Florida Boat Registration

Florida Boat Registration History Report

Florida boat registration FAQs are found below and can be downloaded as PDF. We have written this page to inform the boating community about registration requirements, recording methods, and title search guidelines for the State of Florida.

Infographic: Florida Boat Registration
Infographic: Florida Boat Registration

We will cover information about the Boat Registration Agency in this state and if you are wondering about Registration and marking requirements we have an overview of that as well. We also talk about Registration Requirements for boat in Florida along with things you need to know about boat Ownership and Liens so you can better perform Boat Title Searches or boat history lookups in FL.

Where are Florida Boats Registered?

Remember, some states have titling for boats and others do not. Florida issues both registrations and titles for all non-exempt boats operating within its jurisdiction. These are administered by the FL STATE Department of Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). This state does not issue titles or registrations for outboard motors but note that Boat trailer registration is handled by the DMV.

Did you know that 1.2 million boats are registered in the State of Florida & make up 8.1% of all USA vessel registrations?

Boat Registrations by year in the State of Florida (source: Nasbla) - Motorized vs. Non motorized recreational boats.
Boat Registrations by year in the State of Florida (source: Nasbla) – Motorized vs. Non motorized recreational boats.

Florida Boat Registration Numbers

Florida boat registration numbers begin with a “FL”. The FL designation is followed by four numbers and then two letters like in most states. You will have to display these as shown above if your boat is non-documented at the USCG. Put the FL boat registration sticker tab next to it. The state reg. number should not be confused with the 12 character Hull ID (HIN).

All boats manufactured after 1972 are required to have a 12 digit hull identification number affixed to the vessel by the manufacturer. State assigned hull numbers prefixed with the letters “FLZ” are available for home made boats and those without factory designations. Hull number inspections are not required in Florida unless there is a discrepancy.

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Exceptionally, a Coast Guard documented vessel does not need to display the state registration number but instead they would display the state registration tabs, an owner designated vessel name, and a hailing port. The USCG Official documentation number must also be affixed on other location on the boat: interior location in the hull itself or an integral part of the hull.

Boat Liens Database In Florida

Security interests in state titled boats are recorded with the Motor Vehicle Services department in FL. These will be shown on both the registration and title certificates if there are any. Security interests in boats that are neither titled or USCG documented are recorded with the Secretary of State as Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) filings. If the vessel is USCG documented, a lender’s security interests will be recorded with the National Vessel Documentation Center (NVDC) and are indexed on the boat’s abstract of title. This is different from state registration lookups and can be ordered at boat-abstract.com.

Tax liens may be flagged on boat registration records, recorded as UCC filings, shown on state revenue records, or filed with a county clerk’s office. There are no provisions for recording mechanic’s liens or other non-secured claims against state titled boats. Uniform Commercial Code searches are available online from the Secretary of State.

Florida Boat Registration Number Search Website

Boat title and registration records in Florida are maintained by the Department of Motor vehicles. This agency does facilitate online searches on their website.

Florida Boat Registration Lookup

The Boat-Alert.com database combines 68+ nationwide databases into a single place so you can search in a matter of minutes. These include records for stolen boats, marine lien claims, boating accidents, pollution incidents, auctioned boats, factory recalls, and boat manufacturers.

Search a Boat Hull ID history report with Boat-Alert.com
Click to Order a HIN Report
Florida boat registration from Boat-Alert.com

Titling & Registration Requirements in Florida

  • TITLING:
    • REQUIRED: Yes EFFECTIVE DATE : 1/1/68
    • VESSEL TYPES: All vessels that are operated, used, or stored on the waters of Florida unless it is specifically exempt.
    • EXEMPTIONS: (a) A vessel operated, used, or stored exclusively on private lakes and ponds; (b) A vessel owned by the United States Government; (c) A non-motor-powered vessel less than 16 feet in length; (d) A federally documented vessel; (e) A vessel already covered by a registration number in full force and effect which was awarded to it pursuant to a federally approved numbering system of another state or by the United States Coast Guard in a state without a federally approved numbering system, if the vessel is not located in this state for a period in excess of 90 consecutive days; (f) A vessel from a country other than the United States temporarily used, operated, or stored on the waters of this state for a period that is not in excess of 90 days; (g) An amphibious vessel for which a vehicle title is issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles; (h) A vessel used solely for demonstration, testing, or sales promotional purposes by the manufacturer or dealer; or (i) A vessel owned and operated by the state or a political subdivision thereof.
    • FEES: $5.25 titling fee (for electronic title) or $7.75 (for paper title) or $11 (expedited (fast) title). Additional fee of $1 to record each existing lien. Additional titling fee of $4 is required for vessels previously registered outside of the state of Florida.
    • DUPLICATE FEE: $6.00, $8.50 or $11.00 depending on electronic, paper, or fast title.
    • TRANSFER FEE: $5.25, $7.75 or $10.25 depending on electronic, paper or fast title.
  • REGISTRATION:
    • VESSEL TYPES: All vessels operated, used, or stored on the waters of Florida unless specifically exempted.
    • EXEMPTIONS: (a) A vessel operated, used, and stored exclusively on private lakes and ponds; (b) A vessel owned by the United States Government; (c) A vessel used exclusively as a ship’s lifeboat; or (d) A non-motor-powered vessel less than 16 feet in length or a non-motor-powered canoe, kayak, racing shell, or rowing scull, regardless of length.
    • USCG DOCUMENTED VESSELS REQUIRED: Yes
    • NUMBER OF DAYS BEFORE REGISTRATION REQUIRED: 90-day reciprocity period.
    • FEES: Less than 12 feet $5.50 12 to less than 16 feet $16.25 16 to less than 26 feet $28.75 26 to less than 40 feet $78.25 40 to less than 65 feet $127.75 65 to less than 110 feet $152.75 110 or more in length $189.75
    • DUPLICATE REGISTRATION FEE: $2.25 plus a $2.25 service fee
    • DUPLICATE DECAL FEE: $2.25 plus a $2.25 service fee
    • TRANSFER FEE: $3.25 plus a $2.25 service fee
    • LATE FEE:
Boat Alert History Report · Florida Boat Registration

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