How to Register a Boat in Florida

Florida is a boater's paradise, with its vast waterways, beautiful coastlines, and numerous lakes. If you're a resident of Florida and own a boat, it is essential to register and title your vessel with the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). Registering and titling your boat will ensure that you comply with Florida's boating laws and regulations and help keep Florida's waterways safe. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the steps to register your boat in Florida.

Step 1: Apply for a Title

You will need to apply for a title at the same time you apply for registration for your boat. To start the titling process, you'll need to gather some documentation for your boat. To apply for a title, you first need:

·        If the boat is new, the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) or its equivalent statement of builder. If the boat was purchased in a state that does not require a MCO, a completed bill of sale will suffice. The proof of ownership must include the manufacturer, model, length, year, type, hull material, propulsion type, fuel type, primary use, and hull identification number (HIN)

·        If the boat is used and currently titled, the current title completed accurately for the sale

·        If the boat is used and is from a state that does not require a title, current registration from that state and a completed bill of sale

Once you have the required documentation, you can bring it to the county tax collector’s office or a license plate agent office. Once there, be prepared to pay the titling fees. The titling fee breakdown is listed below.

·        Electronic Title: $5.25

·        Paper Title: $7.25

·        Expedited Title: $11

·        Fee to record each existing lien: $1

·        Out of State fee (if the boat was previously registered outside of Florida): $4

Step 2: Apply for Registration

Once you have completed your application for title, it’s time to apply for registration. This can be done at the same location as the application for titling, so it’s a good idea to do it all at the same time. To apply for registration, all you need is proof of ownership and a current title (or title application, if you’re titling at the same time).  

Step 3: Pay Taxes and Registration Fees

Once you have completed the registration application, it’s time to pay the necessary fees. The registration fee schedule is as follows:

·        Class A-1 (less than 12 feet): $5.50 for one year

·        Class A-2 (12 to 16 feet): $16.25 for one year

·        Class 1 (16 to less than 26 feet): $28.75 for one year

·        Class 2 (26 to less than 40 feet): $78.25 for one year

·        Class 3 (40 to less than 65 feet): $127.75 for one year

·        Class 4 (65 to less than 110 feet): $152.75 for one year

·        Class 5 (110 or longer): $189.75

In addition to the registration fee, you will also have to pay a $2.25 service fee and a $0.50 Florida Real-Time Vehicle Information System (FRVIS) fee.

Finally, you will have to pay sales tax on the purchase price of the boat. If the sales tax has already been paid, you will need provide a receipt from the county tax collector or license plate agent office. Be sure to note if the boat was bought privately or through a dealer. If the boat was bought privately (also known as a casual sale) an outboard motor is exempt from sales tax if it is itemized separately on the bill of sale.

Step 4: Get Your Registration Decal and Number

Once your application is approved, you'll receive a registration decal and number. You'll need to affix the decal to the front third of the side of the boat, just below the gunwale, within six inches of the registration number. The registration number must be displayed on both sides of the bow of the boat in block letters that are at least three inches high and in a color that contrasts with the color of the boat.


In conclusion, registering your boat in Florida is a straightforward process that can be completed online or through the mail. Make sure you have all the required information and documents, and don't forget to affix your registration decal and number to your boat. Enjoy your time on Florida's beautiful waterways and stay safe!