Register a Boat in Florida

Boating is considered one of the top three of all stress-relieving activities, giving you even more reason to have a boat. Luckily, boats come in all sizes and price levels so there is an option out there that will fit you and your family. Once you purchase your boat, you will also need a Florida boat license.

Register Your Boat
Boat Registration

Does My Boat Need to be Registered in Florida?

When you operate a motorized boat or non-motor-powered boat over 16 feet in length on one of Florida’s public waterways, you’ll need to first make sure your boat is registered. There are some exemptions from registration. The following types of vessels don’t need to be registered:

  • Vessels operated, used, and stored exclusively on private lakes and ponds
  • Vessels owned by the US government
  • Vessels used exclusively as a ship’s lifeboat
  • Non-motor-powered vessels less than 16 feet in length
  • Non-motor-powered canoe, kayak, racing shell or rowing scull regardless of length

Another exemption to registration is if you’re registering an out-of-state boat in Florida. If you have valid registration from another state or territory, you can operate it in Florida for up to 90 days before you need to register it.

It’s important to note that if you have a boat trailer that weighs over 2,000 pounds, you’ll also need to follow the Florida boat trailer registration rules.

How to Register a Boat in Florida

If you’ve just bought a boat, you must register it within 30 days. If you don’t and you operate an unregistered boat after 30 days, it’s a second-degree misdemeanor.

You have the option in Florida of registering your boat for one year or two years. Whichever option you choose, the process for applying for registration is the same. You’ll need to file your application for vessel registration with the county tax collector or license plate agent.

When you’re applying for your boat registration, you’ll have to establish proof of ownership by providing one of the following:

  • Executed bill of sale
  • Builder’s contract
  • Manufacturer’s statement of origin
  • Federal marine document
  • Other documents acceptable to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles

If you’re registering a boat in Florida with no title, you’ll need to get it titled before your registration will be issued.

How Much Does Florida Boat Registration Cost?

The cost to register a boat in Florida depends on several factors such as the length of the boat and whether it is equipped with an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or when the owner has a Personal Locator Beacon. To take advantage of a reduced fee, you’ll need to register your boat in an office.

The fees are as follows:

  • Class A-1, less than 12 feet
    • Registration fee: $5.50
    • Reduced fee: $2.95
  • Class A-2, 12 to less than 16 feet
    • Registration fee: $16.25
    • Reduced fee: $11.00
  • Class 1: 16 to less than 26 feet
    • Registration fee: $28.75
    • Reduced fee: $20.40
  • Class 2: 26 to less than 40 feet
    • Registration fee: $78.25
    • Reduced fee: $57.50
  • Class 3: 40 to less than 65 feet
    • Registration fee: $127.75
    • Reduced fee: $94.95
  • Class 4: 65 to less than 110 feet
    • Registration fee: $152.75
    • Reduced fee: $113.40
  • Class 5: 110 or more feet
    • Registration fee: $189.75
    • Reduced fee: $141.15

There’s also an optional county fee that increases in price with the length of your boat. These optional fees are kept by the county where your boat is registered and are only assessed in the following counties: Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Dade, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and Volusia.