Boat Registration and Licenses in Florida
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Navigating a vessel on Florida's public waters requires more than a boat and sailor's cap. Depending on your type of vessel, you may first need to register it with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV).
Below you'll find information on Florida boat registration laws, as well details on the state's boater education requirements.
- All motorized vessels used on the state's public waterways.
- U.S. government-owned vessels.
- Vessels used strictly as lifeboats.
- Non-resident boats used on Florida's waterways for 90 days or less.
You have 30 days from the time of purchase to register your vessel. To do so, head to the county tax collector's office in the county where you live, or where the vessel is located.
Bring with you:
- Completed registration application (not offered online).
- Manufacturer's Statement of Origin, or its equivalent.
- Receipt showing you paid the sales tax (if applicable).
- Fee payment.
You can also mail the required documents and payment to the county office.
Keep the registration certificate on board whenever you're operating your boat. During the grace period after purchasing the vessel, be sure to keep your purchase receipt with you when operating the vessel. Vessels can be registered for 1 year or 2 years.
Boat Insurance in Florida
Even though you are not required to have boat insurance to register your boat in Florida, you should consider purchasing a boat insurance policy. There are many risks that come with owning and operating a boat. A good insurance policy can help protect you from these risks.
Visit our page on boat insurance to learn more.
Per year registration fees vary by the length of the vessel, as follows:
- Class A-1 (vessels less than 12 ft and all motorized canoes): $10.25
- Class A-2 (12 ft to 16 ft): $21
- Class 1 (16 ft to 26 ft): $33.50
- Class 2 (26 ft to 40 ft: $83
- Class 3 (40 ft to 65 ft): $132.50
- Class 4 (65 ft to 110 ft): $157.50
- Class 5 (110 ft or longer): $194.50
Please note that some counties may tack on additional fees.
You have the option to renew your registration based on the ownership of the vessel. For privately owned vessels, the registration renewal period begins on the 30 days before the owner's birth day. For vessels owned by a corporation or dealer, the registration period begins in July.
Renew In Person
Bring one of the following, along with your fee payment, to a county tax collector's office to renew your registration:
- Current registration.
- Current decal or number.
- Renewal card.
Simply enter your information and follow the instructions given to renew online.
Renew by Mail
Send your renewal card along with your fee payment to the address listed on the card.
Replace Lost Registration
Duplicate registrations are available through county tax collector's office for a small fee. Just turn in a completed Application for Vessel Duplicate Registration, Replacement Decal and Change of Classification (Form HSMV 87015).
If you were born after January 1, 1988 and want to operate a boat (including personal watercraft) with 10 HP or greater you'll need to have a Boating Safety Education ID Card.
See below for information on how to obtain the safety ID card.
Fulfill your boater education requirements and receive your ID card by doing one of the following:
- Complete a course given by an approved third-party provider, such as BoaterExam.com, which offers convenient online classes (click its link below for information).
- Complete a course given by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).
Schedules and fees vary with the provider.
Non-residents who don't have the equivalent of a safety ID from their home state may apply for a temporary certificate. For details on this and other safety course matters, call (850) 488-5600.Other Topics in This Section