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Old Yesterday, 16:49   #1
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Registering a boat

Simple question
Can a foreigner register and flag their boat in the US
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Old Yesterday, 17:27   #2
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Re: Registering a boat

You'll have to understand that the US being the US we have two parallel systems; state and federal. Both allow a vessel to carry the US flag. Without some gyrations (corporation, ....) you cannot document your boat in the federal system unless you are a citizen (simplification).

With the states, well, each state is different. Certainly no citizenship is required, but residency may or may not be. In some states you are required to register at the state level if the boat is in the state more than x days (60, 90, 180 - every state is different). Some states (Delaware,...) cater specifically to out-of-state and foreign registration, although, again, incorporation may be required.

If you have a specific use case it might be an easier question to answer, as otherwise there are at least 51 different options available. Just a few of the different rule sets below.

https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de...tsinfo/boatreg

https://dnrec.alpha.delaware.gov/fis.../registration/

https://www.flhsmv.gov/motor-vehicle...registrations/

https://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregist...isterboat.html
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Old Yesterday, 17:40   #3
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Re: Registering a boat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruffriders View Post
Simple question
Can a foreigner register and flag their boat in the US
Just to clarify ... the terminology is a little different in the US.

What most countries refer to as "Registered", the US refers to as "USCG Documented".

Only a US corporation or citizen may "document" a vessel.
State "registration" is available to non-citizens as the previous poster noted. However there have been a number of incidents in Florida in the last year or so with Canadians on Florida State Registered boats being told by local cops that this was not legal.
The usefullness of state registration depends on your cruising plans.
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Old Yesterday, 17:52   #4
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Re: Registering a boat

Thanks for the reply’s, the boat is Canadian registered looking to leave it in Florida, from what I understand I can leave it for one year but then have to leave the country for 15 days before I can get another cruising permit,
This is what I was trying to avoid
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Old Yesterday, 18:16   #5
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Re: Registering a boat

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Originally Posted by Ruffriders View Post
Thanks for the reply’s, the boat is Canadian registered looking to leave it in Florida, from what I understand I can leave it for one year but then have to leave the country for 15 days before I can get another cruising permit,
This is what I was trying to avoid
Cruising in US water on a cruising license has become a giant PITA.
Under a CL you must call CBP every time you stop the boat. Thsi is not as easy as it sounds as many of the phone numbers your given will get a "not in service" response. On other occassions you will call for hours before anyone picks up the phone.

On one occasion we could not call in due to lack of cel. signal and were later boarded by a local cop who threatened us with a $10k fine for not cqalling in. When we explained there was no phone signal his response was "not my problem:. On another occassion we were told by one officer on the Hudson that we did not have to call in again until we got to NYC. Naturally we were boarded in Nyack and when we told the CBP guy that we were told we did not have to call in til' we got to Manhattan that " I couldn'nt care less what you were told, you're dealing with me now".

These rules have always been in place but were routinely ignored until 2016 they are now rigoously enforced in some areas and getting worse.
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Old Yesterday, 21:13   #6
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Re: Registering a boat

I suspect that technically you would have to import the boat into the US in order to then register it in Florida. And I don't know what that entails for you. Duty is only 1.5% (or possibly nothing depending on where built, and there may be special provisions for Canadians).

The importation task is pretty eàsy for citizens, and I don't suspect it would be much harder for you, but no direct knowledge. I do know (from experience) that one sticking point can be the engine - it must meet US emissions standards (unless very old). Many international engines have a US emissions label/certification, but not all. And if it is a Volvo Dx-30 or -40 from 2008 to 2017 then the certificate is not valid even if it is present.
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Old Yesterday, 22:49   #7
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Re: Registering a boat

So, summarizing.

Coast Guard national Documentation, "flagging as US" for international sailing, is not available to you.

Importing the boat is a national process, paying duty and bringing into US compliance is required, but none of that has anything to do with state level registration.

Each state has its own registration requirements, which may or may not be interdependent with the national import process.

And all of the above is separate from **your** immigration / visitor visa status, even if you get permanent residency changes nothing, humans are a completely different set of rules.
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Old Yesterday, 22:50   #8
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Re: Registering a boat

For the boat stuff, this Florida attorney is recommended, very highly and across multiple forums

http://amrl.com/attorney/catherine-kent/
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Old Today, 13:04   #9
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Re: Registering a boat

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
For the boat stuff, this Florida attorney is recommended, very highly and across multiple forums

http://amrl.com/attorney/catherine-kent/
I have just contacted her, thank you
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Old Today, 13:06   #10
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Re: Registering a boat

Please do report back here relating what you learn, and how you ultimately decide to proceed.

My bet is a cruising license will be the immediate path of least resistance.
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