Here are links to the relevant information:
Official Website Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Boats in Florida are titled, unless they are USCG documented, in which case you do not need a title--the documentation
serves to prove ownership
. When you buy the boat you will have to pay sales tax. USCG documentation
has nothing to do with sales tax, and never did. The DMV is where you take care of registration and paying sales tax, but it most definitely is NOT "a privately run thing" in Florida! There will be at least one office in every county. In Dade county I wouldn't be surprised if there are a dozen or more.
One item to note is that sales tax on a vessel, in Florida, is based on the price
of just the boat. Hence, if your bill of sale
itemizes the boat, the engine
, the sails
, and other miscellaneous property separately, then you will only pay tax on the boat itself. Most people don't realize this and make out the bill of sale
with one, total amount--forcing the buyer to pay tax on the total amount. That said, the folks at the DMV are not stupid. If your bill of sale says the sails
, and other items were $100,000 and the boat itself was $5, they're not going to fall for that. Be realistic in divvying up the amounts, though, and you should be fine.