change ownership.

The listed fee’s include a $2.25 service fee, $.50 FRVIS fee and $1 Decal on Demand fee.

Sojourners

A non-resident boater with a valid registration certificate from another state may use his/her vessel for 90 days (pleasure boats only) without registering in Florida. Vessels used in Florida longer than 90 days must be registered with the Constitutional Tax Collector’s Office.

Registration Numbers

A Florida registration number issued to a vessel is permanent. The registration number remains with the vessel as long as it is operated or stored in Florida, even if the vessel ownership changes.

The registration number is to be painted or permanently attached to both sides of the bow (forward half) of the vessel and must be in block letters and numerals at least three inches high. The registration number must read from left to right, must contrast in color with the hull and be maintained in legible condition.

The prefix and suffix must be separated from the numerals by a space equal to the width of the digits, i.e., FL 0001 AB.

Notice of Sale

I sold my boat. What next?

File a Notice of Sale HSMV 82050, Notice of Sale  form. Submit this form to the Constitutional Tax Collector’s office within 30 days of the sale.  Submission of this form will allow our office to update the DMV database to reflect the title record as “SOLD.”

The ownership status, however, is not changed until the purchaser applies for and is issued a new Certificate of Title in their name.

Buying or selling a vessel or boat?

View important information for buyers and sellers from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles >>

http://www.flhsmv.gov/SafetyTips/Vehicles.htm

Payment Options for Vessel Registrations

Don’t wait! Registrations may be renewed up to three months prior to the expiration date. Privately owned vessels must be renewed by midnight of the owner’s birthday.  If you correct your residential address, we recommend that you replace your driver license or ID card.

  • Acceptable payments online include Visa, MasterCard or American Express.
  • NOTE: Items ordered online typically take 7 to 10 business days to receive. If you need before that time, please visit a Service Center for immediate assistance.  If you order both driver license and motor vehicle services, you will receive the mailings separately and they may be a few days apart.

Mail the bottom portion of the vessel registration renewal notice with the completed Florida insurance information and payment. If you do not have a vessel registration renewal notice, you may mail a copy of the current Florida registration certificate and payment.  Please include mailing address if different.

Mailing Address:

Putnam County Tax Collector
P.O. Box 1339
Palatka, FL 32178-1339

Acceptable payments by mail include check or money order.  Make payment to Putnam County Tax Collector.

Items needed:

  • Identification
  • Vessel registration renewal notice or vessel registration certificate
  • Payment

Acceptable payments in person include cash, check, money order, debit or credit.  Make payment to Putnam County Tax Collector.

Vessel Forms

Individual Forms

Application for Certificate of Title With/Without Registration HSMV 82040

Application for Duplicate or Lost in Transit/Reassignment for a Motor Vehicle, Mobile Home or Vessel Title Certificate HSMV 82101

Application to Register Non-Titled Vessels   HSMV 87244

Information Packets

Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin for Vessels Information Packet

Out of State Title for Vessels Information Packet

Florida Title Transfer for Vessels Information Packet

Federally Documented Vessels Information Packet

Expedited Title Service Information Packet

The Florida Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles provides an interactive tool to help answer your questions.

Boats and Vessel FAQ

Am I required to register my vessel?

Yes.  The law requires that all vessels operating in Florida waters be registered in Florida.  An official registration decal must be displayed in every vessel.

Where do I get my vessel registered?

Any of our Service Centers can process your registration and/or title transactions.

How soon do I need to have the boat I just purchased registered?

The law allows for 30 days.  However, during the 30-day grace period you are required to keep the bill of sale and proof of the date of purchase in your vessel.

What if I am here on vacation?

Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for 90 days. After 90 days the vessel must be officially registered in Florida.  However the owner can also retain their out-of-state registration number.   Additional new resident information is available here.

What do I need in order to register my vessel?

Proof of ownership (Certificate of Title, Bill of Sale) is needed.  Please refer to Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for additional requirements.

What is the cost to register my boat?

The cost is determined by several factors including the length of the hull, use, whether a Certificate of Title must be created and other factors.

A fee schedule is available online.

Why do I need a Certificate of Title?

A Certificate of Title is required by Florida law and is the officially recognized proof of ownership.   Also, a valid Florida Certificate of Title is required in order to register a vessel in Florida.

I just purchased a used boat.  What do I do?

You need the transferred Certificate of Title showing the new owner’s name so we can issue you a new Certificate of Title.  If the transfer of title is the result of a sale, 6 percent sales tax will be collected on the amount of the sale.

*Federally documented vessels are excluded.

Are military personnel exempt from registering their vessels in Florida?

Out-of-state registration certificates and numbers for vessels owned by active duty military personnel are valid up to the expiration date.  After the expiration date, the vessel must be registered and titled in Florida.

I only use a small trolling motor when I use my 12 foot boat in the canal behind my house. Do I have to register my boat?

Yes.

How much will I have to pay in sales tax if the seller of a vessel entered the entire selling price of a boat, trailer and motor as the selling price on the transfer portion of the vessel title being transferred?

The entire 6 percent must be paid on the total sale amount entered on the title.

However, if you submit an itemized bill of sale listing the price of each component of the rig with the application, you will only be required to pay sales tax on the boat and trailer.

How do I apply for an expedited duplicate vessel title?

Complete an application for duplicate title and bring it to a Tax Collector Service Center.  There is an additional fee for expedited service.  Once we process the application, you will receive a duplicate title in the mail within 5 to 10 working days.

Is a non-powered vessel required to be registered and titled?

Any non-powered vessel 16 feet or greater must be registered and titled.

What can the purchaser do if unable to contact the titled owner and obtain the Certificate of Title or an executed Bill of Sale?

Send written notice to the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles, (DMV) Bureau of Titles and Registrations.  Don’t forget to include the Florida registration number in the letter. DMV will provide the name and address of the titled owner with necessary instructions for transferring the ownership of the vessel.

Who should I contact about safety equipment requirements?

For boating safety information contact:

*The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Boating and Waterways Section 620 South Meridian Street Tallahassee, Florida 32399

*or any local FWC Office.

Putnam County Tax Collector

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