This thread is a couple years old but I just went through this today. Reading this thread before I went to the tax collector's office helped me a lot, so for those who will come later I'm adding my experience today to this thread.
I handed the teller/collector's representative my out of state registration, said I wanted to "register" in Florida because of the 90 day rule
and the first thing she said was that "because it's an old boat and you probably won't have to pay very much". (My boat qualifies for the antique registration.) (See earlier links/contributions in this thread.) She said nothing about the power plant. (See earlier comment in this thread.)
On the antique registration:
Before going to register my boat, I followed the link (earlier) to the antique registration form, printed it, filled it in, signed and dated it. I offered it to the tax person and she took it. It turns out later that she, the tax collector representative, had another, different form for the same purpose. (Registering antique vessels.) The form I printed has a place for a licensed surveyor
to sign it next to the place for the owner's signature. I interpreted it as an either/or signature testifying to the boat's age. But no. (At least not today.) Today, the tax office interprets that form as requiring *both* the owner's and a licensed surveyor's signature attesting to the age of the boat. Problematic.
By contrast, the antique registration form the tax person produced *did not* require a surveyor's signature. *But* she was going to make me stick to the form I brought with me and send me away to get a surveyor's signature if I stuck to going the antique registration route
Neither the tax person's antique registration form or the form I printed and took with me mentioned anything about the engine
having to be ""Engine of same year and model that the vessel had originally" and in fact the subject did not come up.
The tax person seemed quite willing to register the boat as an antique and that's the way she seemed to want to go with it from the start. If you want to do the antique registration, you may be better off to just walk up to the window and say so instead of arriving, as I did, with the form printed out and filled in (except for a licensed surveyor's signature).
What the tax person wanted to do was not what I wanted. The tax person wanted to re-title my boat as a Florida vessel and the antique registration leads in that direction. That's not what I wanted to do. I don't want to have residence in another state and all my vehicles registered in that state except for one boat that Florida demanded be considered "theirs".
Thankfully, I was forearmed with the link (see above) that says an out of state person can "register" a boat in Florida and "retain" the original/existing registration in the person's home state. I had that paragraph printed (along with the URL) and it really threw the tax representatives into confusion. They "called Tallahassee" (possibly multiple times) to find/figure out how to do the deal. (It took them over an hour, maybe two hours in all.)
Confused, the tax person came back to the window and said, "You don't have this vessel documented do you?" To which, I replied, "I do."
Well, that brightened her right up. She said, "That's different then." I produced the documentation
for her and she bustled off. She soon returned with some paperwork and we finalized the deal.
Apparently, the tax people were at a loss as to how to enter my out of state vessel identifying numbers into their system, even though their website says you can keep your state numbering. Documented vessel numbering, however, seems to fit right into the Florida system, so they used that.
They issued to me a *single* registration sticker. (Not one for each side.) And a printed 1/3 page "Florida Vessel Registration" document and receipt for the money
I paid. They did not title my boat in Florida or disturb the existing title/documentation. The registration is, as is normal in Florida, good until my birthday. The tax people did not know what will happen at renewal time.
It cost me $124.63. Cash or check. No credit cards accepted. But they do have, they informed me, an ATM.
Oh yeah.... And I furnished a copy of a prior year's boat insurance
to prove I've owned the vessel outside Florida for longer than the required period of time. (I was prepared because I read the link earlier in this thread.) Before going to the tax office I called my insurance
agent and his office emailed a copy of a prior year's policy to me. I printed that.
I took with me:
- State vessel registration
- Federal documentation/registration
- My driver's license
- Copy of prior year's insurance policy showing prior ownership
and the vessel's out of Florida home port.
- Print out of the Florida website paragraph saying I could keep my existing state registration
- Florida antique vessel registration form. (This is the only thing they did not use.) (They said I could either go the "temporary registration" route
and keep my existing registration or I could do the antique registration and become a Florida vessel. I could not do both antique and temporary out of state registration.)
I love Federal documentation. This is not the first time it has resolved an issue for me and saved me (and my vessel) from being at the mercy of some third party.
I hope the next person who needs this thread finds this additional information helpful.