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Old 27-03-2016, 11:13   #1
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Non-resident Florida Boat Purchase

Looking for a little help from others... Considering making a purchase of 40' sailboat in Florida from private seller (no Broker). We would plan on bringing north via ICW to Connecticut.
-Anyone know about transfer of Fl registration to nonresident?
-Do Fl boats have Titles or just Registration?
-How would this all change if it's a documented boat?
Boat would stay in Fl for a couple months then bring north in June...

*any suggestions on a yard for haul and survey in Miami area?
* Any suggestions on good marine surveyors in Miami - Looking for an insurance survey.

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Old 27-03-2016, 11:28   #2
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Re: Non-resident Florida Boat Purchase

We just did that. You'll have to re-register the boat in your name and pay the use taxes either to FL or wherever you register the boat. USCG docs won't preclude you from that anymore.
Your taxes will be based on how much you paid for the boat on your sales docs, so it's nice if that number reflects a low price.
We've started the USCG redocumentation, it takes a while and the bank has to release the title. $4K left and it's ours!!

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Old 27-03-2016, 15:28   #3
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Re: Non-resident Florida Boat Purchase

I did this very thing last fall and can help out a little bit. SSgtPitt is correct on things. I would also add going to the DMV, which is a privately run thing in Fla., and immediately removing the previous owners name off the registration, which I believe is free. Register in your home state, bringing the old title, and copy of your insurance, and pay your sales tax then. If you leave it in Florida too long(60 days) you may have to pay their registration fees as well before moving it, but I am not sure, others could probably chime in and correct me if I am wrong.
Fair winds from the crew of the S/V Siren.
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Old 28-03-2016, 05:21   #4
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Re: Non-resident Florida Boat Purchase

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, engine, 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.

Good luck.
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Old 28-03-2016, 05:34   #5
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Re: Non-resident Florida Boat Purchase

You can not leave the boat in Florida more than 60 days without having it registered in Florida.

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Old 28-03-2016, 13:04   #6
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Re: Non-resident Florida Boat Purchase

Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
You can not leave the boat in Florida more than 60 days without having it registered in Florida.

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Close on the boat in April and leave in June ----

Sent from my iPhone- please forgive autocorrect errors.

" requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ishmael
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