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Old 01-02-2016, 13:04   #1
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Newbie Documentation assistance

I am new to this forum and sailing. I posted this under Monohull also which may be the wrong place.
My wife and I are looking to buy a used sailboat (40'-45') in Texas. I was told that I should get Coast Guard Documentation because we will be live a boards traveling from Nova Scotia to Bahamas and the Caribbean. The state I live in now (NM) told me that I will not need to pay sales tax or register it in NM as long as I don't bring it into the state.
Question is - Can I get Coast Guard Documentation with out a state registration?
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Old 01-02-2016, 13:20   #2
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Re: Newbie Documentation assistance

Yes. Yes you can.
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Old 01-02-2016, 14:18   #3
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Re: Newbie Documentation assistance

Yep, the USCG doesn't care. You do have to follow the USCG doc requirements regarding boat and hailing port on your boat and have the number permanently affixed somewhere on the boat. And you have to renew it as required. Hailing port can be anywhere in the US - e.g. could be "Santa Fe NM".
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Old 01-02-2016, 16:01   #4
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Re: Newbie Documentation assistance

I don't know about Texas, but if you purchase the boat in Florida and it remains here more than 90 days, you will need to pay Florida Sales Tax, (if you have not paid sales tax elsewhere) and register it here. Even if it is CG Documented. The only difference, with CG docs, is that you don't display the FL registration numbers on the boat.

Again, I don't know about Texas, but you should find out who gets the sales tax and if it needs to be registered in the state that it stays.
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Old 01-02-2016, 16:06   #5
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Re: Newbie Documentation assistance

Like others have said, getting Coast Guard documentation doesn't save you from paying the sales tax, which you should pay where you're going to register and keep the boat. You register the boat where you're going to keep it, not where you live.
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Old 01-02-2016, 16:33   #6
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Re: Newbie Documentation assistance

Quote:
Originally Posted by WindwardPrinces View Post
Like others have said, getting Coast Guard documentation doesn't save you from paying the sales tax, which you should pay where you're going to register and keep the boat. You register the boat where you're going to keep it, not where you live.
You may not be "registering" the boat if it is documented but you still have to pay sales tax if you keep it in a state that collects sales tax on boats. You may also be liable for personal property tax.

South Carolina, for one, does not "register" documented boats. It does collect up to $300 in sales tax and it collects personal property tax if the boat is in SC for 180 days or more per year even if you live in a different state.
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Old 01-02-2016, 16:44   #7
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Re: Newbie Documentation assistance

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Originally Posted by Davy J View Post
I don't know about Texas, but if you purchase the boat in Florida and it remains here more than 90 days, you will need to pay Florida Sales Tax, (if you have not paid sales tax elsewhere) and register it here. Even if it is CG Documented. The only difference, with CG docs, is that you don't display the FL registration numbers on the boat.

Again, I don't know about Texas, but you should find out who gets the sales tax and if it needs to be registered in the state that it stays.

Same goes for Texas. The boat must be registered in Texas and taxes payed if it's to remain in Texas.


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Old 02-02-2016, 08:28   #8
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Re: Newbie Documentation assistance

Couple of things you need to know. Yes, you can get documentation without a state registration. I'm not sure how you plan to get a large boat to New Mexico, but it is possible. You need not pay sales tax in Texas if you plan to immediately remove the boat, that usually means within 30 days, from Texas waters. Each state you travel through will have different requirements. But it boils down to a matter of time. You will need to "register" the boat in any state you plan to be in for X number of days, anywhere from 90 to 120 days, if you remain in that states water. In Florida, you are required by state law to be registered in some state, even if documented, once you enter Florida waters. Florida does have a sojourners permit that amounts to a temporary registration to be used while your in Florida waters. As you can see the answer is a bit complicated so you will need to do some research for the waters you plan to travel and visit. Much of the information you receive on an internet forum may or may not be correct. Good luck. Chuck
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Old 02-02-2016, 09:22   #9
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Re: Newbie Documentation assistance

In WA state you also don't need to display your WA registration numbers if you are CG documented, but you do have to register if you stay here long enough, and, pay registration fees annually. The fees are not trivial for bigger boats. You do have to display a (approx) a 3'x3" sticker near the bow. If you bought the boat here you also have to pay state saless tax (which covers the first year registration).
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