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Old 01-09-2012, 10:02   #31
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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To register a boat 3 years ago in FLorida, I had to prove an actual address in Florida. It's a catch 22: If you stay over 90 days you need to pay the tax, If you dont have an address you cant register.... HUH?
You had mentioned that once before. Does seem extremely odd. When I bought my boat I called FL and RI registration as I was considering the standard east coast commute, winter in FL and summer in New England. Both states were quite adamant that if the boat stayed in their state more than 90 days I would have to register there, regardless of where I kept my permanent residence. I do not recall what they said about address but if I recall I think FL said they would mail the papers to RI.

The part that really annoyed me, if I spent 90 days in RI then came to FL for 90 days I would have to register in FL and lose the RI registration. If I then went back to RI they would want me to pay a new registration there, even if it was still in the same year.

Think I will give FL a call next week to get an update on the address issue. Could be useful.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:16   #32
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Re: Registration and Title in US

Yeah, and as a matter of fact, they were willing to send future registration items to my WA address! Totally wierd. This was all up in... Brevard County I think. (Merritt Island)

You can leave your boat in FL up to 90 days... it doesnt have to be "worked on" to do so.
My impression from my time in Florida is that if the boat is stored on the hard, no one worries about trying to tax you. (I'm sure they dont want to lose all the business of boats stored there)
When I registered mine, it had been dry stored for well over 90 days. They made no comment about that, I told them it was not operable until "now".

I find it very frustrating also that in these United States, you have to (in theory) re register your boat every 90 days in a different state if you move around.... it's totally ludicrous. Fortunately, they havent got us checking in and out of every state (yet!), so you can always say: "I just got here"
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Old 01-09-2012, 14:18   #33
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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Yeah, and as a matter of fact, they were willing to send future registration items to my WA address! Totally wierd. This was all up in... Brevard County I think. (Merritt Island)
I think you just ran into someone who didn't know what they were doing. There is very definitely nothing in the laws of Florida that requires you to have a local address before you can register your boat.
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Old 01-09-2012, 18:10   #34
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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So, if you document the boat but are putting it in corporation how do the authorities go about proving citizenship.
By checking the citizenship of the officers of the corporation.
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Old 01-09-2012, 18:20   #35
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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To register a boat 3 years ago in FLorida, I had to prove an actual address in Florida. It's a catch 22: If you stay over 90 days you need to pay the tax, If you dont have an address you cant register.... HUH?
I think you ran into someone in an office who was very unfamiliar with the rules.

The out of state owner situation is much like the "antique vessel" registration, and since most people working in those offices are not the highest paid or perhaps the best trained, and some of the offices one would think are actually "state operated"....are not, but rather operated by the counties under contract to the state.... I have encountered people in those offices that will swear a blue streak that you cannot use a PO Box on a drivers license....which is in fact wrong. You can, and legally so, you just have to provide a legal dirt address for another screen. I dealt with the same issue because my actual address was a slip in a marina.... Had to actually get a supervisor to call Tallahassee to get the facts....

For ages they have been mailing registrations out of state, just like tax bills for homes owned by snowbirds.... Like any other government agency.. they just want the money....
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Old 01-09-2012, 18:23   #36
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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So, if you document the boat but are putting it in corporation how do the authorities go about proving citizenship.
Citizenship is only relevant to USCG documentation which is federal. The states don't care about either yours or the corporation's citizenship. I have it on good authority tha corporations are people too.

The whole idea of US corporate registration is that the corporation is a "citizen" while the shareholders may or may not be.
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Old 01-09-2012, 20:02   #37
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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I think you ran into someone in an office who was very unfamiliar with the rules.

The out of state owner situation is much like the "antique vessel" registration, and since most people working in those offices are not the highest paid or perhaps the best trained, and some of the offices one would think are actually "state operated"....are not, but rather operated by the counties under contract to the state.... I have encountered people in those offices that will swear a blue streak that you cannot use a PO Box on a drivers license....which is in fact wrong. You can, and legally so, you just have to provide a legal dirt address for another screen. I dealt with the same issue because my actual address was a slip in a marina.... Had to actually get a supervisor to call Tallahassee to get the facts....

For ages they have been mailing registrations out of state, just like tax bills for homes owned by snowbirds.... Like any other government agency.. they just want the money....
you are likely right.... although I was arranging it all by email with the head of the revenue in that county! Then had to go in to actually do it.
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Old 01-09-2012, 20:43   #38
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Re: Registration and Title in US

My boat is federally documented and the tax paid in MD. I was thinking of sailing it down to FL at the end of the summer, storing it on the hard until Christmas and then launching it and sailing off to the Bahamas as soon as a weather window shows up. Do you suppose I can avoid Fla tax by doing that? If not Fla. how about South Carolina?
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Old 01-09-2012, 20:53   #39
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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My boat is federally documented and the tax paid in MD. I was thinking of sailing it down to FL at the end of the summer, storing it on the hard until Christmas and then launching it and sailing off to the Bahamas as soon as a weather window shows up. Do you suppose I can avoid Fla tax by doing that? If not Fla. how about South Carolina?
You are at no risk paying any tax in FL. That only applies if you buy a boat in Florida or you are a Florida resident that buys a boat elsewhere but registers the boat in Florida.

