There is nothing better than spending the day on the water in the Sunshine State! If you are planning on purchasing your own marine vessel, or bringing one from out of state, you must register your new boat within 30 days of purchasing it. There is a second-degree misdemeanor for operating an unregistered watercraft beyond 30 days. 


Here in Florida, you can choose between a one-year or two-year registration for your boat. The procedure of applying for registration is the same regardless of whatever option you pick. You must submit a registration application to the county tax collector or the person in charge of obtaining license plates.


If the boat is equipped with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or a Personal Locator Beacon, the cost of registering it in Florida varies, however, expect to receive some discounts for all that safety equipment.


The registration process isn't mandatory for all boats. For example, you don't need to register your boat if it's a non-motorized vessel that is less than 16 feet long, so don’t worry about tagging your paddleboard. Alternatively, if you exclusively use your boat on a private lake or pond, you would not need to register it. However, it's recommended to verify with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles prior to just assuming you don’t need to register your boat.


Sojourner Registration Requirement

If you plan to keep your boat in Florida for longer than 90 days but intend to return to their home state with the vessel, you may be required to complete a Sojourner registration. HSMV Form 87244 is required, as well as proof or registration in another state. A standard cost for registering will apply.