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Old 29-05-2016, 14:40   #1
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Where can you register your boat?

Question for all you cruisers, is there any requirements regarding the state you register your sailing vessel? If I buy my sailboat in New York, can I put any state I want on the sailboat with the name, or do I have to put the state down where I leave the sailboat in the marina slip? Going to get a marina slip in Florida, and do not know if I have to put NY on the vessel or can I put down FL?
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Old 29-05-2016, 14:50   #2
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

mine is federally documented, got no state

port of record is sta barbara because she was left on breakwall there for a week before salvaged and sold to po.
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Old 29-05-2016, 15:14   #3
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

If you document your boat with the US Coast Guard you can list any US city and state as your home port. If you register your boat you are registering in the state the boat will be kept. Some states ( I believe this includes FL) require registration even if your boat is documented, however, if it is documented and shows the boat name and home port (hailing port) you only display the state sticker not the state numbers.


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Old 29-05-2016, 16:14   #4
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

The basic idea with boat registration is that you register where the boat sits. Your personal state of residence doesn't matter. USCG registration doesn't matter either because you still have to pay your $132.50 Florida registration. All that does is let you not display your Florida registration number so why bother if you still have to pay for the sticker?

Florida also has a fairly high use tax of 6% on recently purchased boats even if purchased out of state. The good news there is that you only pay once. If you arrive in Florida with NY registration you have 90 days to register and pay the tax. You can extend that time with a little messing around but sooner or later the tax man will get you.
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Old 29-05-2016, 16:29   #5
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

First a clarification. There are two completely separate ways to "register" a boat.

1. Documentation. This federal "registration" done through the US Coast Guard. Forget the exact costs but $80-$100 as I recall. In this case you can choose any hailing port you like which will be written on the boat under the name.

2. Registration. This is a state managed and as such is different from state to state. Most states the cost is $100-$200 but some want a lot more.

NOTES:

- Many (most) states will require you to register the boat in that state if the boat remains in that state for a certain time, usually 90 days. BUT!!! if the boat is USCG documented then it is illegal to put the state registration numbers on the boat but you can be required to post the little sticker somewhere.

- Many (most) states will try to ding you with state sales (or state use) tax even on a used boat if:
1) you register in that state or
2) keep the boat in that state or
3) you reside in that state even if you keep the boat in another state.

An example.
- You live in Montana and buy a boat in Florida. Even though you are not a Florida resident, Florida law requires you to pay 6% sales tax unless you remove the boat from the state within 30 days. OR
- You live in Montana, buy a boat in Georgia but plan to keep it in a marina in Florida. Florida will again require you to pay the sales tax unless you show you paid at least that amount in another state.
- There are loopholes and exemptions but you need to be specific.
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Old 30-05-2016, 08:26   #6
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

Registered my boat last year and was 248.00 here in Florida. Crooks!
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Old 30-05-2016, 08:52   #7
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag View Post
mine is federally documented, got no state

port of record is sta barbara because she was left on breakwall there for a week before salvaged and sold to po.
Florida requires boat registration regardless of its documentation status.
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Old 30-05-2016, 10:16   #8
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Florida requires boat registration regardless of its documentation status.
That is the case in a lot of states. If you're in the state more than 90 days in most of the states I know of on the east coast.
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Old 30-05-2016, 10:42   #9
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
First a clarification. There are two completely separate ways to "register" a boat.

1. Documentation. This federal "registration" done through the US Coast Guard. Forget the exact costs but $80-$100 as I recall. In this case you can choose any hailing port you like which will be written on the boat under the name.

2. Registration. This is a state managed and as such is different from state to state. Most states the cost is $100-$200 but some want a lot more.

NOTES:

- Many (most) states will require you to register the boat in that state if the boat remains in that state for a certain time, usually 90 days. BUT!!! if the boat is USCG documented then it is illegal to put the state registration numbers on the boat but you can be required to post the little sticker somewhere.

- Many (most) states will try to ding you with state sales (or state use) tax even on a used boat if:
1) you register in that state or
2) keep the boat in that state or
3) you reside in that state even if you keep the boat in another state.

An example.
- You live in Montana and buy a boat in Florida. Even though you are not a Florida resident, Florida law requires you to pay 6% sales tax unless you remove the boat from the state within 30 days. OR
- You live in Montana, buy a boat in Georgia but plan to keep it in a marina in Florida. Florida will again require you to pay the sales tax unless you show you paid at least that amount in another state.
- There are loopholes and exemptions but you need to be specific.
Our broker advised us that some states will try to collect taxes on your boat if you list that state as your hailing port with the USCG. Legally, they (the state) does not have a leg to stand on but it can become a hassle for you. California, amongst others, is notorious for this.
Again, the state has no legal grounds to collect taxes simply because you chose it as your hailing port, but they will try and its up to you to clear the matter up.
For example, if you live in Nebraska, you can choose "San Fracisco, CA" as your hailing port with USCG, even if you or the boat has never been to CA. But CA may, probably will, attempt to claim that you owe taxes to CA. They will do this even if the sale a actually took place in Nebraska or anywhere else.
That was too much of a pita for us so we changed our hailing port when we reregistered our boat.
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Old 30-05-2016, 11:23   #10
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Dreaming View Post
Our broker advised us that some states will try to collect taxes on your boat if you list that state as your hailing port with the USCG. Legally, they (the state) does not have a leg to stand on but it can become a hassle for you. California, amongst others, is notorious for this.
Again, the state has no legal grounds to collect taxes simply because you chose it as your hailing port, but they will try and its up to you to clear the matter up.
For example, if you live in Nebraska, you can choose "San Fracisco, CA" as your hailing port with USCG, even if you or the boat has never been to CA. But CA may, probably will, attempt to claim that you owe taxes to CA. They will do this even if the sale a actually took place in Nebraska or anywhere else.
That was too much of a pita for us so we changed our hailing port when we reregistered our boat.
I have seen other posts about this problem with CA. One I recall CA chased for years trying to claim taxes were owed. There might be other states that do the same but do not know of any.

In general other states are focused on boat owners that are residents of the state, buyers that purchase a boat in that state or owners that move or keep the boat in that state.
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Old 30-05-2016, 11:45   #11
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

For state registration it varies. WA state would not let me register my boat unless it is physically here. WOW, first time I had a state turn down money!
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Old 30-05-2016, 12:00   #12
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

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For state registration it varies. WA state would not let me register my boat unless it is physically here. WOW, first time I had a state turn down money!
That might be the first I've every heard of any level of government turning down money.
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Old 30-05-2016, 12:20   #13
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

boat.wa.gov - Register Your Boat
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Old 30-05-2016, 12:57   #14
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

Here is the link for USCG documentation...

USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, Home Page

It's easy to do it yourself. You do not need a brokerage company to do it for you and charge you an extra fee. $84 for the Documentation Certificate + $8 for the Bill of Sale. All paperwork needed can be downloaded from the above link.

Easy peasy.
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Old 31-05-2016, 06:32   #15
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Re: Where can you register your boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by w1651 View Post
Registered my boat last year and was 248.00 here in Florida. Crooks!
The registration fee can only be that high if your boat is more than 65' in length. No offense, but if you can afford a 65' boat then you can afford $250 a year for the use of the many and various facilities around Florida.

NOT CROOKS!
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