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Old 01-05-2011, 18:32   #1
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State Registration When Passing Through

I have been searching the archives without success for advice on this issue. I have purchased a boat in Nova Scotia, de-registered it in Canada, and documented it with the US Coast Guard. It has no US state registration at the moment as the boat will be in Canada until later this coming summer. I live and will maintain a home in Washington State, but I am going to be taking this vessel down the east coast and going to the Bahamas. I will not stay in any state more than 90 days, except perhaps Florida when I get there as I may wish to leave it there for 6-9 mo. starting spring 2012. What are my options for state registration since I do not intend to take this boat "home" to Washington State ever, and after transiting the east coast states, I may decide to leave it offshore permanently (Bahamas if I can find a place to leave it during hurricane season in 2012). I know there have been threads on this topic in the past so please point me to them if you don't want to open up an old subject. I have been searching but have not found those threads. I am looking for advice on state registration options, and secondarily for advice on where it might be reasonable (if that is not a null set) to leave a boat in the Bahamas during hurricane season (perhaps out of the water and tied down??). If not the Bahamas, how about Florida locations for hurricane season?
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Old 01-05-2011, 18:48   #2
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Re: State registration when passing through on documented vessel

If you keep the boat in Florida for more than 90 days you will have to register it with the state.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:59   #3
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Re: State registration when passing through on documented vessel

And you will have to pay Florida sales/use tax a much more important consideration.

There may be some waiver if the boat is out of use, ie on the hard. You will have to check more thoroughly with Florida. Confirm anything that you hear or read about this with a Florida state source that you can copy and keep with you. Florida state personnel are often ignorant of this somewhat arcane situation. Getting the wrong advice can be very expensive.

I would start by talking with the boat yard where you plan to keep your boat. They can probably point you in the right direction.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:12   #4
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Re: State Registration When Passing Through

If you arrive in Florida more than six months after you purchased the boat, and you didn't purchase it with the intent to keep it in Florida, you'll be exempt from the use tax. Registration fees are pretty reasonable, by the way.
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Old 04-05-2011, 07:51   #5
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Re: State Registration When Passing Through

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hud3 View Post
If you arrive in Florida more than six months after you purchased the boat, and you didn't purchase it with the intent to keep it in Florida, you'll be exempt from the use tax.
Exactly. And given the description in the original posting (boat already bought, not planning to leave until later this summer) I'm guessing that you will not owe Florida any sales or use tax. You might, however, want to keep enough receipts to prove to that you have owned and used it outside of Florida for more than 6 months, just to be sure.
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