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Old 22-09-2014, 13:05   #31
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Re: The Florida Question

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Hi John,

At one time I had links to the specific regulations on the web sites for the various agencies for state of FL but they have changed things around and I would have to find the again. Also the last time I read the details they had tightened up the wording just a bit but still had the basic rule in place.

For you I guess it's now a moot point anyway. I have to say that I have not found GCS to be right on top of all the rules and regs but to be honest the same applies to a number of counties.

This should spell it out....though I'm sure the state may interpret it differently than you.
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/current/gt800005.pdf


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Old 22-09-2014, 17:16   #32
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Re: The Florida Question

I didn't know, and kept a documented boat in Florida for 8 years without ever registering it. Nothing ever happened. As they say, YMMV.


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Old 22-09-2014, 18:45   #33
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Re: The Florida Question

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I didn't know, and kept a documented boat in Florida for 8 years without ever registering it. Nothing ever happened. As they say, YMMV.


Sent from an undisclosed location on the high seas or from the lounge chair by the pool, you decide.
That was the good old days. I kept a GA registered boat in Florida for about 6 years before I knew better and no one ever asked. Not like I was hiding either. Wasn't documented at all so had the GA numbers right on the bow.

The state has cracked down a lot in the last few years.
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Old 22-09-2014, 19:08   #34
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Re: The Florida Question

I have been a respondent on this Forum for a few years. I enjoy reading what the experiences are of the forum-ites.

I live on the west coast of the USA, San Francisco Bay.

I continue to be AMAZED by the CONTINUING questions about Florida regulations.

I only wish I could sail my boat from Florida to the Bahamas.

I read, over and over again, posts like: "How do I get across the Gulf Stream?" "Which harbor is the BEST to get into the foreign Bahamas where I have to give them $300?" "What do I have to pay for sales tax in Florida?" "How long clan I stay in Florida with a documented boat?"

For goodness sake, folks, why should it be that hard?

There are government websites.

There are hundreds of posts on this forum, to say nothing about other boating websites, like noonsite.

There are also the silly: "Has anyone ever sailed from Florida to the Bahamas?" and "Which direction should you sail to get to Nassau if you leave on a Tuesday morning before the rest of the fleet chooses to go because they're waiting to find a weather window?" "How long will I have to wait in Forth Worth to get across?"

Sheez, folks. It ain't that hard.

Do some homework and research. PLEEZE.

The Internet makes it pretty easy.

Type in: "Florida to Bahamas" in ANY boating forum and you can read for weeks!!!

I only wish I wasn't on the "wrong" coast to be able to do it myself.

I have a boat that's big enough for me to stand upright, has enough galley storage because I added it to my boat, learned a lot from a friend who sailed from British Columbia to Mexico on an identical boat, read a lot, and figured out how to do it, IF I wanted to do so.

Kinda like a "What's the BEST boat?" question.

Let's get real.

Plan Ahead

It's not so hard...
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Old 22-09-2014, 20:08   #35
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Re: The Florida Question

Sorry Stu, but it can get very complicated when the rules change often and back and forth.

Differential levels of enforcement by region don't help matters. There are commercial guys here who will tell you the rules change so fast, the FWC officers can't keep up with all of it. Florida has lots of coastline, and lots of rules.

If no one asked stupid questions based on an experts knowledge level, there would be no internet forum. Maybe encourage folks to search before asking, but questions are what forums are made of.

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Old 22-09-2014, 20:40   #36
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Re: The Florida Question

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Sorry Stu, but it can get very complicated when the rules change often and back and forth.


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Fishing rules maybe, cruising rules, not so much.
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Old 22-09-2014, 21:29   #37
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Re: The Florida Question

Actual regs aside, some places are more assertive than others about enforcement. South Eastern Florida, very assertive. If your boat is old enough, you can register it as a "classic" boat f(ours is vintage 1977) or next to nothing $7.50, which is crazy to not do of eligible, given the potential penalties.
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Old 22-09-2014, 21:46   #38
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Re: The Florida Question

No doubt, I and many other cruisers have exceeded the 90 day rule without getting caught. It has certainly been a concern for me when we were in violation. So....can I register my boat in Florida without a Florida address or driver's license?
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Old 23-09-2014, 06:12   #39
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Re: The Florida Question

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Sorry Stu, but it can get very complicated when the rules change often and back and forth.
That's true... Except that the registration and tax rules in Florida haven't changed in decades. The enforcement of them has changed some, but the rules have not.

Sure, commercial fishing rules change frequently, but I'm guessing that there aren't all that many commercial fishermen who are coming here to ask about the laws.

For Americans it is really pretty simple: Keep your boat in Florida for more than 90 days and you are supposed to register it. That applies to all pleasure boats with an engine, or more than 16' in length, regardless of whether or not they are USCG documented. The registration fee is very reasonable, and unless you own a mega-yacht will almost certainly be less than $200 per year. As for taxes, if you buy a boat in Florida, and do not move it out of the state within 90 days, then you pay a 6% sales/use tax up to a maximum of $18k. If you bought your boat elsewhere, and used it in another state for more than 6 months, then you can bring it into Florida freely, no sales/use tax due.

There are a few exceptions and the rules can be slightly different for foreign nationals, but the above covers probably 95% of the questions we see here, and these rules haven't changed--as I said--in decades.

Of course, internet tax/legal advice is worth exactly what you pay for it--nothing. So don't believe me. Here are two links to official Florida websites that will give you all of the details on both registration and taxes...
http://www.flhsmv.gov/dmv/faqboat.html
http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/forms/current/gt800005.pdf

There. Now that's a brief overview, along with links to all the details. And there will STILL, almost certainly, be people who continue to post misinformation in this thread, and continue to ask questions that have already been answered. But, that's the nature of the internet, isn't it?
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Old 23-09-2014, 06:35   #40
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Re: The Florida Question

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. So....can I register my boat in Florida without a Florida address or driver's license?
I have neither, and registered it with no problem.
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Old 23-09-2014, 06:37   #41
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Re: The Florida Question

The registration is really a tax stamp, I believe if they just called it that, it would alleviate a lot of confusion, other than revenue collection, does Fl registration accomplish anything for Fl?
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Old 23-09-2014, 06:40   #42
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Re: The Florida Question

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...other than revenue collection, does Fl registration accomplish anything for Fl?
Yes. Before you can register the boat you have to present proof that it is either titled or documented. Hence, registration serves as an additional check that the legal ownership of the boat has been established.
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Old 23-09-2014, 07:51   #43
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Re: The Florida Question

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Yes. Before you can register the boat you have to present proof that it is either titled or documented. Hence, registration serves as an additional check that the legal ownership of the boat has been established.
Yeah, I did a little thinking about that after I posted, hopefully it also establishes a database of owners that again hopefully helps with abandoned boats, but I bet most of them have all ID removed?
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