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Old 12-05-2009, 09:39   #31
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I have talked to two different people at Tallahassee. According to them, I cannot get a title without going before the court in Martin County to plead my case that I do own this boat. I take all of my paperwork - including insurance payments, etc - and explain my situation. In preparation for doing this, I have sent a request to Tallahassee to get a copy of the forms sent to them by Fish and Wildlife. Don't know how long that will take.

It is very frustrating that this is so difficult. I totally understand that I need to prove I own the boat but I fear that this will never happen. Our alternate plan is to figure out how to keep it registered in the Bahamas and get another cruising permit for Florida. Does anyone know if there is a limit to the number of times we can get a cruising permit?
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Old 12-05-2009, 10:57   #32
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It is very frustrating that this is so difficult.
The idea is you wouldn't want someone to steal the boat in the Bahamas and come to FL and do the same thing you are doing. It takes a judge to adjudicate ownership when it is in doubt. If you went through US Documentation it would as bad or worse without all the proper papers.

Bring all the original documents. Copies are not to be preferred by the court where originals exist. All documents you have that identify you as the exclusive owner will help. Evidence that you were indeed there on the date of the sale also helps. Notarized bills of Sale help. Something you just both signed and the you lost the original might not be so good. Bring suitable personal ID as well.

You need to remove any doubt the judge has that you really own the boat and that the paperwork you are bringing is genuine. Were it easy someone else could steal a boat in Georgia and bring it across state lines and attempt to register it in FL. While the criminal penalties are large most states do not want to make it easy to re register stolen property. Hull numbers help ID the boat and while easy to destroy they are not always so easy to replace.
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Old 12-05-2009, 11:06   #33
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Yes, of course you are right. I know that the boat is mine but no one else "knows" that. Will keep you posted as my saga rolls on. Thanks for your prompt reply.
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Old 12-05-2009, 19:46   #34
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The FL Boaters Safety Card applies only persons 21 years of age and under. Persons older than that.....do not need them.

State of Florida.com - Florida Boating Course

I believe the law was invoked to stop the many injuries and deaths caused or directly related to young kids running wild on jet skis and such....
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Old 18-06-2009, 13:21   #35
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I called Tallahassee and finally got to a supervisor. I was told that I could request a copy of the papers filed by the Fish and Wildlife officer as reference in case we decided to go before a judge. We sent that letter and included again our request to use our Bahamian registration as our proof of ownership. A month later I received the report as well as another letter stating the opposite of the previous one. It stated that we could use the registration from the Bahamas as proof of ownership. Don't know who or how but we are very pleased with this change of heart. We filled out the paperwork and faxed it to the county clerk so we could find out the sales tax, etc. Now all we have to do is send the originals of our documents and a check and we will get our title. I guess the moral of this story is just keep asking when you get an answer that doesn't seem right. Thanks for the replies on the board.
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Old 18-06-2009, 13:56   #36
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For original poster: You can likely just leave Florida and go where you want until someone notices if you have a current decal. Florida tax is about 6% (depends on county?) Some states (like Florida) you cant title it there if it is Documented. (just went through this) but you can register it and get a decal and pay the tax. I have bought boats in Maryland, stayed months, moved south, stayed months, went to the Carribean, stayed years, returned to FL and never paid tax anywhere and just had the document.... To some extent it may depend on the mood of the officer that checks you out (if questioned) and your ability to say the right things and only the right things!
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Old 18-06-2009, 14:02   #37
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Are you sure your boat isnt home built? if so, you need to put a HIN number on it then title it! ;>)
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Old 18-06-2009, 14:06   #38
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We are just going to title it in Florida right now. Yes, we will owe sales tax but it doesn't break the bank. The Bahamian registration expired in the midst of all of this and we plan on using it in FL waters for now anyway. The boat was built in Canada and registered there and then transferred to another owner in the Bahamas, from whom we purchased it. We can always register it in the Bahamas again in the future when we have more time to be there for more than a few weeks!
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Old 28-06-2009, 09:26   #39
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Well, we finally did it. We are officially registered in Florida. We sent the original documentation to Martin County along with a check and, as of Friday afternoon, it is a done deal. Now we are planning a trip down to take her out! Thanks to all who offered advice.
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Old 16-07-2009, 13:44   #40
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My husband is on the boat as I write this. He went down to take it out cruising after all of the effort spent on registering it. We are so glad that this turned out so well. He is hanging out in and around Manatee Pocket in Port Salerno and loving it.
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Old 19-07-2009, 12:32   #41
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As a side note to this....and I apologize for not having mentioned this earlier, but when one has problems with the "Department of Revenue" in FL, they can call Tallahassee and speak to someone about getting a "Technical Advisement" or a review. The DMV has people that do the same thing....they are higher up the food chain and usually are professional legal people who know the rules and laws.... When they issue their paper....its in conformance with the law, and will override the opinions of lower minions.
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