The only potential liability is the Florida boat registration fee. For my ski boat it is only $40. For a larger sailboat it might be $100-$300 at most.

Don't confuse the sales and use tax with the registration fee. Also Florida has no ad valorem or other tax on assets so no risk of that either so nothing to worry about.
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Old 01-09-2012, 21:24   #40
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Re: Registration and Title in US

Skipmac-
" if I spent 90 days in RI then came to FL for 90 days I would have to register in FL and lose the RI registration."
Nope! Floriduh is incredibly advanced in their tax policy on this. They recognize that dilemna and the fact that it might discourage folks from dropping money there, so there's a really special provision buried very thoroughly in the Florida registration laws. IF your vessel is registered in another state, and you bring it into Floriduh for 90+ days, you are required to register the boat in Floriduh. However, you are allowed to KEEP YOUR PRIMARY REGISTRATION and simply pay Floriduh for a secondary registration. You keep the original numbers on your hull, you just pay Floriduh and keep the second registration with your ship's papers to show the watercops. Or something like that, maybe you add a sticker someplace.

Either way...as long as you pay them, they don't want to inconvenience boat owners. Now, for cars...no such luck, you have to transfer the registration AND title and ante up about $500 for the pleasure of the transfer.

Incredibly progressive thinking. Or, some rich Yankees did some fancy lawyering. (I'd bet on the latter.)
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Old 02-09-2012, 06:57   #41
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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Skipmac-
" if I spent 90 days in RI then came to FL for 90 days I would have to register in FL and lose the RI registration."
Nope! Floriduh is incredibly advanced in their tax policy on this. They recognize that dilemna and the fact that it might discourage folks from dropping money there, so there's a really special provision buried very thoroughly in the Florida registration laws. IF your vessel is registered in another state, and you bring it into Floriduh for 90+ days, you are required to register the boat in Floriduh. However, you are allowed to KEEP YOUR PRIMARY REGISTRATION and simply pay Floriduh for a secondary registration. You keep the original numbers on your hull, you just pay Floriduh and keep the second registration with your ship's papers to show the watercops. Or something like that, maybe you add a sticker someplace.

Either way...as long as you pay them, they don't want to inconvenience boat owners. Now, for cars...no such luck, you have to transfer the registration AND title and ante up about $500 for the pleasure of the transfer.

Incredibly progressive thinking. Or, some rich Yankees did some fancy lawyering. (I'd bet on the latter.)
Well that sounds logical and would certainly make sense, which makes it very unlikely that's the way the government agencies would do it.

Not that I got the correct answers but I got my information calling directly to the main state offices in FL and RI in charge of revenue or boat licenses. In the case of FL, two different officers gave me the same answer. In RI the person I spoke to was very definite that registration in another state would cancel or invalidate the RI registration. Guess they just don't understand the concept of dual citizenship.

I had decided that since both had already received their requisite pound of flesh I would just retain both sets of registration docs as long as the dates were valid and assume they would still be accepted if requested by any local waterborne authorities.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:32   #42
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Re: Registration and Title in US

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My boat is federally documented and the tax paid in MD. I was thinking of sailing it down to FL at the end of the summer, storing it on the hard until Christmas and then launching it and sailing off to the Bahamas as soon as a weather window shows up. Do you suppose I can avoid Fla tax by doing that? If not Fla. how about South Carolina?
I have dry stored boats twice in Fl for well over 90 days with no questions asked.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:01   #43
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Re: Registration and Title in US

I can't say what might invalidate a RI registration, only that the Florida "dual" business is ver thoroughly hidden. Someone posted a link to it (last year?) and I've read it on an official FL web site, so I know it exists.

As to calling folks on the phone...You know, you get what you pay for. Civil servants rarely exhibit the kind of professionalism that should be required of the job, especially when they get to be anonymous on the phone.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:51   #44
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Re: Registration and Title in US

I asked the question about proving citizenship if the boat is owned by a corporation. Apparantly the corporation must be mostly owned by US citizens to qualify. From the CG website.


HOW DO I ESTABLISH U.S. CITIZENSHIP?

Citizenship is established by completion of form CG-1258. In addition to individuals, corporations, partnerships, and other entities capable of holding legal title may be deemed citizens for documentation purposes. Corporations must be registered in a state or the U.S; the chief executive officer and chairman of the board of directors must be U.S. citizens, and no more than a minority of the number of directors necessary to constitute a quorum may be non-citizens. In addition, at least 75% of the stock must be vested in U.S. citizens for a coastwise or fisheries endorsement.
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Old 02-09-2012, 12:53   #45
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Re: Registration and Title in US

forgot the link
USCG National Vessel Documentation Center, FAQ Page
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